Australia urged to scrap tax cuts for wealthiest earners
The Australian government is facing increasing calls to scrap tax cuts for its wealthiest earners, which are expected to benefit men more than women.
The tax cuts — which would provide major income tax relief to high-income workers — are estimated to cost $243 billion (US$167 billion) by 2032-33, reports The Sydney Morning Herald.
Men are expected to receive $160.6 billion (US$110.4 billion) of that money, while $82.9 billion (US$57 billion) will go to women, according to an analysis by the independent Parliamentary Budget Office.
Economists, unions, and the welfare sector are asking the government to axe the tax cuts, set to come into effect in 2024, stating that the government cannot afford it after the pandemic has ravaged the nation’s coffers.
Under Australia’s three-stage overhaul of the tax system — unveiled in 2018 under then-treasurer Scott Morrison’s watch — lower- and middle-income earners were given tax cuts first, including through a tax offset that ended last financial year, with the final stage targeted at higher-income workers.
The union movement had “always opposed the stage three tax cuts” and the money would be “better spent solving our national challenges”, said Sally McManus, Secretary of the Australia Council of Trade Unions