Noel Whittaker tells how to simplify our tax system

Noel Whittaker offers a solution that he says is working well.

How to simplify our tax system

Gus echoes the complaints of many – that our tax system is too complicated. He asks personal finance expert Noel Whittaker how it could be simplified.

•••

Q. Gus
Is our tax system too complex for the ordinary tax-paying person? Do you believe it should be simplified? What changes would you propose?

A: I am not sure if it’s too complex for the average person, but I do think it’s unfair when a person who earns just $37,000 a year has to pay one-third of any future earnings in tax. Of course, it gets worse as people move up the tax scales, and once they reach $180,000 a year they are losing nearly half of any extra income and tax.

In my opinion, the most obvious and simplest way to reform our tax system is to flatten the marginal tax rates, and increase our Goods and Services Tax (GST) to 15 per cent with no exemptions. This is what has been done in New Zealand. That country runs a budget surplus and has no stamp duty, payroll tax or capital gains tax.

Do you have a question you’d like Noel to tackle? Email us at newsletters@yourlifechoices.com.au

 

Noel Whittaker is the author of Making Money Made Simple and numerous other books on personal finance. His advice is general in nature, and readers should seek their own professional advice before making any financial decisions.

Are you eligible for an Age Pension? Do you know your rights? The RetirePlanner™ tool has all the information you need.

RELATED ARTICLES





    COMMENTS

    To make a comment, please register or login
    mogo51
    27th Nov 2018
    10:27am
    I agree with Noel, simplify the tax system to a flat tax (the more you earn, the more you pay), do away with tax returns etc., increasing the GST to 15% is a sensible measure.
    Pensioners and low income earners will need to be supplemented though.
    TREBOR
    27th Nov 2018
    10:54am
    Problem with that is that the higher salaries etc have been made as high as they are so as to incorporate the current higher income tax bracket, and still provide an income (allegedly) in keeping with the job.

    If you suddenly change that, the highest paid wage and salary earners will receive a windfall, while the rest will get nothing.....

    Never as simple as it sounds - and you try telling some highly paid person that in order to receive the same now under any new income tax regime, he/she should take a salary cut to match, thus ending up with the same amount.

    Flattening the income tax rate will leave those on lower incomes in precisely the same spot, and would only benefit those on higher wages and salaries.

    Sorry 'bout that... but unless you want to go full socialist and arbitrarily level out wages and salaries, it will never work.
    Old Geezer
    27th Nov 2018
    11:05am
    Good idea why not give the highest paid a nice windfall as they deserve it.
    TREBOR
    27th Nov 2018
    11:37am
    ... always good for a laugh, OG.... why not just hand them all the cash and let them dispense it at whim?
    MICK
    27th Nov 2018
    12:58pm
    This is what this government wants and the usual so called posters are running the line as
    normal.

    Noel - if you think completing a tax return is simple then avoid the CGT section. A total nightmare and some of it makes little sense.
    If you think paying a flat rate is fair then I'd suggest there are arguments each way.
    This bring high income earners down from 48 cents in the dollar to 15 cents in the dollar. Of course the revenue lost from the few at the top who actually have to pay the top rate will have to be made up with the bottom paying more tax. Is that fair?
    Of course returns would be simpler although CGT and negative gearing would remain. May do away with these inconvenient taxes too??????? Come on in OG.
    Anonymous
    27th Nov 2018
    1:04pm
    Right on cue MICK with your party line. This government has never said that this is what it wants. Usual scare tactics as per Labor Handbook. It doesn't suit your posts but the top 10% of wage earners pay 50% of the tax income. They carry quite a load, MICK.
    TREBOR
    27th Nov 2018
    1:44pm
    Someone clarified that, OM - the top 10% of net income earners pay 50% of income ta... the reality is that they do not pay tax, unless on salary or wages, on total income.

    As someone said - the real burden of tax falls on the salary and wage earner, who has no bolt-holes to provide his/her car, home base, dinners, etc....
    MICK
    27th Nov 2018
    5:51pm
    Its hard to justify your government OM. Nowhere to go.
    Your continued crap about "the top 10% of net income earners pay 50% of income tax" is the repeated BS. Given that the top 1% earn multiples of the average wage the measure is limp at best.
    Humour us with THE TAX THE TOP 1% AS A PERCENTAGE OF THEIR INCOME. That will impress me. Provide the figures please.
    Eddy
    27th Nov 2018
    11:31am
    This is a subject worthy of wide debate. A 'flat tax' is only one option of many.
    One thing that always disturbed me about the Howard tax reforms (which included introduction of the GST) is that there was no community debate and certainly no electoral mandate. In 1999, apart from making a few compromises to the Australian Democrats, the GST was pushed through by the Howard government coming into effect on 1 July 2000.
    In 1993 the Liberals, under John Hewson, snatched defeat from the jaws of victory with the GST as their central policy and resulted in John Howard, the next Leader of the Opposition, later declaring the GST was dead.
    Interesting point is that after Meg Lees let the GST pass the senate the Australian Democrats slithered into oblivion, this maybe ,or maybe not, be an indication of the communities displeasure at the GST.
    Let us have a wide ranging tax debate, we may eventually come up with a better system. The GST model may be the best tax system for Australia but without a discussion of the alternatives we simply do not know.
    Anonymous
    27th Nov 2018
    12:58pm
    Just one small point, Eddy, Howard took the GST to an election. Voters were told that it was Liberal policy before the election; it was the subject of great community debate and there was an electorate mandate.
    Eddy
    27th Nov 2018
    1:42pm
    Sorry Old Man, your recollection of those events is totally different to mine. I can clearly remember JH stating that there would be no GST under his government. The Liberals may be a lot of things but stupid is not necessarily one of them. No liberal leader would take the GST to an election after the debacle of 1993. I also believe JH was heading to an election loss to Kim Beazley in 2001 until fortuitous fate delivered him the MV Tampa.
    Triss
    27th Nov 2018
    1:56pm
    You're right, Eddy, "Never, ever" was Howard's pledge to voters. And then a sweet deal with Meg Lees.
    Anonymous
    27th Nov 2018
    2:12pm
    The following is an extract from an ABC story recognising 10 years of GST. Yes, Howard did say "never, ever" but changed his mind:
    "A GST-type tax was first proposed in 1975. A serious consumption tax proposal was rejected by the Hawke Labor government in 1985. It was again proposed in the early 1990s by John Hewson. After being asked to explain how his tax would impact the price of a birthday cake the proposal was deemed too complicated by a sceptical electorate. At the 1996 election the Liberals promised 'never ever' to introduce a GST and went on to win government.

    'Never ever' lasted about two years - John Howard fought the 1998 election with the introduction of a GST as the party platform. It was a close run affair - the government scraped back in having lost the popular vote but winning enough seats to retain office. The GST experience ultimately destroyed the Democrats. The Labor Party promised to 'roll-back' the GST with Wayne Swan describing it as a 'bastard tax', but lost the subsequent election. Two elections were fought over the GST, three if you count 2001 and the ALPs somewhat vague roll-back promise."
    Bruce
    27th Nov 2018
    11:40am
    Howard campaigned on the GST mandate for his 2nd term. Most ppl know that.Meg Lees stuffed the GST and left us with the state taxes we have today. Cos the poor ppl wanted it. Gst on state services is illegal. ie. Power.transport.vehicle rego. Etc. But nobody wants to touch that subject.
    MICK
    27th Nov 2018
    12:59pm
    I remember the words: "the GST will never be allowed to go higher than 10%". A colleague of mine said to me it was guaranteed it would. So here we are.
    TREBOR
    27th Nov 2018
    11:45am
    No problem - let's say Joe Fatt is on the highest tax bracket (let's make it 50% for ease of figuring), on a salary of (for ease of figuring) $200,000.......

    If you make the tax rate 25% - in order to have the exact same net income Joe Fatt would need to salary drop:-

    50% of $200,000 = 100,000 .. remainder 100,000.

