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Governments need to raise revenue in order to pay for the goods, services and social infrastructure that they provide, as well as meeting payments on previous borrowings.  The role of governments is to assist, support and coordinate the efforts of individuals, families and groups in society to ensure that each of them is oriented to the good of all.  To promote the common good governments provide certain goods, services and social infrastructure.  All of this needs to be paid for.  If we want governments to do their job properly, we have to pay tax.

We need a tax system that raises sufficient revenue to fund the activities we wish Government to undertake.  We need a tax system that is equitable and efficient. Paying our tax honestly and completely is one way in which each of us is bound to contribute to the common good.
    
Those with greater wealth and income should pay taxes at a greater rate than those with fewer resources
    
The goods of the earth are intended by God for the use of all therefore everyone has a right to the things they need to live.  The taxation and transfer systems should function to ensure such access.
    
Questions:  How will you ensure that the tax system is fair, especially for the poorest?  Will you increase the proportion of revenue raised through indirect taxes?  Will you introduce or raise taxes on necessities?  How will you address tax avoidance and evasion across all forms of income?  How will you ensure that families are not disadvantaged compared with those who have no dependents?

On 4 August Bishop Kevin Manning, Chair of the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council entered the tax debate asking five questions of all those who would be proposing changes to the tax system.  The questions were:

  1. How will you ensure that the tax system is fair, especially for the poorest?
  2. Will you increase the proportion of revenue raised through indirect taxes?
  3. Will you introduce or raise taxes on necessities?
  4. How will you address tax evasion across all forms of income?
  5. How will you ensure that families are not disadvantaged compared with those who have no dependants?

Some key issues include: the view that the system is inefficient; that it is inequitable; that there are too many taxes; that the level of taxation is too high; that it is poorly targeted and causes distortions in the economy; that there are too many loopholes; that the less well off carry an unfair proportion of the tax burden.

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