The Daily Telegraph has a breathless headline this morning.
Welcome to the welfare nation: Half of Australia’s families pay no net tax
Then we read:
HALF of Australian families receive more in handouts than they pay in net income tax, new figures reveal.
As the Abbott government sharpens its budget razor on welfare, the figures reveal just how dependent we’ve become.
The exclusive modelling for The Daily Telegraph by the National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling at the University of Canberra reveals 48 per cent of Australia’s 12.2 million “income units” pay no net tax. Any tax they do contribute is offset by the welfare — pensions, family tax benefits or childcare rebates — they receive.
Except this isn’t news. Here is Peter Costello making the point in August 2007.
Cutting taxes has actually been a way of delivering benefits to families, particularly low-income families and bear this in mind – now, under the changes of this government, something like 60 per cent of Australian families are paying no net tax. That is, their family tax benefits are outweighing their tax liabilities and that’s something that’s actually really helped Australian families.