    25% of $133,333 = 33,333 ... remainder 100,000.

    Now go ahead and persuade the guy on $200k that he is as well off on $133k...... good luck - and what about his/her 'prestige' from drawing a nice big Fatt salary? Who would forego that?

    Meanwhile persuade Jo Thinn that charging her 25% of less than $37k (current lowest tax bracket) will somehow make it all equal..... when she pays more.
    TREBOR
    27th Nov 2018
    11:45am
    No problem - let's say Joe Fatt is on the highest tax bracket (let's make it 50% for ease of figuring), on a salary of (for ease of figuring) $200,000.......

    If you make the tax rate 25% - in order to have the exact same net income Joe Fatt would need to salary drop:-

    50% of $200,000 = 100,000 .. remainder 100,000.

    25% of $133,333 = 33,333 ... remainder 100,000.

    Now go ahead and persuade the guy on $200k that he is as well off on $133k...... good luck - and what about his/her 'prestige' from drawing a nice big Fatt salary? Who would forego that?

    Meanwhile persuade Jo Thinn that charging her 25% of less than $37k (current lowest tax bracket) will somehow make it all equal..... when she pays more.
    TREBOR
    27th Nov 2018
    11:45am
    Double whammy? Hmm ..

    Never Going To Work!! Forget this thought bubble....
    MICK
    27th Nov 2018
    1:01pm
    Are you suggesting that income tax be abolished and only a GST left TREBOR? Not sure where you are going with this.
    TREBOR
    27th Nov 2018
    1:47pm
    Just point out why this idea will not work unless it involves another freebie for the fat end of town.

    Try getting my cousin's hubby - a Deputy DPP, to accept a lower salary in return for lower tax... he'd cry for a week... that's his status symbol since he has no real need of money these days.
    Alexii
    27th Nov 2018
    11:47am
    A flatter tax and a higher GST will disadvantage low income workers and those on pensions etc even more as they have the highest propensity to spend and the lowest propensity to save. The conversation is true for the higher income people.
    pedro the swift
    27th Nov 2018
    11:57am
    Some time ago a person work worked in the tax office told me that they had done some
    sums and found that it was possible to replace all taxes with a withdrawal tax. Every withdrawal from a bank account would automatically have percentage paid directly to the tax office. No exemptions , no deductions. It would get rid of the whole tax avoidance industry and make many accountants and tax office staff redundant(can't be all bad).
    Since all cash and electronic withdrawals are from banks no one could escape and with modern computer systems it would not require any paperwork. No more tax returns!
    TREBOR
    27th Nov 2018
    12:06pm
    Again the problem is with those on fixed low incomes, who would suddenly be paying a ta they were not paying before....

    Are you advocating exemptions or a bonus to compensate?

    Say you make a 2% transaction tax (and abolish others etc) - a pensioner/social security recipient spends all his/her money.... and thus now pays 2% of it... in the case of pensions - around $18 a fortnight or so.

    Might not sound much to some, but it's a lot to those with not much discretionary.
    Cowboy Jim
    27th Nov 2018
    1:06pm
    Sure - and then people would hide most of their money in dark places, apart from salaries which are paid into an account these days. All the tradies would want cash again and we the people would oblige with no GST payable. We had a Financial Institutions Duty 30 years ago in Victoria, every time money went in you paid and the same when you took it out again. Do not know what happened to it but it is no longer there.
    TREBOR
    27th Nov 2018
    1:48pm
    Yes, C-Jim - the wage and salary earners would be caught up in it without any bolt-holes.
    pedro the swift
    27th Nov 2018
    2:13pm
    Trebor, those on fixed incomes can be compensated as they are now for certain things. I note that ALL money comes out of a bank account at some time and goes into a bank account sometime. So why would it matter if you pay someone in cash?, the tax on its withdrawal has already been paid. All business would have to pay a fair share of tax cos it would come out of their accounts automatically even if they decided to take out a million dollars at a time.
    The Victorian FID was an additional impost not a substitute for other taxes, no wonder it disappeared as it should. A withdrawal tax would replace the vast majority of taxes(details to be worked out). Without knowing how much is withdrawn from accounts each year I don't know what percentage would be(i sure there are those who could work it out).
    TREBOR
    27th Nov 2018
    3:47pm
    Yes, pedro, but the issue is the amount of compensation and how it will last, given that it is not 'indexed' to cover future rising costs.

    It's a very complex calculation, and seems to me to make any rise etc in GST not worth the trouble.

    27th Nov 2018
    12:02pm
    Make the rich and big business pay their fair share in tax - simple.
    Alexii
    27th Nov 2018
    12:19pm
    If this were done, Knows a Lot, it would solve all of Australia's problems.If the big gas exploitation companies had to pay proper royalties and tax on their vast gas production and exports Australia would be rolling in it like The oil and gas rich Middle East countries. But of course this won't happen as our governments always look after these businesses.
    Anonymous
    27th Nov 2018
    1:07pm
    The rich and big business do pay their fair share of tax in accordance with Australian tax laws, Knows-a-lot. If you have a problem with that you should blame the legislators, not those who are paying tax in accordance with the law.
    TREBOR
    27th Nov 2018
    1:49pm
    Shows the need to update company and business tax rules.... too many bolt-holes for a free ride.

    Very, very few companies here even pay their full company tax on their net earnings....
    Triss
    27th Nov 2018
    2:14pm
    You'll never get the rich and big business to pay their fair share of tax, K-a-lot, until we stop electing multi millionaires into parliament. Once in parliament they set about increasing their multi millions with tax cuts and sweeteners.
    As an example Malcolm Turnbull axed the Gold Pass to save taxpayers' money...except for formert Prime Ministers, of which he is one. Former PMs Turnbull, Rudd, Keating, probably Hawke, all multi millionaires and well able to pay their own plane fares.
    GeorgeM
    27th Nov 2018
    8:01pm
    Exactly, K-A-L. Alexii is also right - we are a massively resource-rich country where we don't even need a GST (other than taxes on foreign goods & companies) or Income Taxes, if we get the full benefits from our resources just like the Middle East countries. We have been badly let down by our political parties on BOTH sides.

    OM is right too - these legislators have let us down badly, as ATO knows how many rich & big business pay NIL taxes or NEGLIGIBLE taxes, yet these Liberal & Labor parties have done nothing to fix it. How hard is it to implement Minimum Taxes on Gross Income without any deductions? At least, while you sort out the massive number of loopholes we currently have?

    Of course, Noel represents the rich & the business - his solution would hand over massive windfalls to the rich, while lower income people would pay massively more tax (in proportion to their income) through an increased GST especially one which includes essential items such as fresh food. I also recall all other taxes (including payroll, stamp duty, even excise on petrol) were to be deleted when the GST was brought in - shocking example of the tricky implementation by the Libs under J. Howard.
    Retired Knowall
    28th Nov 2018
    6:33pm
    No-one pays TAX on their NET Earnings, you may need to change your medication.

