Former federal treasurer Peter Costello has declared those making $100,000-$200,000 a year are Australia’s real forgotten people, citing a lack of tax relief in the last 10 years.
Appearing on the ABC’s 7.30 on Monday night, Costello said those earning $200,000 pay tax at 47% – “but somebody needs to speak for the individual wage and salary earner as well, and I think the Liberal Party oughta remember them”.
“They haven’t had any tax relief for 10 years and I think those forgotten people – those people that don’t have organised lobbyists to speak for them – also oughta be in the calculation of the government at the moment,” said the former treasurer.
While Costello said those earning $200,000 pay 47 cents tax on the dollar, Australia’s sliding tax scale means employees only pay 47 cents on every dollar earned above $180,000.
In 2016, serving as the Nine Entertainment chairman, Costello was the highest paid media director in the country, earning $425,000 per year (as he wasn’t there the whole financial year he only actually earned $266,266).
Costello, the longest-serving Australian treasurer under the Howard government, also said “most of” Australia would be dead before Australia’s national debt was paid off.
While Costello used his appearance on 7.30 to highlight how those on high incomes were paying a higher tax rate than companies, the former treasurer’s “forgotten people” line was the one that drew most criticism from those who struggled to find any sympathy.
Australia’s current treasurer, Scott Morrison, will announce his 2018 budget on Tuesday evening. Who knows, maybe Costello will be OK with it (he probably won’t be).