‘Australia’s tax take is failing the sustainability of retirement living’

Jan 26, 2022
Is Australia over-taxed? That's the question this community member is asking. Source: Getty

While I was listening to the news, I heard our noble leaders advocating electric cars for future motoring in Australia. This would diminish our eco-terrorism on the climate, our collective footprint. Anything we citizens can do for posterity is a great ambition.

Yet, this reminded me of a friend who bought an electric car. She saved heaps on petrol prices. But, as a Victorian, she now has to sort taxes on her driving of her wheels. There is a tax on every kilometre she drives in her electric wheels.

Driving is a costly exercise. According to the Australian Automobile Association, petrol is taxed at more than 42 per cent per litre. Nearly half the cost of a litre of petrol or diesel fuel is sheer tax. This cost is factored into every item that is carted around this country by the trucking industry.

It is all about funding the future of our road systems, maintaining roadways, and building new roads. Government policies would favour most Australians using public transport, instead of driving cars next to train lines, but we do prefer the comfort and flexibility of our own wheels. We are taxed for driving.

This type of taxation has an effect on retirees like me, those on fixed incomes. This includes both pensioners and self-funded retirees. Any increase in fuel tax is driving up the cost of goods, and is barely offset by pension increases or concessions.

Of course, fuel tax is only one example of taxation in Australia. Government needs revenue to fund federal and state budgets, which is the basis for our welfare system. Any product purchased, or any service bought, bears the GST. Our governments gain their revenue by taxing personal income, goods and services, or business profits.

Are the governments shooting us all in the foot? If big businesses are taxed too highly, they resist investing in growth. This reduces employment opportunities for adults and young ones, so they can join the taxation system. It is quite natural to be concerned about the future of the younger generation and their chances of employment. If there were more taxpayers, this would imply greater wealth for the federal budget.

Some retirees can be concerned about whether they still have to be taxed on their incomes, superannuation, or investments. Most of us do not need to lodge a tax return. On the other hand, retirees should check to see if they are eligible for taxation offsets, if their personal income qualifies. This applies particularly to some pensioners.

Maybe taxation on our income is a non-issue for so many of our age. Yet the hidden cost of Australia’s levels of taxation can affect the sustainability of retirement living. The rising cost of everything we seniors need to purchase or fund to stay afloat is shrinking our income levels. There seems to be a tax on every facet of daily life. Shall our governments tax fresh air and sunshine next?

Statistics show Australia ranks second in the world with its taxation take, raising revenue for the government. Our Australian economy depends a lot on the taxes from the mining industry, which exports mineral products round the world. Such business companies want business investment tax breaks, to encourage growth in job creation, as well as their profit margin. They are keeping a lot of us afloat.

Our Australian economy can rely on Chinese and American business ventures, which purchase from our mining industry. Some pundits are predicting a gloomy economy ongoing in Australia. Retirees must exercise a degree of caution with their funds as we are all ageing.

The taxes and hidden costs are increasing. Australians, generally, are being taxed as never before.

Do you feel Australia is overtaxed?

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