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The Cost of Privilege in Australia

Landmark report on The Cost of Privilege shows our tax system is unfair

Mar 26, 2018 by Maiy Azize

Anglicare Australia has called on the government to take urgent action on tax breaks and concessions in the next budget.

The calls follow the release of The Cost of Privilege, a report commissioned by Australia and prepared by Per Capita.

“Research commissioned by Anglicare Australia shows that each year, a staggering $68 billion in taxpayer dollars is spent keeping the wealthiest households wealthy. That is greater than the cost of Newstart, disability support, or any other benefit,” said Anglicare Australia Executive Director Kasy Chambers.

The Cost of Privilege report finds that tax exemptions on private healthcare and education for the wealthiest 20% cost over $3 billion a year, superannuation concessions to them cost over $20 billion a year, and their Capital Gains Tax exemptions cost a staggering $40 billion a year.

“Compare that to the annual cost of Newstart, which costs just under $11 billion a year.

“Following the latest round of welfare cuts, these numbers tell us that something has gone badly wrong – we have become a country that cuts from the poorest to give to the richest,” Ms Chambers said.

Emma Dawson, Executive Director of Per Capita, said the report’s findings would shock many Australians.

“Too often, the political narrative around our tax and transfer system demonises the most disadvantaged Australians, and portrays taxpayers as unduly burdened by the cost of our tightly targeted welfare system,” Ms Dawson said.

“Our analysis of tax concessions for high income earners shows that such concessions cost the federal budget far more than support for any single welfare recipient group.

“Australians will likely be shocked at what the wealthy cost the rest of us.”