Should Wealthy People Be on a Version of The "Cashless Welfare Card"

The GST is not proportional to income. Very poor people pay the same amount as very wealthy.

If multi-millionaires and even wealthier were forced to use a cashless card they could be charged a higher more proportionate amount of GST.

I also feel that many businesses would relish charging a millionaire $20 for a carton of milk.

I also feel that the super-rich would call in their corporate army to burn the place down if somebody tried to implement it(but that's just the cynic in me).

Just on the merit of whether GST should be proportionate to income, should the uber rich be on a higher rate of gst with a special shopping card?
(ps don't say this is just one of their fancy exclusive credit cards)

Poll Options

  • 4
    Proportionate GST no card
  • 19
    Proportionate GST card
  • 614
    Same GST

closed Comments

  • +4

    Ah, good ol aussie tall poppy syndrome :)

    dam those rich people for working hard and actually making something of their lives

    • +1

      Just because someone is rich, does not mean they work hard.

  • urrgghh, is this one of those complaints where the OP also thinks if they cross an income tax bracket (if they've ever paid a cent of that to begin with?) they suddenly think it's Y-cents on every dollar from zero rather than from the step amount?

  • +1

    Forget about the uber millionaires. Even for workaday mob, I sometimes think, there are a few sections in the society that pay considerably more tax than the others. For which :
    There should be a different lane on Australian roads for higher tax payers.
    The water supplied to higher tax payers should be more purified. The power lines be of better quality.
    Police and emergency responders should give them higher preference.
    Medicare should give them higher preference.
    Only fair that the more you pay, the more you should get ?

  • +1

    This wouldn't work. Rich people don't buy much stuff. eg Their business will buy a new Ferrari (ex GST), and they will "borrow" the work vehicle when they need to drive somewhere.

  • GST was John Howard’s never ever tax . It was never ever designed to hit the rich as hard as it does the poor
    The rich are the traditional Liberal voters
    The poor are the traditional Labor voters
    How goods a Straya !

  • +18

    I've been poor.

    I studied at University racking up hundreds of thousands in debt in order to get to where I am. How did I survive? I ran a tutoring company that was successful enough for me to pay off the a partial amount of my university fees after the government post graduate HELP fee was exhausted.
    - I used to work hours on end on airtasker trying to earn scrap money here and there where I could fill up my free time.
    - I also held many part time jobs. In fact, throughout Uni, I had a total of 8 different casual roles, where I would spend Christmas and new years working full time.
    - This attitude was instilled from a young age, where I used to work public holidays in hospitality for $7.50/hr in senior high school years - the day I got my ATAR (which I was stoked with) I worked 11 hours for $11/hr at a cafe.

    So yes, I know what it's like to be poor and hustle my arse off. I didn't receive youth allowance for majority of that time because it isn't sufficient to pay off my debts, so I had to earn beyond the allowance threshold (and get the privilege of contributing to tax), thus precluding me from receiving any welfare.

    On my first week at work, I was down to my last $30 - enough to pay for lunch and parking. I got my first pay-check after that week and never looked back. I've worked hard to be where I am now with a comfortable living, although am by no means rich. But at least my perspective isn't one of unjust entitlement.

    So OP, in response to your post, no. Our progressive tax bracket is more than socialist enough. If I earn $10 (and pay $4 in tax) and you earn $2 (and pay nothing in tax), don't tell me that my $1.50 tax rebate is unfair. Piss off with your entitled attitude, pick up your slack, and grind. I didn't get a free ride, and you have no right to my hard work just because you want it.

    • +5

      Good for you. (Not being sarcastic). But where did you live during this time? Did you pay rent? How did you pay for internet to spend hours on airtasker? Did you receive any assistance at all? Did someone drive you work/school?

      The reality is not everyone is on equal playing field. Just because you could do it does not mean everyone can. Some people have better opportunities than others.

      • +6

        I was fortunate enough to live at home (renting is not an excuse. I have many friends in my predicament who rented throughout their uni years and struggled even harder, and are now reaping the benefits of investing in themselves). I did not receive welfare from the government (I worked too many hours, didn't qualify for YA) or my parents. We were frugal.
        I walked to a public high school, PT to uni (1.5 hrs one way). Airtasker was done so on my mobile, relatively inexpensive given my bill was cheap.

        No not everyone is on the same level playing field - but using an intersectionality idea in socioeconomics is equally flawed at its core because who is to determine how any particular factor/trait is more/less disadvantaging? (I used to get bullied to the point that I would no longer answer questions in class because some idiots threw things at me for "knowing things". Does that mean I am now more disadvantaged than the kid whose parents were separated but rich? Or separated but poor, but still had great childhoods?). I fought for my opportunities - it wasn't handed to me on a silver platter or any platter.

        That can of worms aside, the insinuation that just because one is at a particular social level renders them entitled to more than what is currently already offered is utter nonsense. Me bringing up my experience were to demonstrate that moving between the socioeconomic classes is not impossible - in fact it's literally how the system works. Rich people on the large scale do not necessarily stay rich (although by virtue of them getting there in the first place, they may posses qualities that gear them in getting to that position) and vice versa. And certainly a lot more rewarding than sitting on my arse complaining that the government doesn't feed me enough $$$. Not only was I in a financially disadvantaged position, I chose to grind and not receive any welfare. Invested in myself and have now jumped several rungs on the economic ladder. How the hell else would anyone do it?