    27th Nov 2018
    12:04pm
    APPALLING ideas! A flat tax is regressive - hitting the poor hard. Ditto the GST. 15% is way too high, bearing in mind the rise in the cost of living is already outstripping income growth.
    Alexii
    27th Nov 2018
    1:43pm
    Absolutely correct, Knows a Lot. Such tax is what the rich want. Remember Joe Beljke-Petersen? He always wanted a flat tax.
    Bruce
    27th Nov 2018
    12:06pm
    Add up state taxes. The GST is probably around 20%.
    johnp
    27th Nov 2018
    12:23pm
    Of course Noel would say that wouldn't he - what is his income ?? ;-) ;-)
    Jim
    27th Nov 2018
    12:32pm
    Disagree with any increase to the gst and widening the tax to include everything will hurt those least able to pay it, pensioners and unemployed, if you are on a fixed income you have no opportunity to increase your income, that would mean government would have to increase payments to pensions,Newstart carer’s payments etc so I am not sure that’s the way to go. Maybe we could spend the tax take better, I will probably get howled down, but why are we paying things like parental leave, that is a tax that all taxpayers are paying whether they have children or not, and the new suggestion that women’s super can be topped up by upto 60% not all taxpayers are women but all taxpayers would have to subscribe to this tax, I am not attacking women, just the unfairness of tax to subsidise one section of the community.
    TREBOR
    27th Nov 2018
    1:11pm
    My thoughts exactly, Jim.
    Florgan
    27th Nov 2018
    1:31pm
    I agree with you Jim , regarding parental leave, you decide to have children- that is now your career, the rest of the country should not have to nor can afford to pay for that !
    People who decide to have children with 1 parent staying home to be primary carer should have their super subsidised by their partners super 1/2 1/2.
    TREBOR
    27th Nov 2018
    1:55pm
    That last is the reality now, Florgan - at retirement time all super etc is spent by the two 'partners' - in the event of divorce it is split anyway by law.

    This entire nonsense about paying women more for their super is just that nonsense, and is an underhand way of paying them more per hour actually worked.

    I have no idea where politicians in this small country get the idea that the money pot is endless... for women... and as I've said before - we've had affirmative action in play for forty years leading to more women in fat super government etc jobs than men - when a 52 year lifespan ** for super comes along, I foresee a 'super gap' in favour of women.... but you won't hear a peep about that!

    Stop The War On Men!

    ** Age 15 to age 67 = 52 years working life... if you survive it given the current government mode of selfishness on all sides ..

    .....and he who comes home safe shall be my brother... and will stand a-tiptoe when any speak of St Crispin's Day!
    Anonymous
    29th Nov 2018
    3:25pm
    Actually, Trebor, I think it's a war on women - if only women weren't too dumb to see it. When I was a child, women had a dream life. They stayed home and cared for kids, had all day every-day for housework, and tons of time for hobbies and social activities. The men worried about earning enough to pay the bills. Men opened doors for women, gave up seats for them on trains and buses, pulled out chairs for them, and demanded their sons treat them with the utmost respect.

    Many women would give the earth to go back to that lifestyle, but ''libbers'', who actually sold women into bondage, have ended it all. Now, women have to juggle work, home duties and children, and are no longer shown courtesy and respect. Far from feeling obliged to care for them, men are now scorning them. They are having to fight for the right to have a child without suffering financial hardship in retirement as a consequence. They have to battle for the right to take time off work to care for their child and get to know them properly!
    Anonymous
    29th Nov 2018
    3:27pm
    And BTW. you lying ''libbers" - women have had the right to work if they wished for centuries. Just look at the history books!
    Pass the Ductape
    27th Nov 2018
    12:34pm
    I'd prefer the NZ tax system because the PAYE earner doesn't need to file an annual tax return if they don't want to. They only harm themselves if they don't because generally, when they do file a return - they get money back, otherwise they lose out.
    TREBOR
    27th Nov 2018
    1:13pm
    ATO auto-filled my last tax return for me - can't see why they can't just go ahead and do it for wage earners. Might be a small deduction for donation to charity or something.
    Old Geezer
    27th Nov 2018
    1:17pm
    Good idea Trebor. ATO auto filled mine too with less than half my income. Love it!
    TREBOR
    27th Nov 2018
    1:58pm
    Depends on how your income is structured, OIG - and as long as its honest, it's fine.

    Those are the kind of current rules, however, that need a long, hard look.............. just because it's the rules today doesn't mean it will be tomorrow....

    I, for example, remain astounded at some of the penalties in Rugby these days... a player can swing a punch and stay on the field.. if a player retaliates, he gets ten minutes.... huh?? That rule was changed..... all systems governed by rules undergo constant change and business rules are long overdue for change to reality.
    Anonymous
    27th Nov 2018
    3:22pm
    Pensioners in NZ don't as far as I know get any concessions even though they pay the 15% gst. I stand to be corrected though.
    Anonymous
    27th Nov 2018
    3:45pm
    Oh dear, OG. Just confessed to another MASSIVE lie. Forgot your claims to ''get nothing'' and ''pay full taxes''. Now you are admitting to a rort that gives you unfair gain.
    TREBOR
    27th Nov 2018
    3:48pm
    OG does that a lot, Rainey.
    MICK
    27th Nov 2018
    5:54pm
    Ductape - have a look at the tax scales. No tax free threshold to start. Ouch.
    Be careful what you wish for mate.
    TREBOR
    27th Nov 2018
    6:44pm
    Yes, Mick - I previously did two sets of figures (blue book and red book.. oops! .. it's the bottom of the harbour for you, my lad!)... on universal pension and taxing all income, imputed income, and 'gifting' that benefits (fringe benefits by another name) above that....

    If you viewed it with the current tax-free threshold, many SFRs at the lower end would benefit - if you give up the tax-free threshold, it becomes a bit more dicey.

    The question is whether or not the peasantry should have extra discretionary income, thus stimulating an economy - or not... and whether or not that extra discretionary income will create Keating's 'over-heated economy' (bulldust).

    One certainty is that more discretionary income will cause price rises to match..... the vultures have a fine grasp on the economy where it counts - at the dollar face.
    Mad as Hell
    27th Nov 2018
    12:49pm
    A 5% GST increase in January 2017 would have been a better way to “fix” the budget deficit than stealing 330,000 part pensions. Instead the LNP lied and the GREENS played the numbers game and put the boot in.
    Took a big hit with the changes to the Pensioner Assets Test and now you want me to take another hit with a 5% increase on GST, no way.
    Old Geezer
    27th Nov 2018
    1:13pm
    Ha ha they would all then having been whinging all the way to the moon instead of just a few.
    TREBOR
    27th Nov 2018
    3:50pm
    The art of taxation rests in removing as many feathers from the goose as possible with the minimum of fuss... our current government of two parties instead seeks to tear chunks of feathers off the golden goose.....

    Hence the 'whinging'...... which is properly righteous protest and objection.
    Gaz
    27th Nov 2018
    12:52pm
    Lets just go with a flat tax - so many $$ a year to live in Australia - man woman and child. If you cannot afford it, go somewhere cheaper
    Cowboy Jim
    27th Nov 2018
    1:11pm
    Certainly would stop the fast breeders in our community - a bloke with 3 kids and a missus will be six times the tax. Wonderful idea, Gaz, hahaha.
    Cowboy Jim
    27th Nov 2018
    1:12pm
    Should be five times, got carried away with taxes, eh?
    TREBOR
    27th Nov 2018
    1:14pm
    Ahhhhhhh! The Thatcher Poll Tax!!! Make the family of ten in five rooms pay ten times, while the fat family of two in a mansion pays two times.......

