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Government coffers short $22b: Greens

Media Release
Bob Brown 14 Mar 2012

 Australia is a low-taxing country with scope to increase taxation revenues to ensure our future prosperity, Australian Greens leader Senator Bob Brown said today

"The government has imposed a target on itself of keeping the ratio of tax to GDP below the 2007-08 ratio of 23.7 per cent but in the coming year the ratio is predicted to be only 22.3 per cent," Senator Brown said.

 "If the government kept to its target we would have an extra $22 billion to deal with the challenges facing us.

 "Australians want to see dental care in Medicare, a National Disability Insurance Scheme, High Speed Rail and the additional funding to education recommended in the Gonski report.

 "If we had a ratio at the OECD average of 34 per cent then we would have an extra $125 billion in the coffers," Senator Brown said.

 In questioning at Estimates in February, Treasury officials confirmed that "the broad conclusions of cross-country analysis of different sizes of government are that [the tax to GDP ratio] is a public choice question rather than an economic question. The more important thing is what countries do with the tax that they raise rather than the tax to GDP ratio per se."

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