Recently I learnt that I pay more tax than 38 per cent of public companies that earn over $100 million in Australia.
They earn $100 million or more, and over a third of them paid no tax at all in the 2013-14 financial year. None.
I earn more than the median wage, but I’m no one percenter. I pay about $15,000 in income tax. So 38 per cent of those big earners pay less than $15,000 in tax.
What a joke.
I am not going to pretend that I hate paying tax. I like paying tax. It’s important. Without taxes, there would be no social services, no law enforcement, no public education or healthcare, and no public transport and roads.
Taxes are the building blocks of our society. So, yes, I happily pay my taxes, even though there are some things I’d rather they not pay for, like offshore prisons full of refugees.
What I don’t like is that there are companies earning incredibly large amounts of money (extreme Dr Evil voice: ONE HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS) here and not paying their taxes.
Before anyone says “hang on, these companies give people jobs and they build the economy, we should be grateful that they are here at all”, I would point out that multi-million dollar companies don’t exist in a vacuum. They benefit from all those things I was talking about before.
Roads and infrastructure, education, healthcare: The things our taxes pay for make it possible for these companies to make money. And a peaceful, secure country thanks to law enforcement and defence make Australia a place they can feel confident about building their businesses.
No, there is no way you can slice this that would convince me these companies shouldn’t be paying more tax than me. I think they should be paying a LOT more tax than me.
Treasurer Scott Morrison says Australia has a spending problem, and the government is considering raising the GST as part of the solution.