    Death of a government to try that on.
    Gaz
    27th Nov 2018
    1:33pm
    And a certain ethnic group who have families of 20 or so and do not assimilate....and rely heavily on welfare, if they work at all...
    floss
    27th Nov 2018
    12:57pm
    ALEXII that is what the Liberal party stand for and that is why they will loose the next election, they are just so dumb they can't see it.
    Old Geezer
    27th Nov 2018
    1:15pm
    Maybe they just want to sit back and watch Labor makes such a dogs dinner of things so they will get a ten year term instead of just a 3 year one.
    fred
    27th Nov 2018
    1:13pm
    increasing GST has some merits however a new rate of GST at 15 % is an increase of 50 % and more than we currently have at 10 % we would only have to raise it to say to a 12.5 % new level which is still 25% more than now and increase Government revenue enormously without a heavy burden on low er incomes Also Business huge and small with ABN are refunded their GST on expenses when the lodge their BAS returns . they could afford to pay some share instead of nothing surely
    Old Geezer
    27th Nov 2018
    1:14pm
    People still cant work out 10% so it would be madness making it 12.5%.
    pedro the swift
    27th Nov 2018
    2:17pm
    I am not in favour of any increase to the GST. The increase will badly affect those in low incomes most, those who "earn" big to huge salaries won't care.
    Cowboy Jim
    27th Nov 2018
    4:01pm
    Maybe a two-tiered GST is called for like they have in Europe, like all food stuff at 2.5% and alcohol, eating out and gambling tickets, everything that is not needed at 8.5%. That would be generous of course (Switzerland) Other places have 12.5 and 19.5% which is high but then the tobacco and alcohol taxes are in the GST, so a bottle of spirit is $20 and a carton of beer (24) about $24. There certainly is no need to have a GST on insurance premiums, car rego payments etc.
    invisible sock
    27th Nov 2018
    1:31pm
    33% certainly does seem an extraordinarily high rate to have to pay at such a low level of income.
    When you add in all the "hidden" taxes like GST, fuel excise, registration, rates etc., it makes you wonder just how much they have actually got salted away, even though they are always crying poor.
    Who could ever forget the Debt & Deficit Disaster/Crisis of a few years ago.
    Anonymous
    29th Nov 2018
    1:58pm
    But it's only 32.5% of earnings over $37000 a year AFTER legal deductions, and then there are rebates and allowances - like child care allowance, for example. Also, a discount of up to $530 applies for taxpayers earning less than $90,000.
    Noel hasn't been totally honest in his representation of the system.
    Jim
    27th Nov 2018
    2:02pm
    The tax amount required to run the country is the amount of tax that can be raised, don’t forget the government don’t actually have any money of their own, it all belongs to us, so the only consideration needed is how to raise that tax, the amount needed is the same no matter how it’s raised, some say all of the tax should be taken from the top end of town, but we all know the top end of town will soon find a way to minimise the tax they pay, so that’s not going to work, others seem to think hitting the bottom end is fair unfortunately we arn’t going to raise much from them no matter how hard you try cutting pensions the amount made is negligible, so that’s out, that leave’s the middle section which accounts for about 40% of tax payers, they have to support the rest, that doesn’t seem fair. So what’s the solution, flat tax would seem to be the way to go, everyone would pay the same percentage, ie if tax was 15% someone on $100,000 would pay $15,000, someone on $30,000 would pay $4,500, unfortuanately someone with an income after tax of $25,500 is not going to be able to live as well as someone with an after tax income of $85,000, so that’s not going to work. I think we should just give up, pay no tax, have no infrastruction, go back to hunting for our own food, that way only those who can hunt will eat, no need to worry about pensions etc. There is one other way, the Norfolk Island way, they have no income tax, no gst, no sales tax, they even bury you for free, they put a tax on every item that is imported it used to be 5% don’t know if it’s changed, the tax is paid by the exporter, with the amount we import we would be quids in, I mean we make almost nothing ourselves nowadays. Problem solved, time for afternoon nap
    pedro the swift
    27th Nov 2018
    2:15pm
    Sounds good to me! Although isn't Norfolk Island underwritten by the OZ taxpayer?
    Jim
    27th Nov 2018
    2:56pm
    Yes, so we might need a benefactor, any suggestions
    TREBOR
    27th Nov 2018
    3:53pm
    We could always can all the nice little commission and 'government enterprise' jobs for the mates, and return all the QANGOs to government hands and all the 'social issues of hurt feelings' to the already established courts... that'd save a motza....
    Cowboy Jim
    27th Nov 2018
    4:05pm
    Jim - times have changed for Norfolk, they are now part of Australia with income tax and age pension and the dole and everyone is now allowed to live there (no longer a tax haven) and restricted residence conditions. Was over there when it changed and some people did not like the new system. Have a look at the condition of their roads to see what no taxes can bring.
    Jim
    27th Nov 2018
    5:26pm
    Crikey Cowboy Jim, I had forgotten about the roads, mind you I can only remember the one main road, we were told that the cows had right of way so couldn’t go very fast anyway, also the car we had which was part of the package we had was a 3 cylinder I think, we had to keep the choke out or the car would just stop, but you are right the roads were really not fit for traffic, fortunately there wasn’t too many places to go, although we did enjoy ourselves. Do they still have their own news paper, it looked like it was printed on normal print paper and I think it was stapled together.
    Cowboy Jim
    27th Nov 2018
    5:40pm
    That is the way the paper was last time we were over, you get it at the super market. We had to wait for the frozen vegies flying in from Brisbane before we could buy any, they do have a pest called Soldier Grub or somesuch and the buggers eat anything growing on the island. Almost every business was up for sale. Do not really know whether the duty free store is still around. Had good prices there.

    27th Nov 2018
    3:13pm
    Many years ago, a minister of religion argued to my mother that a church 'tithe' of 10% of income was fair to all, as it meant everyone paid the same portion of their income. My mother replied that in fact it meant that the poor paid 10% of their bread and butter - thus having to skip some meals - while the rich only sacrificed a luxury holiday or bought a slightly less luxurious motor car.

    A flat tax is NOT equitable, and neither is GST - because it imposes a huge impost on those with the least and virtually none on those most able to pay.

    We already have a huge deficit. If we give the rich a massive tax cut by introducing flat tax, the poor have to make up the loss. Does Noel actually believe it would be fair to ask battlers to give up a few meals a week so the wealthy can have more?

    Progressive tax was introduced for very good reason. It was recognised that the rich benefit from the less wealthy offering their labour for way less than it is worth, so the employer can on-sell at a profit. Also, the wealthy use more resources than the poor. Progressive tax was designed to balance out the unfairness inherent in the capitalist system.

    I agree that tax system is too complex - but that's mainly due to the government constantly introducing more and more 'escape clauses' for the privileged to use to avoid paying their share. I also agree with eliminating stamp duty and payroll tax (Not so sure about capital gains tax, but maybe!). Certainly, stamp duty is very inequitable. But it was supposed to be eliminated when GST was introduced. I don't believe for a second that any promise of a trade-off to raise GST to 15% would be honoured. We would just be paying more - either to give the rich further inequitable handouts, or to give the government more to squander.
    Jim
    27th Nov 2018
    3:57pm
    Sorry don’t agree, when I was young with a young family and a morgage and a wife that stayed home to raise our family, I was severely punished for working upto 80 hours a week, the tax rate on much of the overtime I worked was 60%, I guess I would have been classed as a high income earner, the fact is I was working twice as many hours but I certainly wasn’t getting the increased return for my labour, I was in fact subsidising others that didn’t want to work the overtime, some may not have had the opportunity to work overtime, should I be penalised no fair person would think that, many people didn’t want to work overtime for a variety of reasons ie weekend sport, fishing, clubbing or perhaps working in the garden or spending time with children, all valid reasons, but again should I be penalised with a larger share of the tax falling on my shoulders, those extra taxes I was paying were probably going towards the infrastructure that others were enjoying, which if you think about I was subsidising with the increased tax I was paying. Just another way at looking at what is fair.
    TREBOR
    27th Nov 2018
    3:57pm
    " ask battlers to give up a few meals a week "...

    I thought I said not to mention my upbringing...... (a joke that is not a joke)...

    Concessional capital gains has no place in the real world - no reason for it at all... and duplicating by having both NG and CCGT OR CGT+ NG is blatant theft, designed by the political bosses for their mates who had the capital to play those money games.

    If you increase capital - you pay tax on it.. simple.
    Anonymous
    29th Nov 2018
    2:11pm
    Jim, I'm not saying progressive taxation is correctly implemented in our society. For a start, it is patently WRONG to tax someone who works a second job so their partner can stay home and care for children at penalty rates. Couples should be able to combine their income, then split it in the most tax effective manner, or the working partner pay his non-working partner for caring. I also think the hours worked should be taken into account. Someone who works 60 hours should not be taxed as heavily as someone who works only 40 hours for the same income.

