Originally published in The Canberra Times on October 26, 2013

Tax is the price we pay to live in a civilised society. It is what funds our health system, our education system and our public transport infrastructure. Tony Abbott has just asked the head of the Business Council of Australia to advise him on how much we should spend on those things.

Not surprisingly, the peak body for corporate Australia thinks we should spend less on the things that make Australia one of the best places in the world to live.

Of course, they aren’t silly enough to come right out and say their shareholders would prefer us to have poorer quality services so they can pay less tax. Rather, they simply play to Australian insecurities by telling us our tax system makes us ”uncompetitive”.

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