Tuesday, 11 May 2021
That the Senate—
(a) notes that, during 2020:
(i) gross domestic product fell by 1.1%,
(ii) household spending fell by 2.7%,
(iii) business investment fell by 5.0%, and
(iv) hundreds of thousands of people lost their jobs and many remain unemployed and underemployed, yet the Australian Financial Review rich list shows that, on average, Australian billionaires increased their wealth by an obscene 34%; and
(b) calls on the Federal Government to restructure the Australian tax system to ensure that:
(i) billionaires are not able to accumulate such extreme wealth, and
(ii) billionaires are required to pay their fair share of tax to fund the provision of high-quality public services for the benefit of all Australia.
The government is committed to delivering a simpler tax system that remains progressive, fosters aspiration and rewards effort. We should all be encouraged that the economic recovery is on track and ahead of schedule. Unemployment in March, at 5.6 per cent, is below the most optimistic Treasury forecast and well below the forecast of 7.5 per cent in the March quarter predicted in the 2020-21 MYEFO. Consumer confidence has recovered beyond its pre-pandemic level and sits at an 11-year high, and business conditions are at their highest on record.
Labor supports tax relief for low- and middle-income earners, who should be the priority, yet it looks like, under this government, these will be temporary tax cuts while high-income earners get permanent tax cuts. We've expressed our concerns about committing to big tax cuts for high-income earners years down the track that are the least responsible, least fair and least likely to be effective in the economy.