    All I am saying is that the wealthy SHOULD pay more - both actually and on a percentage basis - than the poor, because they use more resources and enjoy far more of the benefits of the capitalist society. Note I said 'wealthy'. Progressive taxation should target the high paid and those with substantial wealth - not battling workers who take on extra shifts or a second job to get by.
    GrayComputing
    27th Nov 2018
    3:18pm
    Changing the GST to 15% will first cost the government billions in dollars to pay for rectifying every single computer and banking apparatus in Australia BEFORE a single extra GST cent is raised.
    It could well take over 3 years to update every computer and banking apparatus in Australia.
    And there will have a be a Y2K like single date say 01/01/2022 change over date to be fair to all parties.
    This sort of scheme has been proposed and scrapped again and again.
    Sometimes it was scrapped when I as a unpaid citizen advised the government what this costly computer debacle this would cost them upfront.
    become.
    Retired Knowall
    28th Nov 2018
    6:38pm
    No wonder you were unpaid with comments like this.
    Anonymous
    29th Nov 2018
    4:13pm
    Unfortunately, GrayComputing, changing the GST requires only a couple of keystrokes for programmers to change the value of a variable from 10 to 15 (or whatever). Not a problem at all. I agree with Retired Knowall on this one. No wonder you were unpaid. You simply have no idea what you are on about.

    27th Nov 2018
    3:19pm
    Absolutely agree with Noel. I have said for years that the gst should be 15% and no exemptions.

    Many on here extol the virtues of the pension system in NZ so they should be in agreement with this as well.
    Anonymous
    27th Nov 2018
    3:20pm
    Just saw on TV that the government will bring in a SURPLUS in April...good on them!
    TREBOR
    27th Nov 2018
    3:58pm
    I laughed - thanks for the laugh, Noodles.... a 'surplus budget' is not money in the bank - it is a forward estimate of what might happen in Fairyland..... and never does........
    TREBOR
    27th Nov 2018
    4:03pm
    Six years of being down a deep fiscal hole and suddenly the bank is overflowing.... don't make me laugh........ it's an election year and the winds of change are causing huge clouds of bulldust to rise and sweep the nation....

    Next will be an increase in pensions and unemployment benefits.... followed by the next incoming government screaming:- "Black Holes In The Budget!!! Disaster.. The Sky Is Falling! Can't keep our promises.... well.. except for the one that advantages our feminist-run branches these days.... plenty more were that came from when it's your pet dreams.. everyone else can suffer."

    P.S. Give the sheilas extra super funds for doing no work (extra payment per hour worked for the same job, BTW), and you must pay everyone else extra who is not working - that includes pensioners current, the unemployed, the sick, the injured, the mentally incapable, babies and school kids, students at uni etc ..... all should be paid super for not working.....
    Gaz
    27th Nov 2018
    7:02pm
    Rather than increase the GST, reduce spending - there is a novel idea! Start with ensuring that super cannot be withdrawn as a lump sum and make unemployment benefits a contributory insurance scheme. I am fed up with paying for people who make bad life decisions and expect those who make good life decisions to pay for them.
    Applying yourself in school is a starting point, then choosing a career which pays well (not necessarily professional - electricians, plumbers and even train drivers have stable employment and good pay … then not spending it all - get a home, no matter how humble and start stacking it away against a rainy day and retirement. I come from a factory worker background, bought my first very basic house at 21 and was in a super scheme from age 16. Now retired and doing very well thanks - no thanks to those who stuffed up the Howard Super reforms.
    Many 1950's immigrants came with nothing and became millionaires - if they can do it, why should I support those who don't make the effort.
    Anonymous
    27th Nov 2018
    7:08pm
    Gaz - you are too logical and are asking too much from the leaners
    Its hardworking Aussies like you who appreciate Howard and Costello and all that they have done to make Aussies well off while working and in retirement

    Just wait for the miserables like Mick and Trebor to chime in with their negativity and politics of envy
    Jim
    27th Nov 2018
    11:09pm
    Spot on Gaz, we started with a 2 bedroom fibro home with a corrugated asbestos roof and the little house down the back, the bedrooms were tiny, the lounge,dining room and kitchen were all one, the bathroom had the toilet a bath with a shower in the bath, as I said in an earlier comment I worked upto 80 ours a week, I got no breaks from anyone, paid high taxes on the overtime income, other people chose not to do that, that’s their decision, I can’t remember which government started to change the laws to prevent bracket creep and thereby reward the people that were putting in the effort to make a better life for themselves, but I think it was Howard and Costello, since then there has been a steady increase in envy politics, especially against pensioners who worked hard managed to put a bit away and now face attacks from both parties, I wonder if the hard yakka was worth it. Yea it was
    Anonymous
    29th Nov 2018
    2:54pm
    We also started with a humble 2 bedroom timber home with leaky plumbing and a rotting veranda, and we worked like dogs for what we have today. But I get angry when I see comments blaming those with no stable employment. Clearly, Gaz, you know NOTHING of real disadvantage.

    The long-term unemployed I know never got to go to school. They were raised in orphanages - abused and deprived and conditioned to believe they were 'the scum of the earth' and 'no good' and 'nobody would ever want them'. How the hell do you expect them to find work with that poor self-image and neither skills nor education?
    You have no idea how lucky you are. In a super scheme from 16? Super-privileged to even know such a thing existed back then! Bought a house at 21. You were incredibly privileged. Most of us didn't even earn adult wages until 21, and had to pay for room and keep that - even though of poor quality in shared dormitories and with poor quality breakfast and evening meal (and nothing between) took 90% of our take-home pay, or more.

    ASSumptions are so easy, Gaz. But your snobbery reflects either arrogance or gross ignorance. You need to go work for a charity and learn just how hard life is for some. They would give their eye teeth for a decent job opportunity.

    Sure, immigrants became millionaires. But they DID NOT come with nothing. They came with skills, education, self-respect, confidence, and a psyche shaped by people who cared for them and helped them believe in themselves and in the opportunities the world offers. It's why I succeeded. Despite being an orphan, and poverty-stricken, I benefited from the love, acceptance and guidance of people who cared. I was taught to respect myself and to believe in my abilities. Without that, I also would have been among the long-term unemployed, on society's scrap heap and being condemned by arrogant ignorant privileged - like you, Gaz. Sorry. but it's true.

    27th Nov 2018
    3:39pm
    I would actually agree with flat tax if there was a quite high threshold and tax only applied at x% on income OVER that threshold. The threshold should be at least $18,000 a year (per person). Then I would agree that anything above that amount might be taxed at, say, 25% or 30%, and all indirect taxes abolished, and all the clauses that allow tax avoidance eliminated. No deductions permitted. Business (including major companies) taxed according to the average profit percentage for businesses in that industry, with a discount for the first few years or years after a crisis (flood etc). That would be far more equitable, but I doubt it would raise enough money given the horrendous waste by politicians.
    TREBOR
    27th Nov 2018
    6:50pm
    A bit like the US company tax system, Rainey - you pay lower tax on 'startup' with a window of 2-3 years to get on your feet.....

    Your thinking is on the right lines - like retirees when working, a company can take any number of hits, and those should be taken into account in taxing them.
    Drewbie
    27th Nov 2018
    4:11pm
    For years I've firmly believed that a " flat tax rate " of 10%, regardless of income bracket is the best workable option. Sorry Treboar, but your " windfall comment " for the highest paid income earners is somewhat incorrect. Yes, initially they would receive a " one-off " boost to their net income bottom line, when above tax rate cut comes into effect.

    However, all tax bracket earners would receive the same effect. So no single income earner would be worse off than anyone else. I do agree with Noel W on changing & increasing Australia's GST to the exact same regime New Zealand is accustomed to.

    Copying them by upping GST " & repealing all exemptions, & permanently abolishing 1: Payroll Tax could create more employment + 2: Stamp Duty & CGT would certainly have a positive flow on effect in making home ownership significantly more affordable.

