Monday, 05 Dec 2022

Stage-three tax cuts condemned as unconscionable as Acoss report shows extent of poverty

Stage-three tax cuts condemned as unconscionable as Acoss report shows extent of poverty


Stage-three tax cuts condemned as unconscionable as Acoss report shows extent of poverty

Social service groups say it would be "unconscionable" for the Albanese government to proceed with the stage-three tax cuts, as new research shows one in eight Australians lives in poverty.

A report from the University of New South Wales and the Australian Council of Social Service (Acoss) says about 3.3 million people were living in poverty in the first year of the pandemic, including 761,000 children.

It says poverty levels fell to a 17-year low after the boost to welfare payments during Covid-19, but experts believe poverty likely rose above pre-pandemic levels when the extra support was withdrawn.

The research comes as the government faces calls to shield those on low incomes from the cost of living crisis in the October budget. It is also considering the future of the stage three tax cuts, which disproportionately benefit higher income earners.

Cassandra Goldie, the chief executive of Acoss, said poverty levels in Australia should be a "source of great shame".

But the report also showed poverty could be significantly reduced through government choices.

"Those stage-three tax cuts are unconscionable in the scale and the way they overwhelmingly benefit people on the highest incomes in the country and overwhelmingly go to the highest income men," Goldie said.

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