Thursday, 14 August 2014

Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey - arrogant and deliberately misleading

This was Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey being quoted by ABC News 13 August 2014:

This morning Mr Hockey defended the budget measure to reinstate a biannual increase to the excise by saying that high income earners will be hit hardest.
"The people that actually pay the most are higher income people, with an increase in fuel excise and yet, the Labor Party and the Greens are opposing it," he told 612 ABC Brisbane.
"They say you've got to have wealthier people or middle-income people pay more.
"Well, change to the fuel excise does exactly that; the poorest people either don't have cars or actually don't drive very far in many cases."…
"If you look at total usage out of the ABS stats you can see that the higher the income the more the fuel taxes are paid by those households," he said.

Yes, he really said that and here’s the proof:

A research paper in the Australian Parliament’s own reference library gives a lie to his claim that the all those on higher incomes will feel the impact of the fuel levy more than poor people:

Moreover, petrol and diesel excises are regressive in that people on low incomes pay a higher proportion of their incomes in the form of excise than people on high incomes, given the same level of fuel use.

While Greg Jericho tweeted a very effective visual (based on an Australian Bureau of Statistics 2009-10 Household Expenditure Survey) which shows those with the lowest incomes pay out a higher percentage of their total household expenditure on petrol than do those with the highest household incomes:

Even News Corps national economics editor Jessica Irvine disputed Hockey’s assumptions. With the lowest quintile in her 13 August tweet representing an average disposable household income of $16,328 per annum (est. $19,084 average gross household income), the second quintile $27,248 (est. $40,820), the third quintile $37,492 (est. $69,004), the fourth quintile $50,700 (est. $105,248) and the fifth quintile $88,608 (est. $204,724):

1 comment:

Ursula Tunks said...

Someone made a salient point this morning; many poor people actual reside in the cars.