    Since N.Z. has enjoyed a healthy budget surplus for some considerable years now, they must be doing something that's proven to inherently work well.
    TREBOR
    27th Nov 2018
    6:54pm
    How would it be a one-off windfall, given that their salary etc had not been reduced to accommodate to the new tax level? Every year would be a bonus unless their salary was lowered to suit... and was instead allowed to continue to grow....

    I did figures above to show that at a lower tax level, the salary would need to be reduced to match.... otherwise this idea impacts on the lower end while giving the fat cats a handout...
    Anonymous
    29th Nov 2018
    2:37pm
    Wow, Drewbie - so you propose to give the $180,000, a $36,232 a year bonus and take $128 a year more from someone on $37000 a year? And you propose to up the cost of living as well, which naturally won't hurt the guy getting a $36,232 bonus and having way more than he needs anyway, but will mean the fellow with just $33,300 a year will probably be unable to afford to pay rent or a mortgage. He might be struggling to support a family on LESS than the aged pension. And you somehow deem that as 'the most workable option'? God, I'd hate to see a bad option!

    The 'most workable option' would be to close the loopholes, enforce tax law rigidly, and start developing a culture of pride in contributing fairly to society - branding anyone who strives to minimize tax as the THIEF OF RESOURCES that they are. Start educating people to understand that tax is a cost of having a healthy society, and paying it will make everyone's life better, but avoiding it is every bit as criminal as bank robbery or break and enter.

    27th Nov 2018
    5:12pm
    The fairest system is one where every individual pays the same amount of tax per head
    After all government expenditure excluding welfare services everyone equally . So why should One person pay $100,000 a year in tax while another pays $20,000

    It’s highway robbery
    Cowboy Jim
    27th Nov 2018
    5:41pm
    Lothario in theory correct but how do you get blood out of a stone?
    Anonymous
    27th Nov 2018
    5:54pm
    Yes Jim - but the problem is the socialist dickheads want to keep on taxing the rich until they too have nothing left to give
    Anonymous
    27th Nov 2018
    9:29pm
    What garbage, Lothario. Progressive taxation recognises the harsh realities of the capitalist system and attempts to achieve a reasonable balance. Nobody is trying to tax the rich until they have nothing left. It's the middle class they want to send bankrupt with taxes. Look at the franking credits policy Shorten is promoting. Not attacking anyone wealthy or any high income earner. Nor pensioners. Only battlers with modest means. Same with the LNP attack on part pensioners. Only those of modest means suffered the loss of up to 1/3rd of their income. The rich use every trick in the book to avoid paying their share - and even boast about it!
    Anonymous
    27th Nov 2018
    9:33pm
    And it's utter BS to claim government expenditure is equal for everyone. The rich use far more resources. Businesses use shipping ports to bring in and ship out goods, more electricity, more communication services, more ATO and ASIC services... They use more roads and fuel shipping goods about and having their workers travel to worksites. The usage of resources by business is thousands of times that of the average low-paid worker. And then there's the fact that they use the low-paid worker, paying him much less than he's worth, to make profit - thus placing the low-paid worker in the position of not having adequate funds to pay high taxes and not having adequate funds to weather trauma, crisis, sickness or old age without welfare.

    The rich pay a tiny fraction of what they ought to pay in a fair world.
    Anonymous
    27th Nov 2018
    9:38pm
    You cant argue with a goose
    TREBOR
    28th Nov 2018
    10:44am
    Not without a valid argument.....

    Tch, tch... petty name-calling again...
    TREBOR
    28th Nov 2018
    11:04am
    Come on now - I'm sick of carrying your ass in every discussion:-

    https://www.weblearneng.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/th-33.jpg
    Anonymous
    29th Nov 2018
    2:04pm
    Lothario, one only brands someone a 'goose' when they can't refute their VALID AND CORRECT comment.
    Anonymous
    29th Nov 2018
    3:10pm
    Your response was so stupid it was laughabale

    Businesses use shipping ports to bring in and ship out goods - THEY PAY SHIPPING & PORT CHARGES

    more electricity - THEY PAY FOR THAT TOO

    more communication services - AND THAT

    more ATO - PAY MORE ABSOLUTE TAX ON A FLAT RATE

    ASIC services... - FEE FOR SERVICE

    They use more roads and fuel shipping goods about and having their workers travel to worksites - PAY FOR FUEL, VEHICLES, FUEL TAXES, TRANSPORTATION COSTS


    You are so ignorant its not funnt
    Change your name to Only Ignorant Rainey
    Anonymous
    29th Nov 2018
    4:14pm
    If you were less ignorant, Lothario, you would know that NONE
    Anonymous
    29th Nov 2018
    4:17pm
    No intelligent response Rainey - THOUGHT SO
    Anonymous
    29th Nov 2018
    4:18pm
    If you were less ignorant, Lothario, you would know that NONE of those fees go anywhere even remotely close to covering the cost of the service. And what about the labour the wealthy buy for a fraction of its worth and on-sell for much, much more? If they didn't exploit workers, their businesses could not make profit. What about the harm the drugs and chemicals they profit from do? They sure don't pay to cover that cost. The rich would be bankrupted if they had to pay for everything at it's real value. The whole concept of a capitalist society is based on random pricing according to the power of the price setter - with scant or no regard for value. If you claim otherwise, you are either an uneducated fool or a self-interested liar.
    Anonymous
    29th Nov 2018
    4:22pm
    No one is being exploited - millions are employed and live rewarding lives , caring for families, buying homes and retiring well as a result. Nonsese as usual from you

    Pharmaceuticals ??? - dont buy them if you think thyeb harm you. What a stupid statement

    Random pricicng ???? HAHAHAHA . Its called demand and supply babe. Not random at all

    Take your valium and lie down dear
    Anonymous
    29th Nov 2018
    9:45pm
    Lothario, exploitation means using people by paying less than they are worth - and if employers didn't exploit, they couldn't make profit. The capitalist system requires exploitation, and endorses it. Whether people are employed, buying homes, and caring for families is irrelevant. It changes nothing.

    Pharmaceuticals and chemicals - it's not about buying them. It's about the deception engaged in by those who make them and those who profit from prescribing them. It's about the pollution and the contamination of ALL of the food we eat, the seeds we plant to grow our vegetables, the poison sprays and fertilizers used. To avoid harmful pharmaceuticals and chemicals, we would have to cease eating, avoid all health treatments, never use soaps or detergents, and even avoid contact with water that flows through our pipes.

    And no, pricing isn't determined by supply and demand, because supply is artificially regulated by power-brokers to drive up prices. Power is abused to demand unfair profit - for example, by politicians, who are paid far, far more than could ever be deemed reasonable.

    But keep clinging to your capitalist lies. They favour the selfish, greedy rich. And keep sneering at those who expose inconvenient truths. You would never want them to afforded credibility - for the truth might bring your house of cards crashing down. It might stir protest or revolt. Luckily for you, most Australians are far too apathetic to care about injustice, and far too quick to judge and condemn the victims of a cruel system in order to boost their own fragile egos. What a sad and sorry world we live in!
    Pass the Ductape
    3rd Dec 2018
    11:46am
    OGR...Sure enough it's the system we've allowed to develop and live in. I can only nods me head in agreement with most things you've said.

    However there are bigger concerns to worry about in this country - not the least being the influence of Islamic culture which is slowly, but steadily pervading every fabric of society in Australia today.
    wombat
    27th Nov 2018
    6:39pm
    15-16 ATO Statistics show 3.1% of individual's earn greater than $180,000, but they account for more that 30% of the income tax paid by individuals. Individuals between $80,000 and $180,000 account for 17.9% of the taxpayers and pay 39.8% of the income tax paid by individuals. 79% of the individual taxpayers earn less than $80,000 and pay 29.9% of the income taxes paid by individuals.
    TREBOR
    27th Nov 2018
    6:56pm
    Again - it is the salary and wage earners who are primarily in that group - a captive audience with no loop-holes to reduce their income... whereas the 'business' type has countless loop-holes that effectively reduce income... in many cases below the level of being in the top bracket.

