In March, the Business Council of Australia released a letter signed by 10 senior executives saying the tax plan was “urgent and vital” for keeping Australia competitive.
The irony is that five of the companies who were represented in the letter paid no tax in 2015-16. Legally.
Whilst a rate of 30% is at the higher end of the scale, the average rate of corporate tax in Australia is much lower at 17% and the effective rate (ie the average rate at which pre-tax profits are actually taxed) is lower again at 10.4%.
The real problem facing this country is not company profits – they are at record highs. The issues holding us back are wage stagnation and inadequate welfare. Households have dangerously high debt levels, energy prices continue to soar, and housing is unaffordable where the jobs are.
In a speech to the National Press Club, even Deloitte economist Chris Richardson, a man the government often quotes, said that fixing “unnecessarily cruel” dole payments is a more urgent priority than budget repair.
The BCA agrees, or at least they used to. In May 2013, Jennifer Westacott called for an urgent review of the Newstart payment, arguing the payments must be increased to avoid trapping jobseekers in entrenched disadvantage.