Tax Reform in Australia: A View from the Left
John R. Passant
Australian National University School of Politics and International Relations
May 16, 2012
In this paper I use Marxist analysis to examine certain aspects of tax in Australia as a way to help understand the meaning or essence of tax reform. I argue that because of stagnant or declining profit rates globally progressive tax reform today can only be built through and on the back of class struggle. The struggles in the Arab world, Europe and the outbreak of demonstrations and sit-ins that was the Occupy movement globally show the possibilities of struggle to improve our lives here and now and give a glimpse of a new word. The lack of sustained class struggle in Australia over the last 3 decades is a negative proof of the argument. Without class struggle over that period what we have seen in Australia is a neoliberalisation of tax policy and growing tax inequality as part of a wider embrace of neoliberalism and a shift in wealth from labour to capital. Class struggle could reverse that trend. Demands for a progressive tax system and its implementation can and will flow from basic struggle on the shopfloor and in the offices for real wage increases and job justice. Tax justice follows on from and will flow from winning job justice.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 112
Keywords: tax, tax reform, Australia, Marxism
JEL Classification: H20working papers series
Date posted: June 4, 2012
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