It’s revenue, stupid 166



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In August last year, Tony Abbott called to critics of the 2014 Budget, “If you don’t like what we’re doing, come up with your own alternative!” He may be regretting those words now with the The Australia Institute releases its report entitled It’s the revenue stupid: Ideas for a brighter budget.

The report by the independent public policy think tank says the Government has a revenue problem as opposed to a spending problem.

“The Government’s single-minded focus of cutting spending primarily to low income households in order to reduce the budget deficit has been rejected by economists, rejected by voters and rejected by the senate. It has been branded unfair and the government has been thrown into confusion and chaos as it searches for an alternative budget plan”.

The paper, which was commissioned by action group GetUp!, proposes eight measures – some more difficult to swallow than others – that could earn the budget $40 billion in savings each year.


The Australia Institute budget reforms


The eight proposed policies are:

  1. A micro tax on high-frequency trading. This policy targets big banks trading investments at huge volumes. A tax of less than half a per cent on these transactions would raise more than $1 billion per year. Budget gain: $1 billion.
  2. Limit tax avoidance by the wealthy. Apply the “Buffett rule” to cap loopholes that allow Australia’s top 1 per cent of income earners to pay less tax. According to GetUp! Last year 55 mega-wealthy Australians paid zero tax. Budget gain: $2.5 billion.
  3. Reform negative gearing. Restructure negative gearing so it only applies to new properties, reducing the number of people who receive tax breaks on their income. Budget gain: $3.5 billion.
  4. Scrap the capital gains tax discount. The report found the capital gains tax predominantly benefits the wealthy and could be scrapped all together. Budget gain: $4 billion.
  5. A duty on wealthy estates. Place an inheritance tax on large estates. Budget gain: $5 billion.
  6. Super profits tax on big banks. This tax would apply to the mega-profits made by our largest financial institutions. Budget gain: $5.5 billion.
  7.  Reform superannuation tax concessions. Current tax breaks on super apply to the highest income earners; the report suggests switching this around so low income earners receive the tax concessions. Budget gain: $9.5 billion.
  8.  Cut fossil fuel subsidies. With the government set to spend billions of dollars on Direct Action, it’s inefficient for it to continue to lose billions of dollars in fossil fuel subsidies. Budget gain: $11.5 billion.

Read It’s the Revenue Stupid: Ideas for a brighter budget here.


Which of these ideas do you think the Government is most likely to go for? And which will never see the light of day?

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  1. Easy way to help get our budget back in the black Stop the Pollies perks and there bloody great pensions and free travel on planes cars and all the rest

    8 REPLY
    • You forgot to include the ‘bottom-end’ of town who take but contribute zip…but doesn’t matter as long as we destroy enthusiasm and success!

    • Sounds like a great idea, but is actually only a tiny sum, compared to what is involved. Its like people who complain about the waste of champagne, sprayed over the crowd at the end of a grand prix. Compared to the cost of tyres , for just one car in the race, a bottle of champers is really nothing! Mind you, I’m all for tightening up on the MP’s allowances, etc., and that should go ahead. I’m just making the point that it wouldn’t make any difference to the deficit!

    • I don’t agree with Ivan because if we limit Pollies salaries and benefits, how will we attract the best minds into parliament?

      1 REPLY
      • If it’s the perks that are bringing in these “great minds” you speak of, then I don’t want to live on this planet anymore.

        Or maybe your sarcasm is just hiding in there somewhere. I hope so.

  2. Put the GST up to 15%.

    17 REPLY
    • Judith, I have worked my ring off and saved for forty years to earn just enough to live on comfortably so that I do not have to rely on a taxpayer funded pension. Now you’re going to tax me extra because I have done that?

    • No, I just feel that this is the easiest and best way to get the money we need to continue to be able to pay what we need to pay. It is better that ALL pay not just a few. We all get something from the government so we should all pay. I also would rather it come from one area than come from here, there and everywhere.

    • I agree Judith, but that would be breaking a promise and the media would have a field day! There’s no sensibility in politics today , but if Labour did it people would accept it!

    • Really Judith Forbes
      Do you actually realise what that would mean.
      It would mean everything from rent to a loaf of bread to medicines would be 5% dearer than it is now. On a pension of $430 a week that means pensioners would be $22 worse off each week. So what do we give up. Our meditations, our electricity, our water. Really, you should think about these sort of solutions before suggesting them.

