Which Federal Government Taxed Aussies The Most? [Infographic]

Which Federal Government Taxed Aussies The Most? [Infographic]
Image: <a href='http://www.istockphoto.com/au/photo/hands-of-businessmen-passing-money-australia-dollar-bills-gm531630164-93891711'>Kritchanut</a> / iStockphoto

Budget night is fast approaching – which means we’re about to find out who’ll get squeezed for more taxes. Personal incomes tax cuts are on the agenda, but they aren’t expected to amount to much for individual Aussies. As ever, some people will feel the pinch more than others. Here’s how the current projection compares to the tax rates of previous governments.

The graphic below comes courtesy of ABC’s Facebook page and is based on the average tax to GPD ratio for each successive government since the Whitlam era. As you can see, the highest taxing government came under John Howard at 23.5 per cent. The next highest was the Hawke/Keating government (21.8 per cent), with the current Abbott/Turnbull government not far behind at 21.7 per cent.

It goes without saying that these figures are not directly comparable due to changes in accounting practices as well as the global economic outlook at the time. Still, it’s interesting to see how tax as a percentage of GDP has changed over the past six governments. We’ll be reporting on how Budget 2018 will affect your wallet later this evening – watch this space!

Image: ABC

[Via ABC]


  • Yeah right. First, the source is from the ABC – not exactly an impartial political news outlet. Second, Howard had a booming economy with money in the bank and regular tax cuts but none of those are shown here. Then Rudd threw it all away in dodgy business deals and projects, and borrowed billions more to buy a seat on the UN – yet the chart shows him and Gillard as low taxing. Please. Anyone can make a graph look like anything they want. Funny how this has come out right before the Coalition’s budget tonight.

    • So even with a booming economy, generous tax cuts every election and a number of budget surpluses, Howard and Costello still managed to be the government with the highest average tax as a percentage of GDP? And you’re trying to position that as a positive thing?

      You’re right about one thing: graphs hold no importance to the general population. Neither does academic research, nor verifiable data sets.

  • 1. Addressing the figures head-on is a more credible response than attacking the source.
    2. Surely budget week is a timely week to talk about such matters? If not, why not?

  • Okaaaay – I’ll put my bullet proof vest on and step into this obvious rifle range…

    After the Whitlam government’s generous (and they were generous) policies, Australia spent a number of years clawing back the largesse. One example is the change to charge tertiary students and this was done by the Hawke government. I’m sure there are thousands more examples of punitive changes made by Fraser too so as not to be biased.

    After the Howard government (which was hailed by many as a very prosperous period for Australia – not much of which came down to government policy) we ended up with a sizeable future fund and no national debt.

    It’s all swings are roundabouts. There’s not any magic to it. Tax more and spend like a miser, you will have money left over. Tax less and be less judicial in your spending and you need to borrow… something that most people earning a wage and trying to get by in Australia know.

      • Yes, you’re right – it’s weird… because that’s not what I said.

        All governments are self serving. The weird thing is people who think one colour does any better than the other and misinterpret what other people say.

        Let’s hear your view R3?

    • One thing I’d fault the Whitlam govt for was not having more foresight. They were back in the early 70s before the Aussie population really had the “geriatric boom”. I think they should have been planning more for the increasing live expectancy and associated costs (pension, medical, etc).

      Interestingly they had quite high unemployment rates, even compared to now.

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