|Issue No 17||11 June 1999|
GST Creeps Dud Battling Workers
The ACTU has released research showing how the Coalition/Democrat GST package leaves ordinary workers much worse off.
ACTU President Jennie George says the 'in principle' agreement on tax reform announced on 28 May between the Democrats and the Government, would hurt ordinary Australian workers.
"The new 10% GST will not boost economic growth, nor create jobs, but will definitely raise prices," she says.
George says the ACTU research shows that the proposed GST income tax scales fail even to compensate for bracket creep for full-time workers earning between $450 and $550 per week.
For example, a tradesperson on award rates requires $15.25pw, just to correct for bracket creep. The proposed GST tax cut for such a worker is $12.23. Under the compromise package, a tradesperson on award rates has nothing at all to compensate for any GST price rises - he or she is $3.02 a week short on income tax cuts before any GST price rises are considered. For a shop assistant, the real tax cut offered is 16 cents a week."
"An adjustment for bracket creep is essential to assessing whether ordinary workers are better off with or without this package," George.says. "That is, to test how much of the proposed GST income tax cut is really left over to compensate for GST inflation after adjusting the income tax scales for wage increases since 1993."
"The compromise package fails that test as clearly as the original Howard/Costello proposal. Virtually all full-time adult workers on less than average weekly earnings will be worse off under the compromise package, even on the Democrats claimed GST price effects. So too will most young and part-time workers."
"All the hue and cry over compensation for 'losers' under the package distracts attention from the main game - which is jobs and living standards after all - and the compromise package will not deliver better results on either score. For the vast majority of Australians, there is no upside from the proposed package."
"High income groups will gain and ordinary workers will lose under this package."
Interview: Class Consciousness
Long-time ALP member Michael Thomson has thrown a few grenades with a new book arguing that middle class trendies have taken over the ALP.
Legal: Reith¹s AWAs Dealt a Blow
ASU v Electrix rules that AWAs can't be a take it or leave it proposition.
Unions: Survey Misses the Point
Last week's attempt by the Australian newspaper to rank trade unions contained some fundamental flaws.
History: The Light on the Hill
Fifty years after his seminal address, Ben Chifley's words still ring true -- and still challenges Labor.
International: Child Labour: Kerala’s Recipe
Of India’s 55 million slave children, not one is to be found in the state of Kerala, in the south of the sub-continent.
Review: Bazza Mckenzie Holds His Own
Tony Moore on perhaps the greatest Australian movie ever made.
Women: Equal Pay - We've Come A Long Way
Thirty years have passed since women around Australia raised their fists in victory at the Commonwealth Conciliation and Arbitration Commission's historic equal pay for equal work decision.
Activists: Throwing Off the Chains
Thirty years ago, Zelda D'Aprano was so incensed by the lack of progress in achieving pay parity that she twice chained herself to public buildings in Melbourne.
Labour Review: What's New at the Information Centre
View the latest issue of Labour Review, a summary of industrial news for trade unions.
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Last Modified: 15 Nov 2005