        • +2

          You’re making assumptions. You don’t know for sure that your uni friends were doing it tough you don’t what know what supports they were receiving to help them. Even you claim that you were doing it tough when you had a place to stay and food in your belly. Supports come in many forms you had better opportunities and supports clearly in a better position than others. Perhaps you got lucky getting your casual jobs they could have just as easily gone to someone else. In saying that I don’t doubt that your situation was tough..

          How does a homeless person change their opportunities? Or Someone who has escaped domestic violence or abuse? Or Someone who has a cognitive or physical disability especially when these people are judged so harshly by society.

          • +2

            @DisabledUser182271: Decisions have consequences and this is something that needs to be instilled in people from young. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t help the homeless and those who were abused, but people need to take ownership of their bad decisions and not pretend that life was extra worse for them.

            Most people in Australia are not homeless and have food in their belly. Literally all the homeless people I’ve met (over 14) in Australia manage to get 2-3 solid meals per day.

            I don’t think that the current welfare payments are sufficient and I agree Newstart system is quite flawed. Yes we can do more to improve things. The OP’s suggestion is far from it.

            • +1

              @Laurana: I don’t agree with the ops suggestions either. However I do think things can be improved.

              Decisions have outcomes not consequences. Not all “good”decisions will produce “good” outcomes. The same can be said for “bad” decisions.

              Yes people make bad decisions and they can learn from them I also believe we should help them learn. Not all situations are so simple.

              For example, 1 job position is available 2 people apply, both are equally qualified. both have similar experience. Only one can get the job. One outcome will be “good”and the other “bad”
              Even though both made good decisions. One prospers the other may struggle to find work for a period time through no fault of their.

              • +1

                @DisabledUser182271: Of course. Not disagreeing with this. Luck does play a part in everyone’s life at some point or another. But normally good decisions lead to good outcomes.

      • Some people do not have the best opportunities. Your comment is very very valid. So, sacrifice now, and make your opportunities. At the very minimum those who do can look back with pride on what they have achieved.

    • -3

      Cool story bro

    • It is very encouraging for teenagers.

    • +2

      Well Said. My children are currently in their first years at Uni. They get to live at home for free and eat for free. So they are very lucky compared to many. But everything else I make them pay their own way. like you, they too have a couple jobs including tutoring and other jobs to keep them going while studying. It makes them learn to work hard, and appreciate what they have, while thinking twice about their spending habits.

      I work hard now so that in the future, when why children have learnt restraint, the value of hard work & responsability, then I can pass on to them twhat I have which is excess to my requirements. Then hopefully they do the same for the next generation.

  • +1

    Such tall poppy syndrome. People work hard their whole lives to get somewhere in life.

  • It would not solve the problem. The wealthy people uses entities to buy stuff. When a company pay more GST, they get more input tax credit. It would be even a bigger win for the wealthy.

  • Basically you want a sliding scale but that does not work either , If you want that maybe you want us to look at reducing GST on essential items that every household needs and increase it on non essential items with the more luxurious being taxed higher… Hang on we had that and it didn't work, Prior to the GST we had a tax rate for example of 22% on Technology, but it wasn't really a luxury (spoiler a Mobile Phone is not a necessity and would be classed as technology even though it is used by most people same as a TV).

    What about the people coming here on holiday (or those taking cash jobs) basically they would pay no GST as they would be seen as no income and hence could bypass all GST making everyone else (including low income earners) pay more GST to make up the difference. They could even buy stuff and resell OS and make a killing from it.

    Income tax is the method to Tax the different classes and yes its not perfect but it better then having an income based GST
    Can you imagine if we went this way ..would it be Individual based or household based? Do you get a waiver for how many people live in your home? what if you rent with People?

    One example i can give right now is my neighbour she and her husband work their butts off to make an income 6 days a week each BUT they do so as they have to pay a Bank Loan for their house, They have to look after their elderly mother who now lives with them as a nursing home wasn't an option. Plus they still have a daughter living at home with 2 kids. Should they be taxed more just because they would possible be in a higher income bracket then someone who live with their parents with no real expenses.

    This is why Income tax is better as it can take these into account as it done yearly, imagine someone loses their job does the "sliding GST" reduce straight away or does it wait a year?, a Month? or a quarter? as that can be a huge burden if you are unemployed and paying extra. Do they get a refund if their income changes during the year and income goes down and have to pay more if it goes up?

  • An even greater concern is the flattening of the variable income tax scale where the rich will gain an absolute windfall. How will this shortfall in tax from the rich be made up? Increase the GST to 15% for everyone, of course. So reduce tax for the rich and take it from the poor. Robin Hood in reverse.

  • Yes rich people pay the same tax rate, but they do pay a lot more in $$$ than you OP

  • Suddenly rich people start paying in cash

  • +1

    I don’t agree with the upcoming tax cuts and do think their could be slightly higher taxes or an extra bracket introduced, but progressive GST as suggested here is ridiculous.

    I’m assuming this is a troll thread regardless.

    • +1

      There wont be any upcoming tax cuts. In fact due to the virus, our tax system will be MORE progressive.

      Phase one saw the Low and Middle Income Tax Offset come into effect, which does nothing for the higher income earners
      Phase 3 is when the higher income earners would see relief, but with the virus that wont happen, in fact they will likely increase it further.

