50 prominent Australians to PM: Now is not the time for tax cuts

Top economists and community leaders have signed an open letter calling on Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to not to cut taxes at this time – especially not on company profits.

The letter, published as a full-page newspaper advertisement, is signed by Former Reserve Bank Governor Bernie Fraser, ACTU National President Ged Kearney, Former WA Premier Carmen Lawrence, Uniting Church Australia President Stuart McMillan and Nobel prize winner Peter Doherty and a collection of economists are part of a list of 50 prominent Australians who are calling for prioritising services, not tax cuts.

The letter reads:

“Cutting programs which support needy Australians to give more tax benefits to companies is not fair. Collecting more tax, more equitably, will make Australia a better place to live and work.”

“Now is not the time to cut taxes. It would be fiscally irresponsible to lower the company tax rate in the current budget environment,” Executive Director of The Australia Institute, Ben Oquist said.

“Proponents of a cut to the company tax rate continue to promote claims of long-term, trickle-down benefits without identifying the immediate impact to revenue and in-turn essential services.

“In fact, a five-point cut in the company tax rate would deliver a projected $27 billion windfall over ten years for the four major banks alone. This simply makes no economic sense and would put Australia’s revenue base at risk. 

“Australia is a low taxing country, 6th lowest by OECD standards. We also have a clear revenue problem, which should be this priority for this budget,” Oquist said. 

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