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South Australians asked the $65 billion question

As South Australian federal politicians find themselves in the vortex of the political battle over the proposed company tax cuts, a public forum hosted by The Australia Institute in Adelaide asks ‘How would you spend $65 billion?’.

Dr Janine Dixon from the Centre of Policy Studies at Victoria University and SACOSS CEO Ross Womersley, will join Australia Institute Executive Director Ben Oquist at the Wheatsheaf Hotel in Adelaide from 6.30pm-7.30pm tonight.

The panel will also discuss the impact of the tax cut on the South Australian economy.

Adelaide is not home to any of the four big banks, which stand to reap $9.5 billion from the tax cut.

“The vital services and government investments in South Australia are put at risk by this fiscally reckless, permanent cut to Australia’s revenue base,” Ben Oquist said.

“Economists don’t always agree, but if there is one universal law of economics it is opportunity costs. A $65 billion dollar gift to business will come from somewhere else, and South Australians are right to ask if there is something else they would prefer the government prioritise.

“South Australians are aware of the need for a strong, sustainable and fair tax system in order to support the quality services and the quality of life that Australians deserve,” Oquist said.

SACOSS CEO Ross Womersley will tonight argue that instead of tax cuts for the wealthy, we should help South Australia's poorest and most vulnerable - people who are homeless, the unemployed and those living on student income support payments.

“If Australia can find a spare $65 billion, we should invest in housing affordability, as well as boost unemployment and student income support payments," said Ross Womersley.

“The Newstart Allowance hasn’t gone up in almost a quarter of a century!"

"It is now $174 per week below the pension for a single person.”

“Could you live on $274 per week? Instead of a $65 billion hand-out to big business and to the wealthiest Australians, let’s do the decent thing and make sure no-one is left behind so that everyone can afford the basics of housing, meals, health, transport and home energy bills.”

Published Date: 
Tuesday, 24 April 2018