Last week Bill Shorten told us he thinks there are two types of taxpayers:
“Those that fly economy, and those that fly first class” (i.e. who can minimise their tax).
(Hats off to the speech writer who came up with this analogy … who doesn’t hate those wankers that fly up the nose of the plane with their reclining beds, and champagne, while the rest of us squeeze in next to a big Tongan bloke and eat warmed-up dogfood with plastic knives and forks.)
So where do you sit on Bill’s, errr, tax jumbo jet?
Well, let’s defer to former flight captain Kerry Packer, who told a parliamentary enquiry in 1991:
“I am not evading tax … of course I’m minimising my tax, and if anybody in this country doesn’t minimise their tax they want their heads read, because as a government I can tell you you’re not spending it that well that we should be donating extra.”
Problem is, since Kerry said that, governments have systematically clamped down on ways to minimise tax:
The Libs stopped kids being used as a tax deduction and put caps on how much you can put in, and have in, super.
And this week Labor announced they’ll crack down on income-splitting via trusts, as well as increasing the top tax rate to 49.5% and hitting negative gearing.
Both sides are guilty of fingering the economic pie … instead of working out ways to actually grow it.
Seriously, we’ve lived through a once-in-a-lifetime mining boom and all we’ve got to show for it is a tin-can internet plan (NBN) and half a trillion ($500 billion) on the government credit card? And they need more of our money!?
Truth is, even with these proposed changes, you can avoid paying the top rate of tax (see my answer here).
Yet let’s be pragmatic. There’s a price for living in the greatest country on earth. So pay the tax.
Just don’t tip ’em.
Tread Your Own Path!