The Cambridge Handbook of the Social Sciences in Australia

By Ian McAllister; Steve Dowrick et al. | Go to book overview

Using the King–Fullerton method, the effects of a move to imputation on effective rates of tax on saving and investment options are examined by Freebairn (1988), Mayo (1989) and R. Jones (1993). Benge presents a model of an optimising firm and examines the effects of full imputation combined with CGT provisions, and presents numerical estimates of costs of capital under Australian depreciation provisions (Benge 1997, 1998).


Looking ahead

Contrary to the common perception that we are highly taxed, Australia's tax–GDP ratio is one of the four lowest among OECD countries. But more important than the average level is the profile of tax burdens across different groups. Prior to the 1980s, Australia combined a highly progressive individual income-tax system with universal family allowances. Although the excessive use of tax minimisation schemes created an urgent need to reform the tax system, appropriate changes have never been at the centre of the tax-reform agenda, and promised reforms to the taxation of trusts have been abandoned. Instead the focus has been on increasing consumption taxes, reducing the progressivity of income tax, and switching to a highly targeted family-benefit system.The tax burden has shifted towards lower-income groups. The increased use of family income as the basis for phasing out benefits has moved the system away from its individual basis, increasing the tax burden on low and middle earners, particularly second earners in families.

Current debate suggests that future changes will involve more of the same. A wage–tax trade-off has been proposed as a means of reducing unemployment.The proposal (Dawkins, Lambert et al. 2000) involves a fall in pre-tax real wages for the low paid, compensated by an Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) – a crucial feature being its withdrawal on the basis of family income.The effect is to extend targeting further across the income distribution, shifting the cost of welfare support for a growing group of working poor to families on low to middle incomes. In the US the EITC has been effective in increasing participation for low-wage sole parents. For married couples, however, the effect has been to increase work disincentives (Eissa and Hoynes 1999). Adverse effects on work disincentives for second earners would be more pronounced in Australia because the income-tax unit is the individual rather than the family.


References

Agrawal, N., G.A. Meagher and B.F. Parsell. 1990. 'Analysing options for fiscal reform in the presence of involuntary unemployment' in Flattening the Tax Rate Scale:Alternative Scenarios and Methodologies. Edited by J.G. Head and R. Krever, pp. 295–320. Melbourne: Longman Professional.

Ahmad, E., and N. Stern. 1984. The theory of reform and Indian indirect taxes. Journal of Public Economics 25:259–98.

Albon, R., C. Findlay and J. Piggott. 1984.The welfare costs of owner-occupier housing subsidies: Inflation, tax treatment, and interest rate regulation. Australian Economic Papers 23(43):206–18.

Allingham, M., and A. Sandmo. 1972. Income tax evasion: A theoretical analysis. Journal of Public Economics 1:323–38.

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The Cambridge Handbook of the Social Sciences in Australia
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents v
  • Figures and Tables vii
  • Contributors x
  • Preface and Acknowledgements xviii
  • Introduction 1
  • References 13
  • Part 1 - Economics 15
  • Chapter 1 - Privatisation 17
  • References 27
  • Chapter 2 - Competition Policy and Regulation 31
  • References 40
  • Chapter 3 - Economics and the Environment 45
  • References 57
  • Chapter 4 - Health Economics 60
  • References 70
  • Chapter 5 - Immigration 74
  • References 87
  • Chapter 6 - Labour Market and Industrial Relations 94
  • References 113
  • Chapter 7 - Income Distribution and Redistribution 118
  • References 134
  • Chapter 8 - Taxation 138
  • References 148
  • Chapter 9 - Innovation 153
  • References 165
  • Chapter 10 - International Trade and Industry Policies 168
  • References 180
  • Chapter 11 - The Macro Economy 186
  • Notes 199
  • References 200
  • Chapter 12 - Money and Banking 203
  • References 216
  • Part 2 - Political Science 221
  • Chapter 13 - Political Theory 223
  • References 231
  • Chapter 14 - Federalism and the Constitution 234
  • References 246
  • Chapter 15 - Legislative Institutions 249
  • References 260
  • Chapter 16 - Political Parties and Electoral Behaviour 266
  • References 283
  • Chapter 17 - Electoral Systems 287
  • References 302
  • Chapter 18 - Gender Politics 305
  • References 319
  • Chapter 19 - Interest Groups and Social Movements 323
  • References 339
  • Chapter 20 - Environmental Policy and Politics 345
  • References 355
  • Chapter 21 - International Relations 358
  • Notes 368
  • References 369
  • Chapter 22 - Political Economy 374
  • References 391
  • Chapter 23 - Public Policy and Public Administration 406
  • References 422
  • Part 3 - Sociology 431
  • Chapter 24 - Patterns of Social Inequality 433
  • References 457
  • Chapter 25 - Families and Households 462
  • References 477
  • Chapter 26 - Gender Perspectives 480
  • References 493
  • Chapter 27 - Work and Employment 499
  • Notes 511
  • References 512
  • Chapter 28 - Crime and Deviance 518
  • References 531
  • Chapter 29 - Health and Illness 536
  • References 552
  • Chapter 30 - Population 554
  • References 569
  • Chapter 31 - Race, Ethnicity and Immigration 573
  • Notes 585
  • References 586
  • Chapter 32 - Urban and Regional Sociology 590
  • Reference 598
  • Chapter 33 - Rural Sociology 604
  • Reference 619
  • Chapter 34 - Religion and Spirituality 626
  • Reference 632
  • Chapter 35 - Cultural Studies, Australian Studies and Cultural Sociology 638
  • References 651
  • Chapter 36 - Sociological Theory 654
  • References 664
  • Chapter 37 - Social Policy and Social Welfare 666
  • References 674
  • Author Index 678
  • Subject Index 696
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