    So any argument that the rich pay their way is totally false - it is the higher paid wage and salary earners in that bracket who pay their taxes....
    TREBOR
    28th Nov 2018
    10:46am
    Kerry Packer anyone? $25k annual income and enjoyed the benefits of billions?
    Adrianus
    29th Nov 2018
    9:43am
    TREBOR, if the corporate rate was the same as the flat rate then Kerry would have been earing a whole lot more on paper.
    Adrianus
    28th Nov 2018
    8:31am
    I have thought for a long time that Noel Whittaker's tax simplification of our tax system is a great idea. And much fairer. The marginal rates, progressive tax system is promoting an undesirable behaviour amongst tax payers. I would also like to see the company tax rate the same as the flat rate.
    TREBOR
    28th Nov 2018
    11:04am
    Fairer how? Fairer to the rich?

    No such thing in this life.....
    Adrianus
    29th Nov 2018
    9:41am
    A flat rate of tax is in line with our push towards equality.
    We need to continue this war against inequality.
    And we need to take away the incentive for highly paid individuals to incorporate.
    We need to equalise the advantage of negative gearing.
    We need to equalise the tax advantage of deductible super contributions.
    A flat rate will do all this and more.
    Old Geezer
    29th Nov 2018
    10:54am
    Our litigious society is the reason individuals incorporate.
    Adrianus
    29th Nov 2018
    11:36am
    It was once the main reason, but now a strong motivation is tax minimisation. In many cases now Directors cannot hide behind a separate entity solution.
    Anonymous
    29th Nov 2018
    2:01pm
    A flat tax rate won't progress us towards equality at all, Adrianus. It will make the rich MUCH richer and the poor MUCH poorer. For a poor man, a 10% tax is 10% of his bread and butter. For a rich man, it's a chunk of his spare change, or one less luxury holiday each decade. There's no equality in that at all. You are talking garbage.

    As to negative gearing - just abolish it if it's a problem. And super contributions should be taxed at 15% below the individual's marginal tax rate, with a contribution to his fund if that results in a negative. THAT is equalisation. But of course the stinking rich will NEVER TOLERATE FAIRNESS.
    Adrianus
    29th Nov 2018
    2:13pm
    Rainey, you just don't understand what equality is. Equality is not penalising someone for working harder. I don't understand the logic behind creating complexity so that higher wage earners are penalised more. Why not simplify and take all the tweaking games away? We cant let hatred and envy is cloud our judgement. This is Australia not North Korea.
    Anonymous
    29th Nov 2018
    2:40pm
    It's you who doesn't understand, Adrianus. Tax is NOT a penalty for working harder. It should be able to be seen as a fair and equitable contribution to the cost of maintaining infrastructure and giving access to shared resources and social benefits. Envy and hatred doesn't enter into it. People who earn more use more resources and enjoy more social benefits. They can't earn more without doing so. So they should pay more accordingly. Those who have been disenfranchised by society, and thus struggle to earn enough to provide the basics, deserve to be favoured by lower tax rates. It's that simple. Sadly, though, the privileged are infected with the same greed and selfishness you display.
    Adrianus
    29th Nov 2018
    3:29pm
    Equality is coming Rainey, whether you like it or not.
    Your last post proves that you don't understand the true meaning of equality.
    Equality is expressed in how we treat each other.
    You are arguing for "equity in wealth" not equality. They are two different things.
    You are arguing for a bigger slice of the pie for a particular group while throwing insulting names at another group.
    You accuse me of " the privileged are infected with the same greed and selfishness you display." This is just pure hate and greed coming from you Rainey. I have said nothing other than we should treat each other fairly.
    We've had Gender equality, Marriage equality, so when do we get Tax equality?
    Such a pity that we cant discuss this important issue without a few hot heads displaying their dark side.
    Anonymous
    29th Nov 2018
    4:10pm
    We don't have 'gender equality' or 'marriage equality', Adrianus. We have transgender and gay superior rights and inferior rights for those who hold to traditional values. People being prosecuted for saying a gay couple might prefer a photographer who shares their ideas about marriage. Lobbying for Christian schools to be denied the right to teach religion and to hire only teachers who subscribe to Christian beliefs. How long before, as now in Canada, people lose their parental rights if they dare to teach a child that gender is determined by what's between their legs? How long before, as in California, a boy is made to wear a dress to school as punishment for allegedly (but not actually) denying a transgender's 'equal rights'?

    It's NOT equality. It's disgusting, and it is destroying our society. And your greed and selfishness will do likewise. Equality in how we treat each other means appreciation that a capitalist society does not pay people according to the worth of their contribution, but rather on a random scale according to the distribution of power. Equality in how we treat each other recognizes that everyone is entitled to live with dignity and in reasonable comfort, and to enjoy opportunity, and to be supported when they experience trauma, crisis, illness, disability, or other major disadvantage. None of those objectives are achievable without progressive taxation.

    Yes, your sick version of 'equality' is coming - because of the abuse of power by the selfish, greedy privileged. It will see a return to the days of lords and ladies vs peasant workers. And it will increase anger and hatred, mental illness, poverty and crime. Ultimately it will destroy the capitalist society. But we can't discuss ''this important issue'' because the greedy and the selfish are also the powerful who dictate how things must be - and always they declare it must be heavily in their favour.
    Adrianus
    30th Nov 2018
    8:35am
    Rainey, the difference is that you cant measure the equality level of peoples emotions and thoughts when it comes to gender or marriage. But our tax impost is something quite different. Its a math equation which is quite simple. The introduction of Noel's simplification would work so much better if public companies were owned similarly to private companies, by individuals. That's where the abuse of power becomes evident. Your hatred and envy of the wealthy is misplaced and plays into the hands of the real greedy and selfish.
    Anonymous
    30th Nov 2018
    12:55pm
    Adrianus, a math equation doesn't take into account the real world reality that 10% of a low wage is 10% of food and shelter, but 10% of a high wage is 10% of spare change. We can never attain any level of equality by deeming 10% of one's daily bread to be an equal contribution with 10% of gold stashed in a safe for future generations.

    I don't hate the wealthy. I just condemn their greed and selfishness. They have destroyed our society and our lifestyle, and it's obscene, because they have so much more than they need already. It defies comprehension how Malcolm Turnbull and his ilk, with mega millions stashed in tax havens, can take money from the public purse. It's SICK.
    Adrianus
    1st Dec 2018
    9:02am
    Rainey, now you're talking ideological rubbish.

    Example:
    A worker earns $87,000 pa. He pays a flat rate of say 26% on amounts over a threshold of say $25,000.
    Therefore pays $16,120 or 18.52% of wage in tax.

    A worker earns $180,000 pa. He pays $40,300 or 22.38% in tax.

    A worker earns $40,000 pa. He pays %3,900 or 9.75% of wage in tax.

    A worker earns $25,000 pa and pays no income tax.

    Where is the inequality?
    Anonymous
    1st Dec 2018
    10:46am
    It depends on the threshold, Adrianus. The threshold needs to be a lot higher than it is currently. It also depends on how dependant allowances are managed. If a worker takes a second job or overtime, working 60 hours a week so his partner can stay home and care for children, is it reasonable that he should pay the same tax as a worker earning the same amount from 35 hours a week and not supporting a partner or children? This is where the flat tax argument collapses. If you read all my posts, you would have seen that I have said I support flat tax IF IMPLMENETED CORRECTLY. So far, I've never seen anyone propose a fair implementation. Reason: Because it's always proposed by the wealthy to enhance the position of the wealthy. When I see someone with RESPECT for battlers proposing a FAIR AND EQUITABLE tax regime, then I'll support it.
    Adrianus
    1st Dec 2018
    12:10pm
    " If a worker takes a second job or overtime, working 60 hours a week so his partner can stay home and care for children, is it reasonable that he should pay the same tax as a worker earning the same amount from 35 hours a week and not supporting a partner or children? "
    That's what happened in my case and I did not expect money to fall out of the pockets of other taxpayers for my decisions.

