The Australian Council of Social Service today called on the Turnbull Government to throw out harsh proposals that have repeatedly failed to pass Parliament and adopt budget policies that are fair and sustainable.
“After three years of chasing the ill-conceived 2014 Budget cuts, it’s time the Government recast its Budget strategy and moved on from the one-sided focus on spending cuts, particularly in social security,” said ACOSS CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie.
“ACOSS proposes a suite of measures that will save $9.4 billion by 2018-19 in addition to putting $4 billion into critical social infrastructure to reduce poverty and inequality in Australia.
“Australia is a low-spending country on social security, spending just 9% of GDP on welfare compared with the OECD average of 12.4%. We are also the sixth lowest taxing country of 34 OECD countries.
“It is clear that governments will not be able to fund the cost of essential services such as health, aged care and NDIS from present tax revenues. Nor is it fair or reasonable to expect people who need to see a doctor, attend hospital or move into aged care to pay more for these essential services.
“Instead, this Government and all political parties must acknowledge that the best way to guarantee funding for health, aged care and the NDIS is through structured tax reform and growing the revenue base fairly, steadily and efficiently.
“In 2012, the major parties agreed to a modest increase in the Medicare Levy to help finance the NDIS. We propose that the Levy be further strengthened to help pay for health, aged care and disability services, by removing the exemption for those holding private health insurance from the Medicare Levy surcharge. We estimate this would raise $4 billion…(continues)
SOURCE: Media Release, “We can reduce poverty, inequality and the budget deficit: ACOSS Budget Submission 2017”, ACOSS, 27 February 2017
BroCAP is produced by the two librarians at the Brotherhood of St Laurence in Melbourne, Australia.