Archive for the ‘Economics’ Category

Media Release: 10th May, 2012: The poor will be with us always?

10/05/2012

Media Release: 10th May, 2012

The poor will be with us always?

The Australian Democrats have welcomed the Federal Budget’s relief for people on middle and lower incomes. However, the Democrats are critical that more of the surplus won’t be used to provide relief for the truly poor both in Australia and abroad.

National President, Darren Churchill, said “We welcome initiatives such as the increase in the tax-free threshold and compensation for the carbon price. However, we’re disappointed that some of the surplus hasn’t been used to provide greater assistance for the genuinely poor and to increase foreign aid.”

“With a predicted $1.5 billion dollar surplus, the Democrats feel more should have been done for the truly disadvantaged.”

“There’s room for increases in Youth Allowance and other welfare payments” Mr Churchill said. “Whilst people relying on Centrelink will benefit from the increased tax-free threshold, these welfare payments really should be indexed to the Poverty Line.

“The government has broken a major election pledge to increase assistance to foreign development. The Democrats are bitterly disappointed – as are those trapped in poverty. A relatively well-off country like Australia can surely afford to contribute more? By deferring its own recently renewed commitment to the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, the government has put in doubt the ability to meet the 2015 targets.

“Australia must act with more compassion toward those in dire poverty.

“The government has broken the undertaking it freely made to the Millennium Development Goals – specifically a higher and rising level of foreign aid. This is unconscionable.

“Countries and people are crippled by drought, famine and war. We have a profound humanitarian obligation to help where we can. Surely we could have coped with a smaller surplus in order to meet such obligations?” Mr Churchill concluded.

DARREN CHURCHILL

National President

darren.churchill@democrats.org.au

Tel: 0412 196 473

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Income Tax Policy: better, simpler, fairer

18/08/2010

MEDIA RELEASE:Election 2010: Wednesday, 18th August 2010

Darren Churchill – Taxation spokesperson

Income Tax Policy: better, simpler, fairer

The Australian Democrats have embraced radical income tax reform with a plan to improve equity simplicity and efficiency.

The party’s tax spokesperson, Darren Churchill of the ACT, has restated his party’s plans in relation to a tax reform whereby low-income earners are not taxed and the tax base is broadened by reforming Fringe Benefits tax and Capital gains Tax.

“We want to make the tax system fair so that people can live more affordably” said Mr Churchill

“The tax-free threshold has remained at $6 000 since the year 2000. This has been despite Australian Democrats calls for it to be increased. We want to increase it to $25 000 by indexing it over time. This would involve the systematic removal of rebates and offsets, making the system fairer and less complex.

“It would mean that eventually a person earning less than $25 000 would pay no income tax.” Mr Churchill continued. “This will make life much easier for casual and part-time workers, as well as for others on low incomes.”

The Australian Democrats are also calling for indexation of income tax thresholds, more equity in the superannuation system by lowering taxes at the lower end of the earning scale and increasing them for the wealthy.

“Our income tax plan means lower effective tax rates for lower and middle income earners, a more efficient system with less loopholes, and removal of the tax traps for people on welfare who work part-time or who are trying to move back to work.” concluded Mr Churchill.

Further comment: Darren Churchill ph. 0412 196 473

(Full copies of the Democrats’ action plan for income tax are available on request)

Income Tax Reform: why not for working families?

06/08/2010

MEDIA RELEASE: Election 2010: Darren Churchill – Taxation spokesperson: Friday, 6th August 2010

Income Tax Reform: why not for working families?

The Australian Democrats announced today a radical income tax reform to improve equity, simplicity and efficiency.

The party’s tax spokesperson, Darren Churchill of the ACT, said those earning less than $25,000 under this plan would not be taxed.

“The tax-free threshold has remained at $6 000 for a decade. It makes no sense to be taking tax from those well below the poverty line then handing it back in rebates, offsets and other welfare.

“This will make life much easier for employers, casual and part-time workers, as well as for others on low incomes.”

The Democrats plan would see the threshold indexed automatically so it maintains its value and people on low incomes don’t keep getting caught in the tax system

The tax base would be broadened by:

•Removing unnecessary tax deductions and concessions such as FBT concessions for company cars and other salary packaging, and negative gearing deductions

•Remove the perverse FBT ‘liability’ rate that diminishes once thresholds are exceeded, encouraging employees to travel more to increase the total number of kilometers travelled each year in their company car

•Reforming capital gains tax so it is highest for speculative gains and lowest for long-term, productive investment

•Closing tax loopholes

•Simplifying the tax system

The Democrats are also calling for more equity in the superannuation system by lowering taxes at the lower end of the earning scale and increasing them for the wealthy.

