Tasmanians don’t believe company tax cuts will increase wages

New polling released today by The Australia Institute Tasmania shows that even Liberal voters in the state do not believe that company tax cuts will increase workers’ pay.

The poll of 925 Tasmanians, conducted by ReachTEL for The Australia Institute, found only 10.8% believed that giving large companies a tax cut would increase workers’ pay, while 34.6% believed it would result in an increase in executive pay and 25.4% believe it will go to shareholders.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is spending today campaigning for the re-election of the Liberal government in Tasmania and continuing the PR push for cutting the tax rate for big business.

“After two years of campaigning for cutting taxes for big business, the Prime Minister has recently moved to arguing that it would lead to wage rises,” Director of The Australia Institute Tasmania, Leanne Minshull said.

“However, our polling shows that Tasmanians believe they will only put more money in the pockets of executives and shareholders.

“Even among Liberal voters, only 20% believe the tax cuts would result in wage rises for Tasmanians.”

A ReachTEL poll of 925 Tasmanians on the night of the 14th of February asked the question;

If the Turnbull government succeeds in giving large companies a tax cut, what you believe companies are most likely to do with it?

 

Total

Liberal

Labor

Greens

JLN

Other

Undc

Increase executive pay

34.6%

24.1%

41.6%

38.6%

55.8%

46.6%

35.9%

Give it to shareholders

25.4%

17.4%

36.3%

36.6%

25.6%

17.8%

12.8%

Increase workers’ pay

10.8%

20.2%

2.8%

2.0%

9.3%

11.0%

2.6%

Invest (e.g. buy more buildings, equipment etc.)

17.5%

26.9%

6.4%

16.8%

2.3%

23.3%

7.7%

None of these

6.4%

6.0%

8.5%

4.0%

2.3%

1.4%

12.8%

Don’t know/Unsure

5.3%

5.4%

4.3%

2.0%

4.7%

 0.0%

28.2%

“The economic case has not been made for company tax cuts. A $65 billion dollar hit to revenue means less money for schools, health and infrastructure, which are far better ways to create ‘jobs and growth’,” Minshull said.

Research undertaken by The Australia Institute last year showed that one-third of the benefit from the Prime Ministers original tax cut plan, would flow to Australia’s 15 biggest companies. 

Of these 15 companies, none are headquartered in Tasmania. One of the 15 companies, Rio Tinto operates the Bell Bay smelter in the States northwest, but it’s doubtful the future of the smelter hangs on Australia’s company tax rate.

Wage growth and the proportion of GDP made up by wages are both at record lows in Australia.

Report: Record-Low Labour Compensation as Share GDP

Report: Company Tax Cuts, What the Evidence Shows

Related research

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jake@australiainstitute.org.au

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