The Guardian July 12, 2000


Continue to campaign for a progressive tax system

At its weekend meeting the Central Committee of the CPA called for the 
continuation of the campaign for a progressive tax system and the repeal of 
the GST.

The resolution said that "the GST has already started to bite into the 
living standards of low and middle income earners, pensioners and all who 
are wholly or partly dependent on social welfare payments.

"Fares, insurance, rents, clothing, shoes, house repairs, cinema tickets, 
bank fees, in fact all services and many other essential household items 
are going up in price. As time goes on, the full scope of the GST will 
become apparent.

"In addition, unscrupulous traders and service providers are, in many 
cases, using the opportunity to surreptitiously put up prices under the 
cover of the GST."

A number of examples were given to the meeting. A private bus company in 
Sydney increased its $1.90 fare to $2.30, well above the 10 percent which 
the Prime Minister and Treasurer repeatedly declared would never be 
exceeded. The lie about petrol prices not going up as a result the GST has 
also been exposed.

"It needs to be emphasised that the aim of the GST is to shift the tax 
burden increasingly to wage and salary earners and pensioners and away from 
high-income earners and companies. While we pay more, they pay less. This 
is the objective of Howard's tax reform. We now have an unfair and 
REGRESSIVE tax system.

"We call on the whole labour movement and particularly the trade unions and 
progressive community organisations to campaign to implement a progressive 
tax system based on the principle of those on high incomes and companies 
earning huge profits, paying a larger proportion in taxes than those on 
lower incomes", said the resolution.

But what sort of a taxation system would be a good alternative? The CC put 
forward some main points for an alternative PROGRESSIVE tax system that 
included:

1. The repeal of any form of a general goods and services tax;

2. A restructuring of the tax system so that tax rates for high income 
earners and big corporations are increased while the rates for wage and 
salary earners and others on low incomes are reduced;

3. Closure of corporate tax avoidance loopholes;

4. Payment of normal taxes on profits earned in Australia but sent 
overseas;

5. A cut-back of government handouts to the wealthy corporations in the 
form of direct grants and tax concessions;

6. The support and maintenance of publicly-owned enterprises and services;

7. A crackdown on family trusts which are used by high-income earners to 
avoid tax;

8. Raising the tax-free threshold to $13,000  $250 per week.

9. A tax system that is simple to operate and transparent.

"A PROGRESSIVE tax system must replace the GST and the outrageous tax 
breaks and subsidies paid to wealthy corporations."

It is already clear from statements by ALP leader Kim Beazley that a Labor 
Government would do no more than knock off some of the worst rough edges of 
the GST while maintaining the system which imposes huge burdens on small 
business and is going to seriously lower the standard of living of most 
working people.

The Party therefore said, "We must campaign to have the Labor Party repeal 
the GST and implement a PROGRESSIVE tax system when elected to government.

"We call on members and supporters of the CPA to continue to collect 
signatures to the petition to Repeal the GST, to popularise our PROGRESSIVE 
tax system and to seek resolutions in support of a PROGRESSIVE tax system 
in their trade unions and other organisations", concluded the resolution.

Petitions can be obtained from CPA, 65 Campbell Street, Surry Hills, 2010. 
Phone (02) 9212 6855.

If you are being ripped off and overcharged by big business, phone the 
Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) hotline  1300 302 502 
 and let The Guardian know. Even if it may appear to be only a 
small matter or an isolated instance make sure to lodge your complaint.

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