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Albanese: take a stand on tax

By Tristan Ewins - posted Friday, 21 June 2019

Dear Anthony Albanese,

Don't pass phases 2 and 3 of the Tory Tax Plan.

Abbott blocked good policy ; It wasn't without reason that he earned the nickname "Dr No". Now Labor has a right to block sweeping tax cuts that will indirectly hurt millions of its constituents. And many will be very disillusioned or angry if you let phases 2 and 3 pass.


The Government's plans include the following for phases two and three: (from Treasury)

For 2022–23 and 2023–24, the top threshold of the 19% tax bracket will increase from $37,000 to $41,000 the 32.5% bracket will increase from $90,000 to $120,000.
For 2024–25 income year onwards, the top threshold of the 32.5% tax bracket will increase from $120,000 to $200,000.

This represents an effective 'flattening' of the tax scales ; with higher income individuals on effectively lower rates of tax. The Government argues there is no diminution of progressivity. But for instance, raising the top threshold by $80,000 means while there will be less tax taken overall, those on lower and middle incomes will be paying a higher proportion of the total tax take.

It will also cost the Budget $160 billion over 10 years.This when we're likely heading for a recession. It will fuel austerity. Especially if the government prioritises the surplus even in time of economic downturn. And indeed, Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg has been quite clear that the surplus with be prioritised over stimulus even if the economy weakens further.

Finally: remember that the median wage in Australia is only approximately $53,000/year.The Conservatives talk about people on $120,000/year as if they're 'battlers'.


It's true that a small number of workers earn this kind of money. ($120,000/year and up) But compared with the vast majority of other workers this is often 'the aristocracy of labour' (a term used to describe a minority of high wage workers who become distanced from their class interests and the majority other workers on account of their high incomes ; though some high wage workers – including those supported by strong unions – retain a broader sense of class interest)

We cannot let the majority's sense of class interest become 'blurred' and 'diluted' by the example of this 'labour aristocracy' which most workers will never be able to aspire to.

And if we don't stand up and fight only the Conservatives will win with their long term agenda of a flat income tax.

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About the Author

Tristan Ewins has a PhD and is a freelance writer, qualified teacher and social commentator based in Melbourne, Australia. He is also a long-time member of the Socialist Left of the Australian Labor Party (ALP). He blogs at Left Focus, ALP Socialist Left Forum and the Movement for a Democratic Mixed Economy.

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