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Taxation policy brief by Associate Professor Geoff Dow

Australia is a low tax country by the standards of developed countries and has typically ranked in the bottom third of all OECD countries for government revenue. It is against this background that, as a result of the 2014 Commonwealth Budget projections, Queensland policy makers will need to come to terms with major cuts to Commonwealth funding that has sustained expenditure on services in health care, education, criminal justice, and transport infrastructure. In this paper Geoff Dow argues that many of Australia’s current problems (infrastructure shortfalls amounting to about half of GDP, as well as unreliability in our transportation, health, education, environmental protection and communications systems) derive from this long-term unwillingness – under governments of all persuasions – to increase taxation sufficiently to meet the unfolding needs of a complex, modern, rich society.

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