Martin Parkinson has kicked off another round of speculation about increasing GST revenue through either increasing the rate or expanding the base.
Raising taxes is the number one defence against budget cuts in areas that we want to protect, or new areas of social expenditure. In spite of this, calls to increase the GST are consistently met with opposition from the Left on the basis that they consider the GST to be a regressive tax. A tax that collects a higher percentage of the income of from poor people than rich people is a bad thing.
Given the consistency of these views, it might surprise to read that broadening the GST, or even raising it, is not necessarily regressive. In fact, in one area, broadening the base of the GST is actually create a more progressive tax system in and of itself. Continue reading
The votes have been counted and the headline results are as predicted months ago. The only talking point of interest, at this stage, has been reflections on the Greens vote. Various commentators have called the Greens result a disappointment, given that they went into the election as favourites in Balmain and strong chances in Marrickville, and on current vote appear Labor appear to have held Marrickville and likely to hold Balmain (though it’s very close).
But was the Greens result really so disappointing? What were the positives for the progressive Left?
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tigtog at Hoyden gives the background here.
It was probably inevitable, with the pending retirement of baby-boomers set to drain the government coffers dry due to their health requirements. Whatever the driver for political action, it’s a much-welcome change.