When Scott Morrison was on the election trail the main – alright, only – thing he kept promising was that there would be a slew of tax cuts for all Australians starting this very year.
That last bit was abruptly cancelled when it became clear that he’d chosen an election date that would make it far too late for parliament to resume and pass said tax cuts before the end of the financial year.
Which… which he might have have known before calling the election, since he chose the date?
Anyway: the tax cuts aren’t coming this year, but the plan is to legislate them as soon as parliament sits. Except that there are a few issues.
One is that Labor support the first two tranches of them but not the third, which just so happens to be the bit that gives huge financial reward to the already-rich folks making $180,000+ a year. Are you making $180k a year? Yeah, neither are we.
Also, the government needs four of the six cross benchers to get it through the senate if Labor and the Greens oppose it, and both Centre Alliance and One Nation have announced their support is dependent on their demands being met.
But there’s another wrinkle thanks to an analysis by the Australia Institute, and it’s that the third stage of the tax cuts are not only skewed to benefit the rich, but more specifically the rich who also have penises.
In fact, dudes will get a sweet, sweet $11bn in income tax cuts, while dames get $6bn. Which, you might notice, is a lot less.
It’s mainly because men are, on average, wealthier than women in Australia. And the reason is something which we all know about: the gender pay gap, aka Women Have To Choose If They Make Babies Or Take A Career-Hindering Break In Their Most Crucial Professional Years.
At the moment the government are refusing to negotiate (except they are) or to break the legislation up, forcing Labor to either reject the whole lot or pass the first bits that they like and hope like hell they’ll be in power to repeal the that doesn’t kick in until mid-2022, at which point there’ll have been at least one more federal election.
Also, let’s be honest: given that tax funds the stuff Australia needs – health, education, defence, that sort of thing – shouldn’t we be using that money to improve it all and letting being rich be its own reward?
$180k a year is already wildly loaded compared with most Australians (the median income is around $55k a year), so it seems super-weird to give those big earners more as a prize for already having too much. We can do better things with that money, surely?