Uniting Communities has welcomed the release today of the Commonwealth Government’s discussion paper, inviting public debate about taxation.

“We certainly hope that this debate will be one that actively involves a very wide range of community interests, and does not descend into self interested groups shouting about their own self interest,” said Mark Henley, Manager of Advocacy and Communications.

Uniting Communities is outlining 6 principles for an informed tax debate that we hope will be used to openly consider tax reform proposals; with all tax proposals needing to be tested against the following criteria:

1. Is the proposal fair? Meaning that lower income individuals and families don’t pay an increased proportion of their income in tax, nor do future generations bear the burden of the present; economically, socially or environmentally.

2. Is the proposal efficient? Meaning that the cost of collecting the tax is a small proportion of the amount of tax collected.

3. Does the proposal contribute to a level of tax collection that is adequate to meet reasonable responsibilities of Government?

4. Have the experiences and opinions of lower and middle income households been actively sought and included in considering a tax change?

5. Have likely impacts on ‘winners and losers’ of a proposal been carefully tested and publicly debated?

6. Does the proposal contribute to “Inclusive Prosperity” with the wealth creation of the market supporting redistribution of wealth so that there are as many ‘winners’ as possible?

“Governments need to raise enough revenue to fund the services, infrastructure and supports that are central to the well-being of our nation without placing an unreasonable tax burden on households. It is through the lens of balancing these priorities that Uniting Communities will be participating in the tax review,” said Mr Henley, echoing comments made by UnitingCare Australia National Director, Lin Hatfield Dodds.