      What they need to do is decrease tax loopholes (for e.g. negative gearing), and from the money saved/raised here lower income tax for all. Australia relies way to heavily on income tax compared to other OECD countries.

  • +2

    GST is a consumption tax. If you buy more you pay more. Generally wealthy people consume more therefore they pay more GST than poorer people. I think that is a fair system.

  • +1

    I like the way Australia has turned out. Don't fix a system that ain't broke, just look at the USA. It had many problems before but it wasn't as broken as it has been since Trump decided to purge and marginalize all oversight.

    If Australia regresses to the same as the USA, I shudder to think of how much poverty we'll be in. Not only financial but social and cultural poverty.

  • Everyone rich-average-poor should pay the same tax on earnings the system we have now discourages hard work and encourages bludgers

  • +1

    …Are you mental?

  • +1

    Yeah, they worked hard for their money. It wouldn't be fair, albeit I'm currently at the bottom rung of society.

  • lol

  • +1

    Look, I know Bernie got shafted again but this isn’t the way to handle it.

  • +1

    I am all for taxing the rich more and getting rid of all the loopholes (I would definitely pay more under any of my ideas). But from all the ideas that are out there on how to accomplish this… GST based on income must be one of the worst ones I have ever heard of.

    There are so many good ideas out there but this kind of thinking just alienates everybody else. Can you please not help?

    • But look, you managed to unite everybody.

      I am calling it, new account Russian troll. Hi Boris.

  • +5

    Poor and rich shouldn't be treated differently. Most of us were born the same with no silver spoon. We then made life choices and now we live with it. Right now in this country a generation of migrants who came to this country with a suitcase and knowing no English are retiring on multi million dollar asset portfolios. Anyone born in this country should be ashamed if they are asking for handouts and crying poor considering what those migrants had to overcome. Lie in that grave you dug.

  • +3

    Smells like socialism.

  • GST is regressive in nature, but i don't think someone earning more money for same goods or services.

    They already get penalised once given the progressive tax rate. It's over the top if they need to be double wammied.

  • +1

    OP, stop being jealous of wealthier people.

    GST Or equivalent needs to be equal for all.

  • I mean, maybe…. but we would probably have to scrap income tax….

  • +5

    Each and every day, 10 men go to a restaurant for dinner together. The bill for all 10 comes to $100 each day. If the bill were paid the way we pay our taxes, the first four would pay nothing; the fifth would pay $1; the sixth would pay $3; the seventh $7; the eighth $12; the ninth $18. The 10th man – the richest – would pay $59. Although the 10 men didn't share the bill equally, they all seemed content enough with the arrangement – until the restaurant owner threw them a curve.

    "You're all very good customers," the owner said, "so I'm going to reduce the cost of your daily meal by $20. I'm going to charge you just $80 in total." The 10 men looked at each other and seemed genuinely surprised, but quite happy about the news.

    The first four men, of course, are unaffected because they weren't paying anything for their meals anyway. They'll still eat for free. The big question is how to divvy up the $20 in savings among the remaining six in a way that's fair for each of them. They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33, but if they subtract that amount from each person's share, then the fifth and sixth men would end up being paid to eat their meals. The restaurant owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each person's bill by roughly the same percentage, and he proceeded to work out the amounts that each should pay.

    The results? The fifth man paid nothing, the sixth pitched in $2, the seventh paid $5, the eighth paid $9, the ninth paid $14, leaving the 10th man with a bill of $50 instead of $59. Outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings. "I only got one dollar out of the $20," said the sixth man, pointing to the 10th man, "and he got $9!" "Yeah, that's right," exclaimed the fifth man. "I only saved a dollar, too! It's not fair that he got nine times more than me!" "That's true," shouted the seventh man. "Why should he get back $9 when I only got $2? The rich get all the breaks!" "Wait a minute," yelled the first four men in unison. "We didn't get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!"

    The nine outraged men surrounded the 10th and brutally assaulted him. The next day, he didn't show up for dinner, so the nine sat down and ate without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they faced a problem that they hadn't faced before. They were $50 short.

    • -3

      You can also write it the other way… 10 men win 100$, one of them gets 59$. Eventually, they kill the guy.

      This has been the fight for thousands of years now, and this has been the dilemma for a lot of rich people, how much can they get without everybody else rising up and killing them (a thing that happened again and again and again). Eventually, they forget about it and they get killed. C'est la vie !!!

      • +1

        But is the government handing out cash and giving 1 person $59?
        This thread is about the rich already paying more tax than the poor but OP feel the GST is regressive because the rich pay a smaller proportion of their income in GST than the poor.

        This story is played out in real life.
        For example, the poor cry out that we should tax the rich companies more. As a consequence, the rich companies move their HQ to tax havens and thus Australia gets very little tax out of them.

        Disclosure - I'm not rich. I also don't own any businesses (other than shares in my superannuation account).

        • The GST part is out of the question, it is a very dumb way of implementing anything. You did not mention any GST at all, you only talked about income tax, why do I have to mention it?

          You told a nice story about how the poor rich pay more taxes…. I told a nice story about how they also earn the most money too (by far, it is not even the 1/9 ratio that you talked about).

          The big companies should pay more, fine, move your HQ in tax havens, tax Google for all the ad sense money that goes out of the country… That is a lot more than any jobs they pay here. Why is the money going to Singapore when you pay for ad sense? What are they going to do? Not sell ad sense in Australia?

