Australian Stories of Tax and Fairness: A Feminist Reading of Peter Carey's the Tax Inspector
Posted: 17 Jul 2003
In his novel The Tax Inspector, Peter Carey presents us with a peculiarly Australian tale of taxation, pervasive tax evasion and a pervasive longing for a principled fairness. The Tax Inspector pits Maria, a heavily pregnant tax auditor, against the corrupt business of the Catchprice family, members of which are engaged in moral (and legal) crimes ranging from minor tax evasion to child sexual abuse. This article explores some of the stories, or myths, of tax and fairness in Australia through a feminist reading of The Tax Inspector. Reading literature can help us "discover ourselves" and our community (West Robin, "Economic Man and Literary Woman" in Narrative, Authority and Law (U Michigan P, 1993) 251, 254). The Tax Inspector enables new insight into the meaning of fairness in the Australian tax system because it brings together the ideal of fairness with narratives of the lived reality of wealth, poverty, inequality and tax evasion, as carried in the pregnant body of the Tax Inspector, Maria.
JEL Classification: K34, K42
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation