Lift social security spend: survey

Australians want to see more spending on social security and most do not support company tax cuts, according to the 2018 Per Capita Tax Survey released this morning.

Now in its eighth year, the survey aims to provide a comprehensive view of Australians’ attitudes to taxation and public spending, and shows how these attitudes are evolving. The 2018 survey was conducted between 27 March and 7 April using a “demographically representative sample group of 1557 Australians”.

Per Capita, an independent think tank and research organisation created in 2005, said ahead of the release of the survey the most striking finding this year was that a majority of Australians supported more government spending on social security.

Respondents said they strongly believed the wealthy and big business were not paying their fair share, and support for the Government’s tax cut for big business was weak.

 Other key findings were:

  • more Australians in the middle-income bracket believe they are paying too much tax
  • more than three-quarters of respondents support higher government spending on health and education
  • respondents strongly support the removal of tax concessions that allow people and companies to reduce their tax
  • more than 60 per cent believe we should crack down on corporate tax avoidance to pay for more services
  • 57 per cent say negative gearing should either be restricted or abolished
  • 62 per cent oppose a tax cut for big business
  • just over 25 per cent supported the Government’s abandoned measure to increase the Medicare levy to fund the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

In 2017, the survey found a high level of support for increased spending on public services, particularly health, aged care and education. While a majority of respondents said they were willing to pay more tax to support such improvements, the overwhelming view was that high-income earners and big business were not paying enough tax.

Per Capita says its goal in conducting the surveys is to provide policy-makers with an insight into how Australians view their tax system, public spending and any purported changes.

Related articles:
Company tax cut on the nose
Why the wealthy get richer
Pension rises fail vulnerable

Written by Janelle Ward


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