Debunking some of the myths in the great tax debate

by John Daley

Opening statement by Grattan CEO John Daley to the Senate Economics Legislation Committee Inquiry into the Treasury Laws Amendment (Personal Income Tax Plan) Bill 2018, Wednesday 6 June

The debate about the Turnbull Government’s proposed personal income tax cuts is dominated by myths. It’s a myth that bracket creep hurts high-income earners more than middle-income earners. It’s a myth that the tax system is ‘hitting the top’ just because more people are in a high tax bracket. It’s a myth that tax cuts are inherently ‘unfair’ just because they are bigger for high-income earners than low-income earners. And it’s a myth that Australia’s high top marginal tax rates materially affect people’s decisions about whether to work more or to live in Australia. In his opening statement to a Senate committee inquiry into the tax plan, Grattan CEO John Daley urged MPs not to play on these myths but instead to face facts and be honest with voters.