Democracy is all about getting the numbers. Put simply, if you don’t have them in the parliament, you won’t be able to turn your ideas into laws.
With the Prime Minister announcing a raft of new spending measures, the numbers she has on the floor of parliament and amongst her COAG colleagues are going to matter even more.
And with plenty of people asking “how will you pay?” it seems odd that there is one number the PM is so reluctant to talk about.
As The Australia Institute has been pointing out for a while now superannuation tax concessions, which are overwhelmingly skewed towards upper-class welfare, will cost the budget $45 billion in 2015-16. (For links to our research papers and recent op-eds on this issue click here.)
Yep, $45 billion! Put another way, that’s enough money to pay for the Gonski education reforms, the National Disability Insurance Scheme and Denticare, with quite a bit of change left over. We could even afford to increase the Newstart Allowance.
To date, super tax concessions have been a protected species in the political debate but we’re pleased to see that might be changing.
On this issue, The Australia Institute has been a loud, clear voice for progressive Australians. In August alone our research has featured more than 650 times in the media on issues as diverse as bank profits, access to our courts system, the adequacy of Newstart Allowance, super tax concessions and Tasmania’s forestry industry (click here for media highlights).
But don’t you wish that our ideas were that visible every week? If you do – can you chip in $8 a week towards more ‘research that matters’?
Independent ideas can only come from independent funding, so we can’t do it without people like you. Another 50 people giving us just $8 per week (tax-deductible) would raise $20,000 which can be used to hold bad ideas to account and promote good ones instead.
Thanks for caring about progressive ideas that create a fairer Australia.
Richard and The Australia Institute team