In The Australian today ($), John Roskam responded to recent calls from the usual suspects for tax increases:
A high-profile group of unionists, academics and former public servants who oppose a corporate tax cut in the budget has been dubbed “the fatuous 50” by a conservative think tank.
Institute of Public Affairs chief John Roskam said many in the group had “spent so long on the public teat and no doubt have defined benefits superannuation schemes and won’t be affected by changes to superannuation”.
“Their real world experience, for so many of these people is limited to the university common room. They have little idea about what it takes to run a business, employ people and create wealth,” he said.
Mr Roskam’s jibe sparked an immediate backhander from the progressive Australia Institute think tank, which declared the group spoke for most Australians who wanted a clampdown on tax concessions for “the big end of town”.
In an open letter published in Fairfax newspapers, the group urged Malcolm Turnbull “not to cut tax at this time — and certainly not for companies”.
The letter comes as the government debates income and company tax levels as a proportion of GDP, which next year is set to rise above its long-term average of the past 30 years, and bracket creep puts more workers into higher tax brackets.
The “fatuous 50” letter also cite OECD data that suggests Australia is a low taxing country. Comparing us to other countries which are even worse is irrelevant, and reveals nothing about what Australian workers are experiencing.
In fact, recent OECD data confirms that Australian are working longer to pay the tax government already demands of them. I’ve collected the data hear:
For a single, childless individual at the income level of the average worker, you have to work an extra week to pay your taxes than seven years ago (and this doesn’t even account for compulsory superannuation).