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Buffett Tax, deficit levy and undoing top-end tax cuts a fairer way to raise revenue

Media Release
Peter Whish-Wilson 11 May 2017

Greens Treasury spokesperson, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, is calling on the Parliament to implement a Buffett Rule to make sure that executive fat cats don’t rort the tax rules so they pay less than the average wage earner.

Senator Whish-Wilson said, “If we were to make the deficit levy permanent and were to undo the $315 tax cut to the top 20% of income earners we would have a much more progressive income tax system and raise almost three-quarters of the amount that a flat increase to the Medicare Levy would raise.

“If Parliament was to consider a Buffett Rule alone, we could raise 90% of the funds that would come from an increase to the Medicare Levy.

“We are working with the PBO to model different scenarios, taking in various aspects of these three policies, to inform us for the debate about the Medicare Levy rise. Undoubtedly we need to raise more revenue but also we have to make sure that we keep a progressive income tax system where the people at the top can’t use accounting tricks to stop paying their fair share.

“Bill Shorten will tonight call on the Government to make the Deficit Levy permanent but when the Greens sought to amend the Act back in 2014, Labor voted it down.

“Apparently Labor has seen how well adopting Green’s policies has gone for the Government and now they want to get in on the act.

“When the rubber hit the road, Labor blew that chance to improve equality in Australia. And when the Liberals sought to give top-end earners a $315 tax cut last year, Bill Shorten again voted with the Government.

“Labor members want a Buffett Rule, the public want a Buffett Rule. Everyone is sick of hearing about the people earning millions each year not having to pay a cent in tax. This policy is one of the best tools we have at our disposal to address the growing inequality in Australia,” he concluded.

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