“The Labor Government says a lot about working families but it has lost its way on promised tax reform for them.”

“Our income tax plan would deliver lower effective tax rates for lower and middle income earners, a more efficient system with less loopholes, and removal of the tax traps for people on welfare who work part-time or who are trying to move back to work.” concluded Mr Churchill

Further comment: Darren Churchill ph. 0412 196 473

(Full copies of the Democrats’ action plan for income tax are available on request)

Media Release 28 May 2008: Budget Mailout a Waste of Money say Democrats

29/05/2008

ACT DEMOCRATS MEDIA RELEASE 28 MAY 2008

Budget Mailout a Waste of Money say Democrats

“The Stanhope government has embarked on a massive self-publicity campaign!” claims ACT Democrats President, Darren Churchill.

ABC News reported yesterday of a massive $35,000 of ACT ratepayers money being spent on a mail-out in an attempt to ‘sell its latest budget to Canberrans.’

“This letterbox campaign has a distinctly familiar feel to it” Mr Churchill said. “The Stanhope Labor government here in the ACT is using ratepayers money to promote it’s own polices, just like the former Howard government did with taxpayers money last year.”

“Isn’t it strange how one majority government behaves in exactly the same way as another did (also in an election year) when it knows that it is on the nose? Surely this money could have been better spent on services in Canberra?” queried Mr Churchill.

“We have schools being forced to close, a bus network that needs upgrading and a water supply system that come summer will be stretched to the limit again. And Mr Stanhope neglects all of that, preferring to spend our money on a publicity stunt. What a waste!

“The Democrats call for greater accountability. We’ll use our numbers, if elected in October, to ensure that the government of the day is accountable. We will make sure that whoever forms the government is kept honest!” declared Mr Churchill

Darren Churchill
ACT Democrats President
darren.churchill@act.democrats.org.au
Tel: 0412 196 473

Media Release: 19-11-2007: Socially Minded Economics

19/11/2007
Bring Back Balance

ACT Democrats 2007

Media Release 19 November 2007

There’s still room for socially minded economics say Democrats

“A third competitor is needed to provide choice in economic policy”, says Australian Democrats candidate for Fraser, Darren Churchill.

 

Articles in the Canberra Times (November 13) and the Sydney Morning Herald (November 17) described the way in which both Liberal and Labor deliberately position themselves close to each other on economic matters and offer an almost identical product, like two ice-cream stalls on a beach locating next to each other for fear of losing customers. The idea is referred to in business and economics as Hotelling’s Law.


A change only comes when a third player enters the market and offers something different.

 

“Both the Liberals and the ALP are bribing people with big tax cuts and big spending. I’m not against tax cuts, but I think they could be implemented more equitably, with those on middle and lower incomes getting them first.”

“Social spending should be put ahead of tax cuts. It has to be a priority. I think the tax cuts could be phased in more slowly. I’d like to see more money for hospitals, schools, renewable energy and energy efficiency, and a national Paid Maternity Leave scheme ahead of any tax cuts’ Mr Churchill said.


“There’s no plan announced for any form of tax indexation, so we can reasonably expect both of the old parties to finance their promises from bracket creep, public sector cutbacks or just make some excuse to break them altogether. Labor has already threatened the public service with a ‘razor gang.’ ”


“We’ve seen all this before. Howard’s 1977 ‘fistful of dollars’ was reneged on in 1978. Then came the Lynch ‘razor gang’ in the 1980s. We saw it again with the public service cuts in the late 90s. This stuff is starting to sound scarily familiar.”


“Both of the old parties have become so conservative, they’ve forgotten the concept of government spending on real social reform. If they are looking for a real way to return a Budget surplus to the taxpayer, let’s have some specific purpose money given to the states and territories for public hospitals, public education (without any nasty conditions), public transport, solutions for affordable housing, energy efficiency and climate change. And let’s have a government funded national Paid Maternity Leave scheme.” said Mr Churchill


“Of course, all this needs to be paid for. So, lets’ slow the implementation of tax cuts, and broaden the tax base by tightening up Capital Gains Tax and Fringe Benefits Tax”

 

“If they want to behave like they’re selling ice-creams, well so be it. But, I want to offer a different flavour!” Mr Churchill declared.

“The Democrats want balance. It has to be fair to the economy, fair on a social level and fair to the environment” concluded Mr Churchill

Darren Churchill

Australian Democrats candidate for Fraser

Darren.Churchill@act.democrats.org.au

0412 196 473