Aussies tired of unfair economy

Budget changes that came into effect on 1 July have many voters concerned, as illustrated by a Reachtel/ACTU poll taken on 29 June, revealing that 71.5 per cent of Australians think we now live in an unfair economy.

The Medicare levy increase of 0.5 per cent, effective from 1 July 2019, would not be required if the Government had kept the two per cent temporary budget repair levy and did not give the two per cent marginal income tax cut to high-income earners.

On top of this, the two per cent pay rise given to politicians and the removal of penalty rates from the lowest paid workers in the land seem to have created a recipe for general dissatisfaction.

“It’s galling for all Australians that while the lowest paid will be forced to sacrifice the basics in life, Malcolm Turnbull and his millionaire mates are getting pay rises and tax cuts. Everyone knows that employers are not paying fair wages because wage growth is stagnant while profits continue to grow. The research released today shows that Australians have had enough,” said ACTU President Ged Kearney.

“Today, working Australians begin to bear the cost of the Turnbull Government’s perverse policies.”

The poll, commissioned by the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU), found that 71.5 per cent of the 2032 voters surveyed feel that the three major changes that came into effect on 1 July ‘benefit the wealthy over ordinary workers’.

Only 28.5 per cent feel that the changes would help create an “enterprise economy of low taxes and competitive wages”.

The poll also found Labor leading 52 to 48 per cent on a two-party preferred basis.

Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) modelling commissioned by the Greens revealed that keeping the two per cent budget repair levy could help to fund Medicare and the National Disability Insurance Scheme. It also showed that if the marginal tax cut for people earning over $80,000 a year does not go ahead, the Turnbull Government would save almost $10 billion over four years.

In fact, if the Government did not pursue both of those tax cuts, it would save up to $34 billion over 10 years.

This would mean that voters would only have to pay a 0.1 per cent increase in the Medicare levy, rather than 0.5 per cent we’ll be paying.

If these tax cuts were dropped and just a 0.15 per cent increase in the Medicare levy were applied, the Government would be ahead $3.85 billion after 10 years. But, according to the Greens, the Coalition has its priorities backwards.

“The highest income earners will not even notice the difference, but for those families, young people, individuals who are doing it tough, those extra dollars make a huge difference. It’s about time the top end of town contributes their fair share,” said Greens Leader Richard Di Natale.

Read more at The Australian

Opinion: Time to get onboard with the majority

Public opinion of the Government’s propensity to support the wealthy over the needs of the majority is consolidating. This poll is the latest in a long line of evidence to that end.

This Government just can’t keep taking from those who can least afford it.

A Government that scraps penalty rates and uses superannuation as a national cash cache, keeps Age Pension and wage rates to barely on or above the poverty line while it hands its politicians a pay rise is totally out of touch with the average Australian.

But that’s the Government we have in place – the Government for which we voted. However, it seems, based on Newspolls and public opinion polls, that those votes are shifting.

Labor has now led in the last 14 Newspolls. It enjoys a four per cent lead in the two-party preferred basis.

Now the Coalition is knee-deep in another round of infighting, after Christopher Pyne’s misguided remarks about party factions and former PM Tony Abbott throwing more fuel on the fire by calling Malcolm Turnbull’s leadership into question – again.

To Bill Shorten, the Coalition is the gift that keeps on giving.

The Opposition Leader has put his party on election footing. He’s pledged to reverse penalty rate cuts, institute same-sex marriage and hit the wealthiest Australians with a two per cent tax hike – all within 100 days of taking office.

He’s sensing a change in public sentiment – that the average Australian is tired of being taken for a ride. Australians want hospital care, employment, the opportunity to buy a house and have a good education – not the political pantomime in play at the moment.

It’d be nice to see a government back the average Australian and not the wealthy. It’d be nice to see a unified party doing what’s best for the majority and not just its cronies. Hell, it’d be nice to see a government just doing its job. Maybe then it could actually justify a pay rise.

Do you think this Government is falling out of touch with the majority? How do the 1 July changes affect you?

Related articles:
A missed opportunity
Medicare rebate freeze to be lifted
Coalition attacks Labor over NDIS

Written by Leon Della Bosca

Publisher of YourLifeChoices – Australia's most-trusted and longest-running retirement website. A trusted voice on Australia's retirement landscape, including retirement income and planning, government entitlements, lifestyle and news and information relevant to Australians over 50. Leon has worked in publishing for more than 25 years and is also a travel writer and editor, graphic designer and photographer.

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