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60% Australians want rich to pay higher tax: study


14:07, August 29, 2011

CANBERRA, Aug. 29 (Xinhua) -- Sixty percent of Australians want high-income earners to pay more tax, a new research commissioned by Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) showed on Monday.

The survey of 1,000 people found 60 percent of those surveyed supported raising taxes for people earning more than 200,000 U.S. dollars, and cutting taxes for middle-income people in the 36,000 U.S. dollars and 79,000 U.S. dollars tax brackets.

ACTU secretary Jeff Lawrence said the survey results showed Australians want a fairer system.

"It does show that people are interested in a more equal society and a more progressive tax system," he told ABC Radio on Monday.

He said the survey also showed more people supported extra spending on social services rather than tax cuts.

ACTU will use the figures to give workers a stronger voice in the tax reform debate, ahead of the federal government's tax forum in October.

He said he hoped the forum in October offered a broader view than "some of the pro-business agendas that have dominated the tax debate".

"We must not allow the tax debate to be hijacked by a business agenda, but to reflect the type of society the majority of Australians aspire to be," he said.

The tax forum will be held on 4 October and 5 October at Parliament House in Canberra. The forum will bring together around 150 representatives of the community, business, unions and government, as well as academics and other tax experts, to discuss priorities and directions for further tax reform.


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