Per Capita Tax Survey 2019

March 7, 2019

Progressive Economics

Per Capita Tax Survey 2019 

  • Australians want to see more spending on public services
  • More believe they are unable to contribute more from their own budget in taxes
  • Strong sentiment that tax system is skewed in favour of the rich and revenue should be drawn from high income earners and big businesses
  • Australians overwhelmingly support a Buffett Rule and a slim majority support an increase to Newstart

Per Capita is proud to release its 2019 Tax Survey, now in its ninth year.

We all pay tax, but this is the only comprehensive, regular survey of Australians’ attitudes to taxation and public spending. It provides information about how we’re thinking now, and how our attitudes to tax and public spending are changing and evolving.

As in previous years, the findings of the survey contain surprises and insights. This year, the most striking finding is a sharp fall in the proportion of respondents who are personally willing to pay more tax to fund essential services such as health, aged care and education.

Despite this, Australians still want to see government spending more on such services; they strongly believe that the wealthy and big business are not paying their fair share, and support for a cap on the extent to which the wealthy can use tax deductions is overwhelming.

Other key findings of the Survey are:

  • 7 in 10 Australians support higher government spending on public services.
  • But in an era of wage stagnation and revelations of corporate tax avoidance, more Australians believe they cannot contribute more personally in their taxes.
  • Australians in the upper-middle income bracket believe they are paying too much tax.
  • Respondents strongly support the removal of tax concessions which allow people and companies to reduce their tax.
  • 56% of respondents think we should crack down on corporate tax avoidance to pay for more services. 40% think we should raise tax revenue by raising tax on the top 5% of income earners.
  • At least three quarters of respondents of every political alignment believe corporate tax avoidance makes our tax system less fair.
  • 56% of respondents say negative gearing should either be restricted or abolished.
  • 62% support a cap on tax deductions for high income earners.
  • Just over half of respondents supported a raise to the rate of Newstart, including 65% of Labor voters and 61% of Greens and voters and those likely to vote for independent candidates.

The 2019 Per Capita Tax Survey, taken between 9 and 19 January 2019, used a demographically representative sample group of 1,523 Australians.