The Cost of Privilege

March 29, 2018

Progressive Economics

In a landmark report released on Monday 26 March, undertaken by Per Capita for Anglicare Australia, we revealed that the wealthiest Australians cost the rest of us a staggering $68 billion a year.

This report quantifies the annual cost to the federal budget of various measures that allow Australians in our wealthiest quintile to minimise their taxable income, thereby reducing government revenue that pays for services for all citizens.

These measures include superannuation tax concessions, negative gearing, capital gains tax concessions, the use of discretionary trusts, subsidies for private health insurance, the exemption from the Goods and Services Tax (GST) of private health insurance and education (both of which disproportionately advantage high income earners with private health insurance and who send their children to private schools and the exemption from Capital Gains Tax (CGT) of the principle place of residence (IE: the family home), which provides disproportionate benefits to wealthy home owners.

Our analysis shows that, in combination, these measures impose a cost on the federal budget that easily outstrips that of any single welfare recipient group.

The cost of forgone tax revenue from the richest 20% of Australians is approximately A$68.09 billion per annum. That’s around $37 a week from every worker in the country.