‘Fixing’ the budget means taxing the rich… obviously

Needless to say, the structural inequalities in Australian capitalism are more fundamental than anything mentioned in the current discussion around the upcoming federal budget (putting it mildly), but when you’re at your most idealistic and optimistic (i.e. just as the coffee kicks in) don’t you dream of a society in which just some of the low-hanging fruit was picked?

The Australia Institute’s “It’s the revenue stupid: Ideas for a brighter budget“, funded by GetUp!, outlines some pretty undramatic suggestions that’d be hard to dispute:

“We have taken up the Prime Minister’s offer and this paper puts forward two different types of revenue proposals. The first are fully modelled and costed policy changes. They include;

  • Changes to super tax concessions
  • Restrictions on negative gearing
  • Scrapping the capital gains tax discount
  • Introducing a Buffet rule (minimum average tax rate on high income earners)

The second are revenue measures that have not been modelled. They include;

  • Banking super profits tax
  • Financial transactions tax
  • Estate tax
  • Restricting fossil fuel subsidies”

The first four measures would raise $19.5 billion dollars a year, yes a year, with 75% of the savings coming from the richest 10% and 86% of savings from the richest 20%. Sounds ok right?

We can obviously banish Abbott and Hockey from any consideration of such proposals, but the sad fact is that despite framing a winning plan, albeit with some public debate hard work to do, Shorten et al will no doubt find a way to find fault with them… most likely by completely ignoring them.

And so it goes.