    It's about time we stopped funding lifestyle choices.

    It's about time we stopped taxing people harder when they work harder.

    Rainey you wont get a detailed outline of a flat rate system on here. We are not economists with a building full of assistants and access to vital info, but we can all point to something wrong with our progressive income tax system. Surely that is enough to have a decent discussion with the broad scope of developing Australia's economy and the happiness level of it's 13million workers. I would not leave out the non personal exertion income tax from the discussion.
    Anonymous
    2nd Dec 2018
    4:48pm
    "It's about time we stopped funding lifestyle choices."

    NO. Where lifestyle choices benefit society - and certainly the choice to work harder so a partner can give children full time care DOES benefits society - the tax system should assist that choice.

    "It's about time we stopped taxing people harder when they work harder.'

    Agreed, except that most who are taxed higher DON'T work harder. They are just more fortunate. The hardest workers in our society are generally paid the least.
    Anonymous
    2nd Dec 2018
    4:56pm
    Adrianus, the worker who works 60 hours a week to enable his partner to stay home and care for kids isn't asking anyone else to fund his choice. He's simply asking for a FAIR DEAL. The guy whose partner works gets subsidies to put his kids in childcare. Why should the family who care for their own be penalised for their choice?

    This is the core problem in our society. SELFISHNESS. Everyone wants the system to favour them and discriminate against others. There was a time when we recognized that children needed full time care and one partner worked as a homemaker. Maybe we should return to that? Society was certainly happier.

    Then we have those who do voluntary and community work. If we keep making WORK FOR PAY the only recognized and rewarding contribution to society, we will destroy society completely. We need to start to recognise that there are other ways to contribute, and the tax and social payments system should recognize and assist. We need to stop focusing on lording and applauding high income/high wealth individuals and making earning money the be all and end all, and start focusing on social health. The progressive tax system aimed to do that. Sadly, it fails - because of GREED. It is now far too harsh on those at the lower end of the scale and far to generous to those at the top end. Maybe the right implementation of flat tax would be better, but as long as tax systems are designed by high income earners, they will unfairly favour the wealthy.
    Adrianus
    3rd Dec 2018
    8:49am
    Rainey, I don't get it? You argue for equality and yet you want say, a same sex couple who don't want children, to pay for another couple's choice to have children? It's not the same as all of us chipping in for public utilities and services.

    Take the case of a single person working 60 hours, paying off a mortgage, saving for retirement, meanwhile the neighbours are having 6 children which he also needs to support. The single guy is working the long hours because he is getting highly taxed.
    The tax system should treat all of us with the same level of equality so that it allows for all of us to make personal choices about bringing children into the world. Your plan to reward women for having babies has already become a huge social problem, rather than a contribution.
    A certain level of selfishness exists in all of us, none of us can match it with Mother Theresa, but the push back is because there seems to be no end to government waste and increase of unfair taxes. The scenes in Belgium and France will eventually spill out here I'm afraid. There would be a lot less greed if we had true equality, and politicians not buying votes.
    Anonymous
    3rd Dec 2018
    1:14pm
    Childless couples and individuals are paying for childcare, Adrianus. Why should they pay for institutional childcare and not childcare by a loving parent? And what of the single parent? Should they also be crippled with ''equal'' taxes, whether they chose that role or were widowed or deserted?

    The bottom line here is that family has always been the basis of our society, and is essential for the health of our society. We need to reproduce in order that the species can survive. Overpopulation is a problem, so perhaps we should limit the size of families, or withdraw support once someone chooses to go over a certain limit, but we should not deny children the right of parental love and care out of greed and selfishness - and it IS greed and selfishness to suggest that a single person with no children should pay no more tax than a person with a dependant partner and children to support.

    As for same sex couples - they are now given preference in processing applications to adopt and they undergo IVF to reproduce, so why even bring them into the argument? There are also heterosexual couples who choose not to reproduce. That's their choice, and I'm not suggesting they don't have the right to make that choice, but they are NOT entitled to claim that they should therefore not contribute to the cost of continuing our species, and to the high cost of ensuring that we continue our species with a mentally healthy, socially responsible future generation.

    The same applies to disability. By your logic, the healthy shouldn't have to pay for the disabled. Well, yes, they SHOULD. Because nobody asks for disability or illness. I tend to agree with those who claim people who engage in reckless activities for pleasure should be insured and not become a burden on the state, but those who are born disabled, suffer accident or illness, etc. need to be supported. Our tax and social system should not ever offer ''equality'' to the selfish who claim the right to superior net earnings just because they are healthy and choose not to have children.

    Equality can NEVER be achieved if a cruel tax system makes it impossible for those on lower wages to have children, but ensures those who don't contribute to continuance of the species are richly rewarded and able to enjoy great wealth. Reproduction is a natural function of humans, and we should all be able to live as nature intended - not stifled by the greed of a minority.

    I recall a very happy and much healthier society in the 60's, when progressive tax was much harsher on the wealthy than it is today. But that was before GREED AND SELFISHNESS took over.
    Anonymous
    3rd Dec 2018
    6:44pm
    Adrianus, after further consideration of your comments, I feel compelled to ask this:

    Do you seriously suggest that 'equality' can be attained by taxing the struggling father who, due to the needs of his children for attention and the requirements to keep a household running smoothly, works 60 hours a week to enable his partner to be a stay-at-home parent at the same rate as the single man who has no obligations? Do you really believe 'equality' is achievable by grinding a single-parent family into poverty with the same tax burden as the carefree childless single person who has no obligations save to accumulate more and more wealth?

    We ask workers to work for far less than they are worth to enable businesses to profit by hiring them. We ask parents to contribute to society by teaching their children morals and ethics and paying for their education to enable them to participate productively in the workforce. Why should we not ask those who make the choice to avoid the obligation to contribute in this way to pay more tax to compensate for their self-indulgence?

    You complain about asking people to subsidize the lifestyle choices of others, yet you ask that the less advantaged and those who make more socially and communally responsible choices do just that - subsidize the lifestyle choices of the self-indulgent who focus solely on promoting their own wealth, at the expense of the community, employees, and society in general.

    Flat tax is an indulgence of the greed of those who value nothing other than financial assets. It is socially destructive and unfair in the extreme, unless tempered with extensive concessions to single parents, single-income households, persons who work long hours or tolerate unfavourable or unsafe work conditions to achieve the same income as those who earn their income more easily, persons who battle against disability or poor health, and persons who contribute unpaid services to the community or society.
    Adrianus
    30th Nov 2018
    9:21am
    The introduction of a flat rate should be a revenue neutral exercise. The tax free margin could be increased to compensate the low paid as with certain welfare payments. Employee share schemes should be allowed to flourish until we reach a future critical point when we can stop institutional share ownership. I don't like the idea that our 4 major banks are half owned by foreign entities. I would rather see every citizen in OZ owning shares in companies of their choice.
    Anonymous
    30th Nov 2018
    12:56pm
    Well, Bill Shorten will ensure that can't happen, Adrianus. Battlers won't be able to afford shares when only those with substantial taxable income can claim franking credits.
    Adrianus
    1st Dec 2018
    8:48am
    I've never quite understood that about the Marxist ideology. The concept of keeping your followers in the poor house, then building their hatred and envy to those who have fought their way out of the poor house, is a little hypocritical in my mind. Aspiration and desire to make a better life is at the heart of everything good in our economy. We should not let Bill Shorten and the Chinese Communist Party take that away from the tradition of the 'Aussie fair go' character.