    • Promises are not worth the paper they are written on. True they would….every politician that makes a promise I believe intends to keep them, but after they get in they find that the Budget is not capable of taking the promises. Then they have to make decisions to change things for the short term and then hopefully go back and keep the original promise. Mr. Abbott was very silly to say what he said over the GST as everyone new sooner or later it would have to go up, just the way it has to be. I know if he does it he will be howled down but it is the fairest way to raise revenue at this time. The Labor party knows that and if they were in they would raise it no questions asked…..and there would be no fuss at all. I wish politics would go back to they way it used to be when all parties got together and helped each other to make decisions to help all concerned especially the Australian People. I do not believe what Mr. Abbott or Mr. Hockey come up with, the Labor party will block it as they are bloody minded and think they are god and it is wrong as it will cost Billions of $’s that we do not have to hold another election. The Labor, Greens and Independence should all be held to task over this, it is a freake’n joke. Let the Liberals get on with what we put them there to do.

    • I do and as someone on a pension I do not care. Something has to be done to recoup money to go on paying what we are. It has to come from somewhere, better we all pay than only some……everybody gets a hand out of some sort, if you wish to keep them you have to start helping to pay for them, or loose them.

      1 REPLY
      • Thank goodness the opposition is in a position to block the increase of GST. Remember that it was Tony and Joe’s mates who introduced it with a promise that state taxes would be abolished. Sadly not only did the state taxes not get abolished but they have been increased. Taxes are a disincentive and somebody has to administer the collection of them and quite often the collection cost is greater than the net collection.

        An increase of GST is just another exercise in futility. It’s existence thus far has led to an increase in bankruptcies and more business for the legal fraternity, the accountants and receivers. Maybe a very small turnover or debit tax would be more successful in that it would be more efficient and less expensive to collect.

        I am sick and tired of hearing people going on and on as if the GST is the cure-all. It wouldn’t matter how much money the government collected the problem will continue until such times as they learn to live within their means. They must learn to balance the books. The pit is not endless.

        Furthermore it should be remembered that the GST is supposed to go in its entirety to the states so an increase will free more money for the federal government to waste. Under the present system the more the Federal Government collects the more it will waste. The Federal Government could start by cutting back on foreign aid.

        As you increase GST which after all is a consumption tax you are going to punish the low income earners and the pensioners. So then you have to compensate them. It is an exercise in futility to collected the tax on one hand and then distribute it to the have nots by way of a benefit. As always the middle man behind the Centrelink office is the major beneficiary. Oh what a waste of time.

    • Putting up the GST will not affect the wealthy, only the poorer off and I don’t mean pensioners but a whole range of people. They can implement a fairer tax system.

    • Judith I suggest you cast your mind back to how bloody minded Tony Abbott et al were towards Julia Gillard and they blocked everything they could. Be fair in your assessment of things.

    • We never blocked things like have been blocked this time around sorry. And as for saying the wealthy will not be affected by the rise of the GST are you for real, do you not think that the rich buy things as we do….do you not think that the rich buy more than we do… you not think that without the rich we would be I a bigger hole than we are already in….what do you really think that the rich can do more than they do now….are you saying that because someone is rich the have to give more because they can afford too, they do now because they are rich……

    • I am extremely fair in my assessment of things, the Labor, Greens and independence are more bloody minded than anyone has ever been in opposition before, liberal or labor……

    • Rubbish I am on a pension and I know it is the only way to go, and I could afford it so don’t know how you can’t. Labor wouldn’t raise it they would just keep going into debt…..they do not know how to manage anything let alone a budget that would work…..

      1 REPLY
      • How dare you assume that because you can manage that no one else is worse off. Get out in the world and feel the real pressure.

  3. PM be real man coalition knows who real leaners are , multinationals , corporates, big financial institutions, taxes evaders that is where money goes so does budget shamble increases , close taxation loopholes that is what a real caring captain does, let’ s see If they really want to something but complaining , and blaming .

  4. Tony’s wealthy mates would never allow this to happen! The poor and not-so-well-off are easier targets. It’s all about money and power isn’t it Joe.

  5. Remember, the Libs sold our Medibank Private, 1. Where’s the money gone? 2. The deficit has increased?……trust Politicians??….

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