12.6 C
Byron Shire
July 6, 2022

Cost of living and taxes

Latest News

Taqueria in Byron celebrates four years

Chupacabra Mexican restaurant in Suffolk Park is turning four this week! Through the ups and downs of the past...

Other News

Flood-prone land in Murwillumbah swapped for flood-free land 

It has been five years in the making but the innovative land swap of flood-prone land for flood-free land in Murwillumbah is underway with a second round of ‘expressions of interest’ about to open. 

Bike path? 

Byron Councillors please note: A painted line on the side of the road is NOT a (safe) bike path. Paul...

Attempt to manage Byron’s fragile coastline impeded by State Government, report finds

Insufficient funding and guidance from the State Government is inhibiting Byron Council's attempt to effectively manage its famous but fragile coastline, a Council report has revealed.

Main Arm Upper school are excited to be going ‘back to school’

It has been hard for many young people as they have managed the impacts of COVID over the last few years but for students at Main Arm Upper Public School the flood has meant they've been out of their school for almost half a year.

Lake Ainsworth

The heavy rain on 28–30 March 2022 resulted in flooding of Lake Ainsworth at Lennox Head to about 2m...

ARTEXPRESS to visit Tweed Regional Gallery

Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre is one of only two regional venues exhibiting ARTEXPRESS 2022. The exhibition is an annual showcase of exemplary artworks from the HSC examination in Visual Arts in NSW.

Why is there so much interest in stats and percentages? How does the average house price or rent translate to the person in the street? What does four per cent unemployed mean?

Cost of living where we add together food, housing (rent or mortgage) and health and get a figure in plain dollars per week is a more accurate way to measure how the nation is travelling. Note I have left out many other needs including education and transport!

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) defines a person who is unemployed as one who, during a specified reference period, is not employed for one hour or more, is actively seeking work, and is currently available for work. Unemployment is a count of all these people.

The unemployment rate is calculated by dividing the number of unemployed people by the number of people in the labour force.

Our politicians dodge the bullet of how many people have the basic cost of living covered, not whether some have worked less than one hour. Many people struggle to get sufficient hours of work, with an adequate wage, to manage their basic living needs.

All governments rely heavily upon taxes to pay for our living standard, to protect our health, education, and provide vital infrastructure such as sewerage and water etc.

As the world has become more complex, so has Australian tax law. We now have more than 14,000 pages of tax law dealing with countless specific scenarios.

This law also is skewed, in many cases, to preserve wealth and creates many ‘loopholes’ to minimise and avoid paying tax, tax we all need for our standard of living.

Why should a young PAYG worker, who struggles to meet their cost of living, have minimal ways to lessen their tax, while a wealthier person, maybe a home owner with minimal debts can utilise family and discretionary trusts, negative gearing on investments and offshore accounts to slash their tax responsibility? While many people complain of their high, progressive tax rate, it would be interesting to compare their standard of living and investments to their actual tax paid.

Why can’t we simplify many tax laws by reducing some of these ’loopholes’? If wealthier people paid a more representative proportion of their income above basic needs we would have better services, roads, aged care, NDIS, health and transport for all.

More people should then be able to progress through the process of accumulating assets such as a home and, in turn, they will eventually be paying a larger proportionate share of the government’s tax bill.

Richard White, East Ballina

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Celebrating 40 years of Fig Tree Restaurant

It all started with a simple dream, to convert its original farmhouse in Ewingsdale into a restaurant in which its guests could gather to...

Crabbes Creek Woodfired

By V. Cosford There’s a contingent of Europeans who don’t mind travelling a considerable distance in order to stock up on Jon and Gina Hutton’s...

Stone & Wood’s Brewery Festival Returns

Stone & Wood are opening the gates to their Murwillumbah brewery with the return of their ‘Murbah Open Day’, on Saturday 6 August. Welcoming the...

Decades of volunteering earn prestigious NSW Sports Award

Brenda Zakaras and John Beasley from Lennox Head were two of 19 sports volunteers from a wide cross-section of sports who received a Distinguished...