In the poll-bound Australia, the Treasurer’s recipe on economic revival is a staple. But ABC’s Q&A on Monday night broke that myth as common man Duncan Storrar disconcerted Assistant Treasurer Kelly O’Dwyer with a question why there are two rules for the poor and rich when it comes to tax breaks.
Duncan Storrar of Melbourne has been struggling yet he still earns below the minimum wage. He does not booze and his only wish is to give a better life to his two daughters. The part-time truck driver also battles with a mental health issue. His star question was “I’ve got a disability and a low education that means I’ve spent my whole life working for minimum wage.”
“You’re gonna lift the tax-free threshold for rich people,” he said. “Why don’t I get it? Why do they get it?”
“If you lift my tax-free threshold, that changes my life. That means that I get to say to my little girls, ‘Daddy’s not broke this weekend. We can go to the pictures.’
Rich people don’t even notice their tax-free threshold lift. Why don’t I get it? Why do they get it?”
Storrar further argued that for “rich people” tax break means “a Coke and a milkshake” but people like him “it means a lot of changes in my children’s life” worth $7000.
In his view, low-income earners lose more money paying tax while people on $80,000 income “don’t even notice it, love. We notice that sort of stuff, eh,” he told the Assistant treasurer who is also the Business Minister.
According to The Sydney Morning Herald, his grouse was about the government’s lifting the upper end of the 32.5 percent tax bracket from $80,000 to $87,000, yielding a saving of $315 a year for people earning above $80,000.
The sensitive question of the truck driver also blew the lid off the huge class divide that Australia and its politicians refuse to admit.