Aussies think stamp duty is “most unfair tax”

Aussies think stamp duty is “most unfair tax”

Posted on Monday, July 13 2015 at 11:57 AM

According to new research, there has been a significant shift in community attitudes toward tax reform in Australia. Stamp duty on property purchases ranks as the least fair and most punitive, with a majority of Australians wanting it abolished and strong support for increasing GST to retire stamp duty. In contrast, GST is considered the fairest of all current taxes.

A report from Newgate
Research, Community Attitudes Towards Tax Reform, commissioned by the
Property Council of Australia, finds that nine out of 10 Australians surveyed
support tax reform that makes the system simpler and fairer.

Almost three quarters (72
per cent) of Aussies believe it’s inevitable that GST will rise over the next
decade, while only two per cent believe it definitely won’t.

Most believe the GST is a
fair tax because it’s one that can’t be dodged.

Stamp duty, on the other
hand, is considered the most unfair tax, with most Australians agreeing that it’s
now a major barrier to buying a home.

More than two-thirds (68 per
cent) of Australians have been personally affected by stamp duty and it has
made it harder for around half (54 per cent) to afford a home.

The research also reveals that
housing affordability ranks as a key concern, with 86 per cent of those
surveyed claiming they’re concerned about housing affordability to some degree and
nearly two thirds (63 per cent) either “extremely concerned” or “very
concerned”. Seventy per cent believe it is “extremely” or “very important” for
the government to take action on this issue.

Three-quarters of
Australians also agree that stamp duty is driving up home prices and making it
unaffordable for young people to own their own home. More than two thirds of
the community support the idea of abolishing stamp duty.

Reducing the level of tax on
people’s homes is considered a higher priority than reducing the rate of
personal income tax.

Almost half (47 per cent) of
Australians support abolishing stamp duty in exchange for removing current GST
exemptions: a further 21 per cent are undecided and only 32 per cent oppose
this reform proposal.

A similar proportion (46 per
cent) support abolishing stamp duty in exchange for keeping GST exemptions in
place and increasing the GST to 12.5 per cent: 22 per cent are undecided on
this and 32 per cent oppose it.

Property Council chief executive
Ken Morrison says the research shows Australians support fair reforms to the
tax system.

“Broadening or increasing
the rate of GST has long been considered political poison, but that no longer
reflects the attitude of the community,” Morrison says.

“Australians clearly
understand the need for tax reform and as the research makes clear, they want a
tax system that is fairer and simpler.

“Changes to the GST need to
be taken out of the too-hard basket.

“Governments know stamp
duty distorts the economy, hurts housing affordability and is a rollercoaster
source of revenue.

“National tax reform
needs to replace our most distortionary taxes with more efficient revenue

(The research is based on
the answers of 1,957 respondents surveyed nationwide in May and June 2015.)


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