Australia's taxation system is a class-based network of taxes, levies and exemptions aimed at bolstering the wealth of the rich and the big corporations, and raising the bulk of government revenue from the working people and the poor. It is a key element of the capitalist class's utilisation of the state to maintain its wealth and its rule.
At the same time as tax rates for the wealthy and the big corporations are being reduced, high-come earners and big corporations are able to use loopholes in the system to artificially reduce their stated income and profits, and to dodge their real tax responsibilities.
The result is that many wealthy people and giant corporations end up paying very little or no tax. This must end. Laws and tax regulations, and the powers of the ATO (Australian Tax Office), must be strengthened to eliminate tax dodging by the corporations and the rich.
Finally, the GST (Goods and Services Tax) was introduced by the John Howard Coalition government in 2001 in the face of strong public opposition. It is an inherently regressive tax, which overwhelmingly affects consumption by ordinary people the most, and should be repealed.
Taxation is essential for the funding of public facilities, infrastructure and services, such as public health, education, transport and social welfare. A fair tax system would act as a redistributive mechanism to transfer wealth from the rich to the poor.
For a steeply progressive tax system
Socialist Alliance stands for a major restructuring of the current unfair system to one based on equality and sustainability.
To this end, we support the following measures:
- Socialist Alliance calls for a radical transformation of the tax system that takes aim at big business and the super-rich.
- The move to raise the income threshold to $200,000 for the 32.5 cents in the dollar bracket should be reversed and current tax brackets should be subject to regular adjustments for inflation.
- The highest tax bracket should be raised from its current 45% to 70%.
- The GST, which hits ordinary people the hardest, should be abolished.
- Far from cutting the corporate tax rate, the Socialist Alliance says it should be immediately returned from its current level of 30% to 49%, as it was until 1988, and serious measures must be taken to eliminate corporate tax-dodging.
- Tax the big polluters; end the billions in public subsidies to mining corporations, banks and energy companies.
- The Socialist Alliance stands for a steeply progressive taxation system, in which big companies and the super-rich are made to pay.