Another Hockey claim up in smoke

Despite being pinged for this last year, Joe Hockey has repeated wrong claims about how much tax Australians have to pay. Let's set the record straight on this.



Treasurer Joe Hockey has resorted to outright mistruths in an effort to sell his unfair budget.

In an interview with Melbourne’s 3AW radio, Mr Hockey falsely claimed that Australians are paying “nearly 50 cents in the dollar” in tax.

Based on that incorrect figure, he went on to claim that: “Australians spend the first six months of the year working for the Government.”

These claims are false, as Mr Hockey well knows.

Australia’s top marginal tax rate of 45 per cent takes effect only when a person’s annual earnings exceed $180,000. In 2011-12, the most recent year for which tax statistics are available, just 293,540 Australians earned above that threshold.

The tax figure Mr Hockey has claimed applies to all Australians actually only covers the top 1.7 per cent of Australian adults.

The vast majority of Australians have smaller incomes and therefore pay less tax.

Thanks to reforms introduced by Labor, Australians pay no tax at all on their first $18,200 in earnings.

The marginal tax rates are then 19 cents in the dollar up to $37,000, 32.5 cents up to $80,000, and 37 cents up to $180,000.

The Treasurer knows his “50 cent” claim is false. He trotted out the same line in 2014 when attempting to defend the regressive nature of his budget.

Many commentators debunked his claim at the time. And yet today, he is out peddling the same falsehoods.

Joe Hockey’s attempts at selling his unfair policies are turning farcical. But Australians won’t be laughing to think that our economy is in his hands.


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