          How about Netflix, why is Netflix getting away with not paying any taxes in Australia because of tax havens when local companies have to pay it? What are they going to do? not have Netflix in Australia?

          How about tax them and give them some tax breaks if they create jobs here.

        • Also, can you give me 1 example when your "true" story happened? I call bullshit on that. Atlas shrugged is not real life, you know that right?

          Let me give you examples when my story happened: most of the revolutions in the world. On all continents. Did they usually end up ok? No, but that is a story for another night.

        • For example, the poor cry out that we should tax the rich companies more. As a consequence, the rich companies move their HQ to tax havens and thus Australia gets very little tax out of them.

          I'm neither rich nor poor, and very anti-socialist.

          With that said, I do believe that rich companies should be taxed. But it needs to be a concerted effort across the world to prevent the shifting of profit.


          Neglecting to provide people with the necessities that they need prevents them from "fishing" on their own. There's that saying, "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." Or another analogy: if you don't give a builder his/her tools, how can s/he build a house?

          Besides, let's say you own a nice $2m property in a nice area. Do you want to see increasing numbers of homeless people sleeping outside in front? What about petty crime? How would that affect the market value of the property and area? What about under-resourced local hospitals?

          Lastly, what do you think about the falling education standards of Australian schools and universities? Where would, and should, we get funding from?

          Note: I do not believe in the "redistribution" of wealth per se. You work it, you earn it, you deserve it. And there should be enough breaks to incentivise people to work. This is about getting large multinational companies to pay their fair share of taxes. I don't want the government only coming after the easier targets (individuals and small businesses) to raise their tax revenues.

      • +5

        10 men win 100$
        how much can they get

        That's the problem with socialist.

        You people don't know what others have to go through to earn what they have. Your money, albeit little, comes easy so you assume those who have a lot got it easy too.

        We earn our just rewards.

        Socialist justify how to get someone elses'.

        • First, I lived under socialism… did you? I bet not so please do not lecture "you people" about it.

          I will probably be paying more dude, I will definitely not get money from you, relax. But people should not be poor, I want to be able to walk on the street without somebody robbing me, nobody should be coming into my house to steal my shit. My kid should not be beaten or kidnapped to get money from me.

          Or do you think Australians are too civilized to do that? they are not, the risk to steal somebody's phone is too great here. In other countries people will eat for 2 months with the price on an iPhone, here I earn that in a couple of days. It makes no sense here to steal stuff because of that. it is not because of "civilization". Everything is social-economic. Try being civilized with an empty stomach. If my kid would be dying of hunger I will be coming for you, my morals are out of the window then.

          That is why I want people not to be poor, because it makes sense for me.

          • +7

            @misu p:

            First, I lived under socialism… did you? I bet not

            I sure did not because it is a system for degenerates. It seems you don't want to stay in wherever you came from but you want the current place you live in to turn into your country of origin?

            Why don't just move back?

            I will probably be paying more dude

            Lol. The only person that believes that is you.

            My kid should not be beaten or kidnapped to get money from me.

            So why are you directing these people to take money from me? That's just some messed up shit…

            That is why I want people not to be poor, because it makes sense for me.

            So give them your money.

            • +1


              So why are you directing these people to take money from me?

              Do you own a large corporation?

              Or what do you mean by "me"?

  • +2

    You mean like a kind of income tax? Why didn't anyone else think of that………

    • And how about this thought… We could also give welfare to people based on their income and assets so the rich don't get anything but the poor and needy do.

  • So OP is a 20 y/o who grow up in America but hates Australian business practices, tax system and welfare system…

    Might as well go full in and say you hate our healthcare system too lol

  • Everyone pays a tax that's proportionate to their income. It's called income tax, and the "wealthy" are already paying this apropos their income.

    GST is a tax on goods and services, which is a certain amount that needs to be paid to avail a very specific set of service(s) or good(s). I suggest you understand the meaning of something before proposing radical changes to something important, like the taxation system.

    From the crux of your post, it looks like you don't like the fact that someone is rich, and want them to pay their money off by way of various taxes. I suggest that you instead get rich by working hard and smart.

    • -3

      People don’t get rich by working hard. They get rich by exploiting others. Even if you earn $100 and hour and worked 10hrs a day, 5 days a week and never spent any of it. It would take 4 Millennia to make $1 billion. People always say work hard, but what does that even mean? Does a person in a factory who works 8 hours a day for minimum wage work any less hard than a person who sits behind a desk. Does a woman working exactly the same job as a man work any less hard yet she’s likely to get paid less. People say anybody can be rich but as the system currently stands it’s not true.

      The system requires a certain level of unemployment to function without excessive inflation. These unemployed are then vilified for being there, people assume that everyone on the dole must be a bludger. Contrary to popular opinion people don’t choose to be poor. Not everyone can be or is smart enough to get a degree or a high paying job.

      I don’t agree with the ops suggestion, it Cleary isn’t practical or thought out.

      • I would say working smart is more important than working hard.
        Eg. Inventing a popular iphone app will get you to $1mil quicker than selling your labour for $100p/h

      • +3

        People don’t get rich by working hard…

        You don't get rich through hard work alone but it is a prerequisite for those making their own fortune.

        Someone slacking off in school and in their youth doesn't suddenly necessarily get to be rich by working hard later in life.

        For example, I spent my childhood studying and acing exams. Someone else played the class clown. Sure, they may be toiling all day for less than what I get but I have sacrificed my youth and made my investments.

