ACOSS $9.5 billion savings plan

The Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) has handed the Government a plan to save around $9.5 billion a year, in the hope that some funds will be redirected towards social services.

In its pre-budget submission handed over yesterday, the ACOSS proposals include getting rid of private health insurance rebates and pulling back on negative gearing incentives.

The social welfare group has called on the Government to limit negative gearing deductions for property investors and shares so the money saved can instead be used to build affordable housing.

It also recommends removing the “wasteful” 30 per cent private health insurance rebate which, if scrapped, could raise around $6.6 billion to go towards public hospitals and community health services.

Other recommendations include:

  • private trusts to be taxed similarly to companies, with any retained income in private companies to be taxed at top rates
  • reining in “inequitable” capital gains tax concessions for small business
  • tightening the tax treatment of superannuation fund earnings to include those aged 65 and over to pay income tax if they can afford to
  • monies raised could also go towards raising unemployment benefits, which is currently at $37 a day
  • calls for funds currently spent on the “ineffective” work for the dole program to be better spent elsewhere.

ACOSS Chief Executive Cassandra Goldie urged the Government “to be courageous” and take a long, hard look at tax concessions, and not be swayed by those with vested interests who may oppose them.

ACOSS estimates that, should the proposed changes be put in place, they would save the budget $9.5 billion a year over the next financial year.

Read more at www.sbs.com.au

What do you think of the ACOSS proposal? Do you have any better ideas for raising revenue?

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Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca has worked in publishing and media in one form or another for around 25 years. He's a voracious reader, word spinner and art, writing, design, painting, drawing, travel and photography enthusiast. You'll often find him roaming through galleries or exploring the streets of his beloved Melbourne and surrounding suburbs, sketchpad or notebook in hand, smiling.
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