As the snake oil salesman and his happy clapper gear up to sell us on their compensation for a higher GST, it is worth remembering how much we have already given up in the last couple of years.
When Joe Hockey decided to forego $6.5 billion revenue from the mining tax, workers paid a heavy price through his decision to freeze the superannuation guarantee at 9.5% until 2021. Labor had scheduled incremental increases reaching 12% by 2019. This will now happen 6 years later.
The cost of this for someone on $50,000 a year is $7,500 less deposited into their superannuation over the next decade which would compound over a lifetime of work to a significant amount.
The income support bonus and schoolkids bonus will both cease at the end of next year and the low income superannuation co-contribution the year after that.
The low income superannuation contribution gives up to $500 a year to help those earning $37,000 or less save for their retirement.
The schoolkids bonus is a $430 boost to family tax payments for primary school students, and $856 for families with children at high school.
The income support bonus is a payment of $221.20 if you are single, $184.20 if you are partnered, to people who are on benefits.
The Mature Age Worker, Dependent Spouse, and Net Medical Expenses tax offsets have all been phased out.
The proposed increase of the tax free threshold to $19,400 has been canned, costing us an extra $228 in taxation, and the income thresholds used to calculate Medicare levy surcharge and Private health insurance rebate will not be adjusted for three years.
From 1 July 2015, the primary earner income limit for Family Tax Benefit Part B is $100,000 instead of $150,000.
New mothers who receive parental leave benefits from their employers will no longer be able to also collect the government scheme from July 2016
Unemployed under 25-year-olds have to wait four weeks to get the dole.
Add to this the cuts to health and education, fuel levy indexation, proposed changes to university fees, working till we are 70, stagnant wages, and the loss of FttP NBN, and we are a long way behind where we were a couple of years ago.
Getting rid of the carbon tax was supposed to ease our cost of living but all it has done is rob us of about $7 billion a year in revenue.
And now we look like having an extra 5% added to every bill we pay (with the possible exception of fresh food), and 15% added to health and education costs. It kinda makes the GP co-payment look good.
Oh but low income earners are to be compensated.
I wonder how close that compensation will go to making up for all that has been taken from us in the last two years let alone the estimated $2500 (or $4000 according to Curtin University) an increased GST will cost the average family every year.
It’s all very well to suggest that businesses need tax breaks but if their customers have no money to spend, what’s the point?
Instead of trying to squeeze blood from a stone, how about tapping into the rivers of gold flowing to offshore tax havens.
Poor people have it. Rich people need it. If you eat it you die. What is it?