The fallout from last week’s budget has been massive, with opinion polls showing a rapid decline in the popularity of both the Government and the Prime Minister. Both Mr Abbott and Mr Hockey are on the front foot defending both the budget and the need for such deep cuts across many areas of spending, particularly welfare. They continue to declare that all Australians need to do the ‘heavy lifting’ to help balance the books. But three respected and independent institutions have now done the sums and concluded that the budget is not fair to all socio-economic groups, with the poorer often doing more heavy lifting than others.
In particular, the Crawford School of Public Policy at the Australian National University (ANU) has compared the projected difference in real disposable incomes for different household groups and found that the hardest hit are single people on Newstart, followed closely by single parents and then couples on a low income with young children.
This research is supported by modelling conducted by the Grattan Institute and principal research fellow, Ben Phillips at the National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling (NATSEM).
NATSEM research concluded that the two per cent tax increase on higher income earners was proportionately mild and would have a ‘token impact’.
Importantly, we have yet to see modelling on the effect of those receiving a full or part Age Pension. Watch this space.
What do you think? Is this a fair budget to which we will all contribute equally? Or are some people more equal than others, with those who can least afford it required to do the heavy lifting?