Let’s talk about fairness

Graham Richardson puts the boot into the Abbott government this morning – mostly pointing to their now well-known and well-understood failures.


But then he does the “fairness” thing.

Families in the suburbs on low wages or even average wages of $60,000 will lose $6000 in government benefits. When your loss is 10 per cent of what you receive it is a bitter pill to swallow.

It is even more bitter when someone on $500,000 loses 2c in the dollar on their tax. That is $10,000, or not even enough to buy a good lunch in the expensive restaurants they frequent. It goes without saying that the family on $60,000 with a stay-at-home mum has to cop getting nothing from the government if it has another baby while a woman on $100,000 could get $50,000 in paid parental leave if Abbott’s pet proposal gets the Senate’s nod.

So that prompted me to go have a look at the distribution of taxation and welfare according to the ABS. The data are broken up by gross household income and then into quintiles.


Looks to me that those people on $60,000 have little to complain about on the fairness front.

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17 Responses to Let’s talk about fairness

  1. Bruce of Newcastle

    News today is the deficit is likely to be $40 billion this year. Revenue this year is about $410 billion, so we are spending 10% more than we get.

    Therefore all expenditures must be reduced by 10% across the board. If Mr Richardson wants middle class welfare to be preserved from the 10% cut he should specify what other portion of the budget should be cut by more than 10%.

    I suggest starting with the ABC. Cutting them by 100% would be a useful way to lower the pain for the poor who don’t watch them anyway. Let the rich inner city progressives pay for their TV and web services by subscription.

  2. eb

    Hey Sinc, what quintile are the $60k family income people in?

  3. Joe

    I would like to see a change to the constitution to make it illegal for any government to return taxation revenues via payments to selected classes of people or subsidies to business.
    Taxes are supposed to be used for the running of the state and for those projects that it would be impractical for business to do. If not all of the tax receipts are used in a given year, they should be rolled over as a surplus AND taxes for the subsequent year reduced. Likewise if spending in a given year exceeded receipts, raise the tax rate.
    The current arrangements amount to little more than theft and bribery.

  4. Sinclair Davidson

    Based on the ABS numbers the third quintile.

  5. Steve

    On $63k, I don’t claim benefits, and I operate privately if I need medical attention. Moreover, I’ve been working for most of my adult life, meaning my HELP debt is considerably less than most my age. As a single person it’s really not that difficult to live a comfortable life on >$60k. Richardson should be ashamed of himself for playing the envy card

  6. H B Bear

    Unless Tony Credlin and his useless husband Loughnane start using arguments like this the ALP aided by Shit Happens, Jabba and the rest of the media will continue to slaughter them. They cannot continue to debate issues of “fairness” in the abstract.

  7. Tim Neilson

    #1519134, posted on November 21, 2014 at 11:19 am
    Problem is “selected classes of people” prima facie includes old age pensioners. Whatever might be thought the ideal, in reality there would have to be exceptions to your proposal, and once the gates are open the rent seekers start swarming in.

  8. Fred Lenin.

    Rich is very experienced with money ,well he is on the NSW alp ,he was taught economic by Rivkin,and is experienced with overseas banking,”whatever it takes comrade ” ,keep him away from matches though.

  9. H B Bear

    In practice Hypertension Man’s notions of fairness don’t extend much beyond making sure no-one gets an extra dim sim at a Chinese lunch.

  10. Joe


    Problem is “selected classes of people” prima facie includes old age pensioners.

    Why? and NO that’s a problem for families and charities NOT government.

  11. Tim Neilson

    #1519187, posted on November 21, 2014 at 12:25 pm
    Yes Joe, I accept in my post that the libertarian ideal would not involve old age pensions being paid. I did point out only that the chances of that ever being accepted in Australia were zero.

  12. Roger

    One of the best reforms a truly Liberal government could enact is to end the tax-welfare churn.

    Lower taxes and wind up “middle class welfare”.

    Let people make their own choices about how they spend and save their income (having persuaded them of the benefits) and get a small army of public servants off the government’s books as a bonus.

  13. ar

    Since when do facts count? Labor will just scream “unfair” until the election…

  14. Badjack

    Was it FAIR that the blowhard was able to rip off his insurance company for a few million on a DODGY fire.

  15. AP

    I love it when serial tax evaders bleat about “fairness”

  16. Yohan

    Richo gives this impression how he is in the middle of politics, old labor left, and thus an unbiased viewpoint. Its a façade.

    When he talks about the LNP, he continually launches into a tirade about how the budget is the most unfair ever seen, an attack on everyday Australian’s blah blah, just repeating the talking points of the progressive left. Never mind the facts – how the budget cuts are far far milder than those done by Costello or Keating.

    Richo is not dumb, he knows this, but he is loving it helping to campaign against the LNP and perpetuate the budget myth. Richo is dishonest and the opposite of leftists like Michael Costa and Gary Johns, who are old labor but give their real unbiased opinion.

  17. Boambee John

    Richo might know a bit about $10,000 lunches!

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