Keating, Michael: Why Australia needs a stronger revenue base

Michael Keating

Why Australia needs a stronger revenue base‘, Pearls and Irritations, 19 April 2018

Former senior public servant stresses the importance of boosting the revenue base through taxation.

Fundamentally the reason for taxation is to pay for the services that we all want and to support the type of socially inclusive society, with reasonable equality of opportunity, that we also want. As the great American jurist, Oliver Wendell Holmes put it, “I like to pay taxes. In this way I buy civilisation” …

[M]y conclusion is that it is quite irresponsible for the Government to be talking about possible tax cuts and trying to legislate for company tax cuts when they have no plan for paying for them, other than going deeper into debt. Indeed, nothing could be more indicative of a failure of leadership than handing out tax cuts that can’t be afforded.

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