        Does a woman working exactly the same job as a man work any less hard yet she’s likely to get paid less.

        Show me someone getting equal results and getting paid less, I'll hire them.

        • Opportunity and luck plays a bigger part in success than intelligence does. Yes hard work and “smarts” play a role in maintaining it. But getting there takes opportunity and not every gets that.

          • @DisabledUser182271: So because some arbitrary percentage of people have what you consider to be luck, their wealth somehow shouldn't belong to them?

            • +1

              @tshow: I never said that.

              Would you rather a society where the unemployed or poor have no choice but to take what they need? Do you not use public services? How many people have you stepped on to climb up on your pedestal?

              People like you complain about “handouts”, but you’d be first in line if your wealth suddenly disappeared.

              • +3


                Would you rather a society where the unemployed or poor have no choice but to take what they need?

                Nothing to do with me.

                Do you not use public services?

                I pay significantly disproportionately more than the average Australian in taxes and use minimal services.

                How many people have you stepped on to climb up on your pedestal?

                None. Never been on Centrelink nor qualified for any concessions.

                People like you complain about “handouts”, but you’d be first in line if your wealth suddenly disappeared.

                Nope. My wealth doesn't suddenly disappear as I am well diversified, both in industry and in geography. Also, I am skilled so I can just get a job as one of many essential jobs ("coincidentally", that's how I made my wealth.)

                • @tshow: So you don’t use public roads, public footpaths, public parks, public beaches, public swimming pools, public libraries? If your house is on fire are you going to fan out flames with your wealth or call the fire department? If someone breaks in to your house and steals your stuff are you going to call the police force? If you come down with some rare illness or disease or get injured in some way and you end up crippled and unable to work who will you turn too?

                  • +1


                    So you don’t use public roads, public footpaths, public parks, public beaches, public swimming pools, public libraries? If your house is on fire are you going to fan out flames with your wealth or call the fire department? If someone breaks in to your house and steals your stuff are you going to call the police force?

                    I use the natural monopolies. Also, I paid for them, significantly more in proportion than the average person might I add.

                    I also use air. I feel like somehow you may use this to justify something.

                    I mean, I would not use any of those things I had the option to not pay taxes. I can use that money to just have a helicopter as my daily.

                    If you come down with some rare illness or disease or get injured in some way and you end up crippled and unable to work who will you turn too?

                    A doctor. My savings.

                    • -3

                      @tshow: Privileged and out of touch too.I bet if you had your way you’d have every disabled person euthanised as they are nothing but a burden on resources. You seem to assume everyone that is doing it tough are bludgers. I wonder how many of the “bludgers” use your product/services. Are you happy to let people die so you can keep your precious money?

                      I bet your motto is "Qu'ils mangent de la brioche".

                      • @DisabledUser182271:

                        I bet if you had your way you’d have every disabled person euthanised

                        My entire principle consistently does not involve others. Yours is one that consistently requires the judgement of others.

                        I wonder which capitalist regime warranted the death of the infirm?

                        I wonder which socialist regimes warranted the death of the infirm?


                        Are you happy to let people die so you can keep your precious money?

                        I'm not letting anyone die. I don't have the power to allow or prohibit someone else's death.

                        Again, mine does not involve others.

                        • +1

                          @tshow: Everything you do involves others you benefit from the taxation as much as anyone else does. Medications on the PBS for example. You and/or business use the roads. The police force who deters/catches criminals. The court system who punishes. The jails who hold these criminals. Then if you have money in shares those companies also use the public services like roads to fund their business to raise the share price. Of which you benefit then if you have franking credits you get paid for them too. Then if you own investment property you can negatively gear it. There’s probably more too.

                          You Cleary don’t know the difference between communism, socialism and totalitarianism.

                          You’re so quick to tell people to go to communist/socialist country. Perhaps you could go offer your services to the Bahamas or something and enjoy low or no tax.

                          • @DisabledUser182271: I'm happy where I am, with what I have.

                            Why would I move?

                            It is you who want to take from people like me.

                            Funny thing is, you make us out to be the bad guys because we aren't serving it up on a silver plater for you.

                            • @tshow: I’m sure you’re very happy. Until the corporations bigger than you start syphoning your Wealth. What happens when you can’t suck money from the poor. You’re so against socialism but you’re happy with the feudalism we have now. So instead of the people owning their lives you rather the corporations do.

                              -Mantez out.

                              • @DisabledUser182271:

                                feudalism we have now.

                                Hahahahaha. Wow. That's… Wow.

                                I'm not sure how one actually argues against make belief so I'm glad you're out.

                                I would have lost the battle of making shit up.

        • Someone else played the class clown.

          LOL Reminds me a joke,
          Mr B (The teacher): "Hey Ruslan, I met your dad last night at parent teacher interviews"
          Ruslan: "But my dad didn't come to parent teacher interviews, my mum came"
          Mr B: Oh… My bad.

          So moral of the story is you can be the class clown and still be pretty successful.

      • +2


        It’s not just about working hard, but working smart.

        Also the gender pay gap isn’t real.

  • The taxation and welfare systems are already adjusted to individuals based on their income and assets via other taxes, such as income tax, medicare levy and increase/reduction/eligibility for welfare. GST is a "Goods and Services Tax", not a tax dependent upon income or assets, nor would it ever make any sense for it to be.

