The Cost of Privilege

Today, a landmark report commissioned by Anglicare Australia has revealed the richest 20 per cent of Australians are receiving more than $68 billion in Government tax concessions.

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Anglicare Australia executive director Kasy Chambers said concessions for the rich are currently “greater than the cost of Newstart, disability support, or any other single welfare recipient group”.

“Too often, decision-makers act as though people with the least are a drag on the rest of us. But the truth is that the wealthiest Australians are the ones who enjoy the most support.”

The Cost of Privilege report, prepared by independent think tank Per Capita, shows a family of four receiving Newstart, Family Tax Benefits A and B, and Rent Assistance will take home $809.67 per week as their total household income. While, at the other end of the scale, a family of four turning over a yearly business profit of $230,000, and have top private health cover, two negatively geared investment properties, are receiving capital gains tax concessions and exemptions on their properties and paying the maximum superannuation contributions can reduce their taxable income to about $95,000. This family will pay a total of $21,500 in tax and effectively receive $1917.46 per week in tax concessions from the Australian taxpayer.

“These numbers tell us that something has gone badly wrong – we have become a country that cuts from the poorest to give to the richest,” Ms Chambers said.

The Cost of Privilege report finds that tax exemptions on private healthcare and education for the wealthiest 20 per cent cost over $3 billion a year, superannuation concessions to them cost over $20 billion a year, and their Capital Gains Tax exemptions cost a staggering $40 billion a year. Compare that to the annual cost of Newstart, which costs just under $11 billion a year.

“This report shows that it is time to restore the balance, and build a tax system that works for all of us,” she said.

Our CEO John Berger supports Anglicare Australia’s report.

Read the full report here.