Rudd must rule out Nanny State tax hikes

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The Rudd government should immediately rule out imposing new or increased taxes on alcohol, food and tobacco products in its pre-election attempt to close the budget deficit gap, according to free market think tank the Institute of Public Affairs.

‘Raising excises or other commodity taxes on alcohol, food and tobacco would merely punish families, especially on lower incomes, for the pent up deficits and debts under this federal government over the past six years,’ said IPA Senior Fellow Dr Julie Novak.

‘IPA research has shown that the poorest families in our community pay up to three times as much as wealthy families in Nanny State taxes.

‘Even the government’s Nanny State bureau, the National Preventive Health Agency, conceded in a recent report that Nanny State taxes are regressive but have minimal effects in deterring consumption.’ (Source: ANPHA, State of Preventive Health 2013, p. 171).

‘Therefore, low income earners across Australia will rightly recognise any Nanny State tax hikes as yet another punitive and unnecessary cost of living increase, on top of the electricity bill inflating carbon tax,’ said Dr Novak.

Undeterred by the effects of Nanny State taxation on cost of living pressures faced by those on lower incomes, the public health lobby continue to call on the government to raise taxes on products.

‘Should the Rudd government wish to salvage its electoral position among working Australians, it should resist such calls by immediately ruling out Nanny State tax hikes in its forthcoming Economic Statement.’

Copies of the IPA report, Nanny State Taxes: Soaking the Poor in 2012, can be found at www.ipa.org.au.

For further information and comment please contact: Dr Julie Novak, Senior Fellow, on 0408 873 739 or at [email protected]

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