This week, the Australian Council for Social Services (ACOSS) launched their policy proposals for the federal election. CEO Cassandra Goldie outlined the need to create a stronger revenue base from which poverty could be lessened and the fiscal strains of an ageing population could be weathered.

ACOSS Policy Proposals

The proposals put forth by ACOSS centre around closing tax loopholes, shelving tax-cuts for the higher brackets and using taxes to better meet social and health objectives.

Their policy proposals include:

  1.     Improving fairness in the tax system and easing future budget pressures
  2.     Properly funding essential health, aged care and disability services
  3.     Making housing more affordable through tax reform
  4.     Removing inefficient business tax concessions and curbing international profit-shifting
  5.     Reducing harms from overuse of alcohol and sugary drinks

Detailed recommendations of their policy proposals are available here.

Rising fiscal costs

At the launch, Cassandra Goldie also noted the costs of healthcare, aged-care and disability support, prompted mainly by the retirement of the Boomer generation, is expected to reach $21 billion per year more by the end of the decade.

She said that Australia already has the 8th lowest taxes amongst 39 OECD countries (39.4% of GDP) and this is not the time for a ‘tax-cut auction’.

“Health, aged care and disability services alone are expected to cost $21 billion higher per year in a decade’s time. These investments are necessary and overdue, and their costs must be met a stronger tax base.”

Before the launch, ACOSS held its annual budget breakfast with addresses by Human Services Minister Paul Fletcher and Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen.

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