Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews last week said he was willing to hear from Senators about options regarding the Family Tax Benefit system.
Here are some highlights from Senator Canavan’s speech:
Australia is out-of-step on the treatment of single income families. As the OECD stated “at the given levels of household income, the Australian tax/benefit system favours dual-earner couples over single-earner families.”
I firmly believe that we must move our tax system to one based on the family not the individual. But we should do that because it is a good idea here not just because other countries are doing it.
It is a good idea here because families make decisions as a family and therefore we should tax them as a family.
It is a good idea here because maximizing the number of people that work should not be our objective.
It is a good idea here because there are clear and identifiable benefits of parents staying home and looking after their children.
On the failure of the tax system...
Our tax system is therefore not giving people what they want. It is changing parental and family behavior to match the priorities of the workplace not the priorities of home.
The family is the ultimate “black market” economy. There is no tax in the family, even worse there are not even any cash transactions. There are those that don’t like the fact that this all happens outside of the supervision of government. Well those interests should be resisted in favour of the family, in favour of the privacy and sanctity of the household and household decisions.