    I think there may be a fundamental misunderstanding of what GST is.

  • +10

    I have not commented on any thread for a long time (maybe never in my 10 years on ozbargain) but I had to log in today to say to OP: how about you stop crying poor and blame other people who genuinely worked hard to save and invest to have more money than you? You have never lived in a poor country to understand what "poor" means. I came from a place and time where poor people walk all day to beg for money, food or water. Here in Australia you are on a website most of your days using electricity and internet to post stupid ideas blaming the world for your situation. If you are actually poor and receiving benefits then guess where that money came from? From the richer people who paid more taxes to feed you! Without them earning more money than you where is the government going to get money from to feed the poor people?

    Go and live in a communist country or a third world country and do us a favour. Or get out there acquire more skills work more hours don't waste your money to get you into a better position! Nobody owes you anything, don't like it change it!

    • -7

      Complete and utter rubbish.

      Completely ignoring the fact that most wealthy people build their fortunes on the backs of the poor, Australia is a (vaguely) civilized society built on the fundamental concept that the more privileged help the less privileged. Arguing that it should be strengthened is NOT the same as communism.

      I'm sick of greedy people like yourself automatically equating this with Communist regimes (which are invariably actually dictatorships) as some kind of scare tactic, while ignoring the horrors of uncontrolled capitalism. Just as you aren't advocating for "pure" capitalism (or at least I hope you aren't!?), no-one here is advocating for "pure" communism or socialism.

      Are you being dishonest in pretending that they are, or do you GENUINELY believe people like myself aspire to Venezuela as opposed to a Nordic-style society?

      • OP has literally said in another post that wealthy people are immoral by virtue of existing and shouldn't exist.

        Most people are sensibly saying they very much like the current balance Australia has struck.

    • +3

      The scandanavian social experiment has proven that a more equal society results in better outcomes. The redistribution of wealth over time is likely a good thing that leads to better outcomes for society. However, there is no one model fits all and some very radical ideas coming out have very poor evidence. Too much of politics and policies are now just left vs right. Too many policies are emotion driven and not evidence driven.

      Here are some takeaways I want you to think about, that might shift how you think we can achieve a society that is just, equitable but also productive. I put a big emphasis on the last one.

      1. The Scandinavian social experiment is not transplantable to the rest of the world. The Norwegians have a 1 trillion dollar sovereign fund that equates to almost $200k per capita. Few countries will ever have the capability to save that much. Without that fund, the Norwegians would have to tax a LOT more to achieve what they have achieved. Which goes onto:

      2. No country is a closed system, not even North Korea. If you tax people high enough, they will leave that society if they earn enough. This is because Human's have an intrinsic belief that their productivity should be rewarded. If you work as hard as another person, why should you not get paid more? If you start taxing the wealthy excessively - they will leave the country. That will lead inevitably to a weaker economy that the poor will suffer from the most. I think to believe that this won't happen is delusional.

      3. Wealth taxes DO NOT WORK. Research it. It's been tried in many European countries before, it has NEVER worked in the way governments have wanted it to. There are so many reasons why a wealth tax is a terrible idea. I am not against redistribution of wealth, but this is not one way in which you will achieve that. Either the wealthy will find loopholes in it or simply leave the country and take all their assets with them. Good luck implementing a tax that has never proven to work.

      4. Universal basic income is likely the best way to go. This ensures every member of society is paid a minimum wage that allows them to survive but not thrive. This overcomes the problems of laziness and entitlement. Research shows that UBI is the policy that will greatly greatly reduce income and wealth inequality.

      People need to start moving away from this traditional notion of socialism. As the world moves more and more towards a automated world and the value of human labour decreases, we need to think about how we as a species are going to survive.

        • +4

          Many fair points, I'll provide more detail

          1. You are right, Norway isn't Scandinavian, but it is a reflection of part of Scandinavian. My point should not have purely been the sovereign fund but rather a set of circumstances which are difficult to reproduce elsewhere. High oil income for Norway and Sweden (which will not exist in the decades to come), small population sizes, cultural and ethnic homogenisation - All factors to how and why the scandi project has been successful. I emphasize the last part, because cultural acceptance of a high tax is something I can't see in most countries. The Norwegian sovereign fund (even as badly run as it is) will, I suspect, in time demonstrate a divergence of the scandi project in the long term.

          2. An open system, which is what every country is allows wealth to tbe exported out and for external loopholes to be utilised. A open system allows the economy to interface with other economies for gain. Just look at how we export labor to china or vietnam. Only possible because of an open system. Wealth taxes would only work if it was implemented worldwide, homogeneously. See below further why.

          3. Wealth taxes don't work as I said because they haven't achieved what governments intend for them to do - which is first and foremost to raise tax revenue. In the 1990's a dozen countries in Europe had wealth taxes. Today, most of those countries have either scrapped it or significantly altered it from its original goals. France for example, no longer taxes all assets - only real estate. Spain still has it but, people living in Madrid are exempt! Belgium has it, but allows people to park their assets in France! Of the countries that do it, in 2018 only 3 managed to raise a wealth tax that exceeded 1% of tax revenues. Luxembourg (very low population), Switzerland (Perhaps the only place that does it in any meaningful way, but implemented since 1840! and with caveats of reduced taxation at the national level), Norway (raised only 1.5% of total tax revenue). If it had never been tried before, I would say it's worth trying - but it has been tried and (for the most part) it hasn't achieved the goals of raising tax or by reducing inequality. Going back to your Scandi argument, I would posit that the Scandi experiment has also primarily worked because of high INCOME taxation and not high WEALTH taxation. I'm actually reasonably open to counter arguments; so if you can sell it to me how it would work - I could be convinced. So far, I haven't heard a good, evidence based argument from anyone for why we should try it again.

          4. It's not ironic because my rationale for it remains consistent. Which is all policies in theory are game to try, so long as there is an economic basis for it that is rational and for which there has not previously been multiple national attempts to try it. UBI hasn't been proven to work because no one has tried it on a national level. If you try it and it fails, ok move on. I accept that. But it simply hasn't been tried in a meaningful manner. I would posit that countries in Scandanavia have provided a surrogate in some manner with their extremely generous social welfare programs. The cost of a UBI program, depending on how high UBI you provide, could have a program cost similar to the Scandi social welfare programs.

          5. I hope now i've provided some meaningufl data as to why WEALTH taxation doesn't work. I didn't argue against higher INCOME taxation. I think higher income taxation is a better option, but again still doesn't prevent people from leaving.

          6. Richard Branson says that, but then lives in the Caribbeans. Isn't that ironic?

          7. No one is fleeing Australia because Monaco is much closer, has a much lower tax rate and arguably is a much nicer place (for the rich) to live in. Actually, there are many of tax havens in Europe like Jersey, Gibraltar even Switzerland to a degree. All of which are much closer for Europeans.

          8. You do have a point regarding where wealth comes from and whether its transportable. You have to remember though, for Australian taxation of INDIVIDUALS, it's about your residency status (>6 months). Now I can buy that a wealth tax may be put onto anyone who owns an appreciable amount of Australian assets. However, I again can't see this working. People will simply flog off Australian assets (even if it's discounted) and move elsewhere. Obviously this will depend on the economics of it. However, if you're thinking of implementing an wealth tax of up to 8% (like Bernie Sanders), It's hard to imagine people not flogging off their assets even at a loss.

          9. My argument has NEVER been about taxation of companies. In fact, I don't think we did enough to tax resources when we had a chance. It's been primarily about individual wealth taxation.

          10. The reason the wealthy are still here are for many reasons we've both stated already. The effective tax rate is still reasonable at present. Some people would rather be taxed higher and live here. Other's can't move for important personal reasons. The question is not why people are still here now. The question is can we keep people here if we implement something considerably different. If you implement something incremental and slowly, I don't think it will cause any flight of people. However if overnight you said a 2-8% wealth tax, I think we would see significant assets moved out of this country. Then again this is speculation. However, the fact that city states (like monaco, hong kong, singapore) harbour a disproportionate number of billionaires and wealth would suggest that there is some truth.

          11. My overall point is that redistributing wealth is not simple. We need to think of new ideas that will move society forward, not use the same ideas we have for the past.

          • +2

            @Mparadox: Firstly, thank you for an actually thoughtful and intelligent reply. I tend not to bother putting in much effort because the vast majority of people are willfully ignorant and are incapable of justifying their opinions - they believe it because they want to, not because they think it's right!

            1. You're still VASTLY overestimating the homogeneity of Scandinavia - I take it you're not that familiar with the region? Sweden doesn't have "high oil income". In fact, I don't think your focus on oil is particularly useful at all - though Australia could have exactly the same system with its mineral wealth anyway. Demographics are also changing rapidly and, having spent a considerable amount of time in various Scandinavian countries, I'd actually argue that the "native" population are more hostile towards the tax system than immigrants are (presumably because they're wealthier and thus impacted more).

            2. Again, the EXACT same argument applies to income taxes. You either need to drop this argument, or apply the same principle to income tax - you can't have it both ways.

            3. Of course wealth taxes are producing small amounts of revenue - they're targeted at a TINY proportion of the population and are set at very low rates. You've given three examples of it working in other countries. I would completely agree that it has nothing to do with how Scandinavia is currently run - I've never said it was.

            4. Why would UBI be more likely to work at a national level than a local level? Where it has been tried many times and failed. Don't get me wrong, I'm not dismissing it out of hand, I just don't see how it fits in with your "if it's been tried before then it can't work now - even if it's structured in a completely different way" philosophy.

            5. Of course higher income tax is a better option - it's not as if I'm promoting wealth tax to be the saviour of all problems! In fact, once income tax is fixed there will be less/no need for wealth taxes as it will limit the obscene amounts of cash that can be stored in the first place.

            6. Is it ironic that the place Branson wants to live in is a low tax country?Possibly, though I'm not sure it strictly meets the definition. Maybe if there was a neighbouring island with a high tax system he decided to avoid you'd have a point.

            7. I didn't mean specifically to Australia. A small handful of people have left, but there are still many, many wealthy people living in high tax countries in Europe. Who, as you point out, could MUCH more easily move to a lower tax jurisdiction than Australian's can.

            8. Again, I don't accept that a significant percentage of Australian wealthy individuals are on the verge of selling everything and moving to a different country instead if taxes change by a percentage point or two. I didn't suggest 8% for anything (much less assets - which is hugely problematic for asset rich and cash poor people, you'd be forcing them to change their entire strategy which is not what my preference would be for, even if Sanders does want that).

