Taxing Women: The Politics of Gender in the Tax/Transfer System
University of Sydney
University of Sydney - Discipline of Economics
eJournal of Tax Research, Vol. 1, No. 1
The Australian literature on the politics of taxation is almost totally silent on the gender of taxpayers. This silence reflects a broader division in social science analysis between economic and social policy. While gender equity debates are central to the discussion of social policy (particularly the income transfer and welfare systems), taxation is often represented as operating within a distinct realm of economic policy in which gender considerations are extraneous. This paper explores the changes to family-based tax and transfer policies in the post-war period, with a particular emphasis on policy shifts introduced by the Coalition Government since 1996. We argue that the shift to policies based on (apparently) contrasting family types, couple families with a stay-at-home parent and families in which both parents are participate in paid work, represents a substantial and regressive move away from the principles of equity which underpinned policy from the mid 1970s to the mid 1990s. We argue that current arrangements are inimical to the fundamental principles of horizontal, vertical and gender equity.
Keywords: Tax transfer, gender taxation, equity taxation
JEL Classification: H23, H24, H21Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: November 30, 2004
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