Income Tax Cuts Panned: National TV Ad Campaign, 40 Experts Target Government’s Economic Plan

A national advertising campaign opposing the early introduction of the Government’s income tax cuts will begin airing on SKY and commercial television this week.

The campaign is being supported by more than 40 prominent Australians, including:

  • Bernie Fraser, former governor of the Reserve Bank
  • Stephen Grenville, former deputy governor of the Reserve Bank
  • John Hewson AM, former Liberal Opposition Leader
  • Cassandra Goldie, CEO of ACOSS
  • Professor Peter Doherty, Nobel Laureate in Medicine
  • Michael Keating AC, Visiting Fellow, Australian National University and former Secretary to the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.
  • Professor Patricia Apps, University of Sydney Law School

The advertisement builds on Australia Institute research which shows the tax cuts will not boost the economy and will widen inequality in Australia.

“Cutting taxes for already wealthy Australians will undermine the long-term strength of our public services, like healthcare and education, while doing very little to stimulate economic growth,” said Ben Oquist, Executive Director of The Australia Institute.

“Tax is an investment in our society. Those calling for tax cuts today will be calling for service cuts in the future.”

Bernie Fraser, former governor of the Reserve Bank said “The unfolding COVID pandemic is a stark reminder to all policy makers of two fundamental truths: that while many of us work and spend in economies, we all live and die in communities; and, secondly, the most vulnerable groups in those communities are always hit the hardest in major crises like this pandemic.”

Stephen Grenville, former deputy government of the Reserve Bank said “We’ll need substantial stimulus for an extended period. Cutting top-rate income tax would be a weak stimulus which undermines the equitable and progressive tax structure we’ll need when the COVID crisis is over.”

John Hewson AM, former Liberal Opposition Leader said “The LNP naively hope tax cuts are good politics, but they won’t be as they increase inequality and fail to ensure job security and increasing wages with our economy still struggling to exit recession.”

Cassandra Goldie, CEO of ACOSS, said “More tax cuts today mean service cuts tomorrow. The next stage of legislated tax cuts costs $12 billion a year and reduces tax for people on $130,000 or more by $47 per week. Most low and middle income earners get nothing. Yet it’s only low income-earners that will spend most of any Government stimulus. Instead, it’s time to #RaisetheRateforGood by permanently increasing Jobseeker payments.”

Michael Keating AC, Visiting Fellow, Australian National University and former Secretary to the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet said “These tax cuts that massively favour the rich will provide less stimulus per fiscal dollar than any other measure available.”

Professor Patricia Apps, University of Sydney Law School said “The policy fails both in terms of fairness and efficiency. We need a far more progressive income tax, and one based strictly on individual incomes.”

The Australia Institute’s television commercial can be viewed here. It will air on SKY and commercial television this week.

Full list of supporters:

Bernie Fraser – Former Governor, Reserve Bank of Australia

Stephen Grenville – Former Deputy Governor, Reserve Bank of Australia

John Hewson AM – Professor Crawford School ANU, Former Liberal Opposition Leader

Laureate Professor Peter C Doherty – Nobel Laureate for Medicine, The University of Melbourne

Dr Michael Keating AC – Visiting Fellow, Australian National University, former Secretary to the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

Cassandra Goldie – CEO, Australian Council of Social Service

Ben Oquist – Executive Director, The Australia Institute

Dr Jim Stanford – Economist and Director, Centre for Future Work

Professor Patricia Apps – The University of Sydney Law School

Professor Carmen Lawrence – Emeritus Professor, University of Western Australia

Cheryl Kernot – Former Leader, Australian Democrats; fellow, Centre for Social Impact

John Langmore AM – Professorial Fellow, School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Melbourne

Professor John Quiggin – University of Queensland

Professor Richard Mitchell – Monash University

Professor Frank Stilwell – Professor Emeritus in Political Economy, University of Sydney

Professor Andrew Stewart – John Bray Professor of Law, University of Adelaide

Professor Anis Chowdhury – Western Sydney University

Professor Jimmy Donaghey – University of South Australia

Professor Rod O’Donnell – Professor, University of Technology Sydney

Professor John Buchanan – Business School, University of Sydney

Professor Stuart Rosewarne – Honorary Associate Professor, School of Social and Political Economy, The University of Sydney

Professor Paul Smyth – University of Melbourne

Professor Alan Morris – University of Technology Sydney

Professor Beth Gaze – University of Melbourne

Professor Emerita Gabrielle Meagher – Macquarie University

Emeritus Professor John King – La Trobe University

Emeritus Professor Paul Boreham – Institute for Social Science Research, The University of Queensland

Emeritus Professor Meredith Edwards – University of Canberra

Associate Professor Lynne Chester – University of Sydney

Associate Professor Shelley Marshall – Director, Business and Human Rights Centre, RMIT University

Graham White – Associate Professor, The University of Sydney

Hon Associate Professor Anne Junor – UNSW

Dr Mark Zirnsak – Tax Justice Network Australia

Dr George Argyrous – Senior Manager Education and Research, Institute for Public Policy and Governance, UTS

Dr Susan K. Schroeder – Senior Lecturer, Department of Political Economy, University of Sydney

Dr Iain Campbell – University of Melbourne

Dr Michael Beggs – Senior Lecturer, Department of Political Economy, The University of Sydney

Dr Julie P Smith – ANU Fellow, Tax and Transfer Policy Institute, Australian National University

Dr Valerie Levy – University of New South Wales

Dr. Elsa Underhill – Department of Management, Deakin University Melbourne

Dr J F Pixley – Honorary Professor, Macquarie University

Dr Gareth Bryant – The University of Sydney

Dr Kerryn Higgs – Associate, UTAS

Phillip Toner – Honorary Senior Research Fellow, Dept of Political Economy, University of Sydney

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