            9. Admittedly I have been conflating the two somewhat! Though I'd argue most personal wealth is derived from companies.

            10. Obviously it would be an incremental implementation. And of course capital flight exists - I'm merely pointing out that the majority of people who are so blinded by greed that they'd give up their life and move to the other side of the world so they could have a few extra dollars in their bank account have already done so.

            11. I completely agree it's not simple and we're probably actually not too far apart in our positions! We're only talking about wealth taxes so much because it appears to be the main point of contention - you'll see it was just as aside in my original post!

            As yourself, my principle argument is higher income taxes and - probably even more controversial than this - relative earning limits (e.g. the CEO cannot earn more than X times the lowest earner) and a reformed minimum wage (e.g. a hugely profitable multi-national should have to be paying higher wages than a struggling family business (though this has the potential to be HUGELY complex - perhaps it should be in the form of profit sharing).

            • @callum9999: Agreed relative earning limits (e.g. the CEO cannot earn more than X times the lowest earner) - Cap max at 200k.
              Agreed - a reformed minimum wage, minimum wage at 200k.

              • @arkie0: I'm assuming that's a poor attempt at a joke?

                • @callum9999: Yes a joke, I tend not to bother putting in much effort.

                  Edit (Justification): You lost me at "Completely irrelevant as Norway is not Scandinavia". Norway is part of Scandinavia and so the preceding point is not completely irrelevant, at minimum partly relevant. The basis of your next point is Sweden/Scandinavia is not oil rich, but Norway is extremely oil rich around the north sea. Their maritime industry extends as far as company/ships in AU. Your other points have a similar spin to them.

                  • @arkie0: I can tell.

                    Norway being in Scandinavia does not make the point "partly relevant" as Norway's oil wealth is COMPLETELY irrelevant to Denmark, Sweden and Finland's taxation systems. It was listed as a crucial requirement for "the Scandinavian social experiment" and is therefore FALSE - at best it's "the Norwegian social experiment". They've accepted that themselves now, I don't know what you're struggling with.

                    Sweden and Scandinavia are not interchangable terms so I don't have the slightest idea what that's meant to mean. The only thing I can work out from that is that you think Norway shares its oil wealth with the rest of Scandinavia - you do know they're completely separate countries? They aren't even in the EU together!

  • OP thinks everyone's Jeff Bezos…

  • I am not rich but I understand the system.
    It doesn't make sense to tax people more GST, then they will spend less which will harm the small businesses sellers etc.
    You want to encourage rich people to spend money at small businesses (and everywhere). The money goes around the economic system.
    Keep in mind once COVID-19 restrictions lift, with resources they can buy things offshore too (no GST).
    It would also be an administrative nightmare to administer given its about the seller not buyer charging it on their goods / services.

    Most wealthy people contribute way way way more to the economy, tax, society, employing people, supporting small business than most people ever will proportionally or otherwise. In a capitalist society, the activity generated by an entrepreneurial wealthy person supports dozens and dozens of families.
    The average Joe doesn't even support their own family - they get supplementary assistance from the government taken usually from someone / a business (employer) who went out there and took risks in business and investments that paid off for them.

    This seems to be just another example of jealous socialist ideas. Go have a crack at a startup / business and you could be wealthy instead!

    Just need to crack down on people doing the wrong thing / avoidance. They could still avoid a higher GST rate through false reporting.

  • hold a stop go sign get base pay of $30/hr then work some overtime at $45/hr and a 5/6days a month double time $60/hr. You won't be poor. Australian low skilled jobs are paid far higher than in US/Europe/UK, mainly driven by the mining sector causing the rest of the country to pay those higher labour rates.
    Do off-shore laundry work at $200K/yr (which you effecitvely earn within 6-8 months) (it's $400k/yr in this article, but wages have dropped)

    Stop buying materialistic items -case in point, Apple products have seen a dramatic rise (luxury item, just on example.) 45% of phone users in Australia
    The need to buy Netflix/Foxtel etc. is a materalistic good not a mandatory requirement

    Rant over - normal service can resume

  • OP wrote - The GST is not proportional to income. Very poor people pay the same amount as very wealthy. Yes on that iphone/Samsung S7 or whatever that both the wealthy and poor person purchased.

    True - the very wealthy don't get tax credits, the very poor do. That money came from the wealthy who are net tax 'givers' and the very poor are net tax 'receivers' in other words their tax on the income earned does not cover the payments they receive from the government.

    So maybe then we can implement your GST perspective and tell 'wealthier people' they don't need to cover the welfare payments to those poor people but will pay more on GST items.

    • What this argument always ignores is that the wealth is generally generated from exploiting the poor. There, for example, shouldn't be any need for someone doing an honest days work to be subsidised by the government. If those people were being paid an ethical wage in the first place then they wouldn't need to be subsidised and the wealthy wouldn't need to be paying so much extra in tax to do so.

      • i don't think the guy washing other people's clothes should get paid $400k for an unskilled job. Or the person getting paid that amount of money to 'manage traffic' not sure who is exploiting whom there

        • Nor do I, which is why I didn't say the minimum wage should be $400,000 a year…

  • +1

    I pay more GST now that I earn >$100k than when I earned <$100k because I now buy more expensive things. I used to drink 8 buck chuck and now I spend $18. I used to go to cheap Thai and now I go to overpriced Thai. Like most people, you earn more and you reward yourself a bit (sorry, not very OzBargain).

    I would estimate that between my income tax & GST I pay~$50k/pa in taxes. It sounds proportional to me.

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