It has been revealed by the National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling at the University of Canberra, that 48% of the 12.2 million “income units” in Australia pay nothing in tax. This is due to the tax they are paying is being more than offset by the welfare benefits they are receiving. For example, 85% of single parent families pay no tax, once you include what welfare they receive, and in comparison 55% of single person households, which comprises of mostly pensioners, pay no tax.

Of the types of families studied, the most beneficial were single parent households which on average receive $26,321 in benefits versus paying $4,415 in tax, a net benefit of around $22,000. Whereas couples with children pay the highest amount of average tax, $35,369 and receive $8,917 in benefits each year.  

Dr Stephen Kirchner at the Centre for Independent Studies has stated that, ‘Traditionally the purpose of the welfare state was poverty alleviation and helping people who can’t help themselves’, ‘whereas now we seem to have shifted more to an entitlement mentality where a lot of government expenditure is designed to make life easier for people who can actually take care of themselves.’

 What are your thoughts on the findings of this study?