Australians fear GST hike will damage the economy, raise risk of recession: new national poll

A new poll shows the vast majority of Australians are concerned an increase in the GST will lower consumer spending, put the brakes on the economy and leave them exposed to an economic downturn.

According to a national ReachTEL poll commissioned by GetUp! and released today:

  • 72% of Australians are concerned that increasing the GST could harm the economy by decreasing consumer spending, including 59% of Liberal voters.
  • 64% of Australians oppose a rise in the GST used to fund a corporate tax cut.
  • Only 28% of voters accept the government’s claim that corporate tax cuts lead to ‘jobs and growth’.
  • 48% of Australians believe the GST price hike is aimed at padding corporate profits.

GetUp Campaign Director Mark Connelly said raising the GST in a time of stagnating income growth and growing inequality would be an irresponsible and irretrievably stupid move by the Treasurer.

“Australians understand that if this reckless GST hike goes ahead, it won’t just hit us at the supermarket. By triggering an economic downturn, it could hit our savings, investments and property values – the wealth families spend a lifetime building up,” he said.

“So, in this case, the punters get higher marks on economic management than the Treasurer.

“The Government now has to ask itself: does it really want to be responsible for the first recession in Australia in 26 years?

The national poll showed that opposition to the GST has reached new heights, with 64% of Australians rejecting a GST increase to fund a corporate tax cut. That’s a resounding rejection of both Mike Baird’s public plan and Treasurer Scott Morrison’s preferred option, revealed in government leaks.

“Australians are sending a clear message to Mike Baird and Scott Morrison: Don’t take money out of our pockets to hand out to big corporations and their overseas investors.

“To add insult to injury, many of these corporations aren’t even paying the tax they owe now, with nearly 580 not contributing a cent.

“We need common sense reforms that reduce wasteful handouts to the wealthy and make corporations pay what they owe – not a GST cash-grab to pad corporate profits”

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