Latest ABS Job Vacancy Numbers Show Time Has Come To Remove All Tax And Red Tape Barriers To Work

Written by:
29 June 2023
Latest ABS Job Vacancy Numbers Show Time Has Come To Remove All Tax And Red Tape Barriers To Work - Featured image

“Today’s job vacancy data confirms the need for the Federal Government to finally get serious about Australia’s worker shortage crisis, and to remove the tax and red tape barriers stopping Australians who want to work,” said Saxon Davidson, Research Fellow at the Institute of Public Affairs.

Data released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows there are still over 431,000 job vacancies across the nation, and almost a quarter of Australian businesses cannot find the workers they need. This represents a 235% increase in the last three years.

In December 2022, the Federal Government passed minor pension work bonus reform that only allows age pensioners and veterans to earn $226 per week. Beyond this they face their benefits being reduced by 50 cents on the dollar and an effective marginal tax rate of 69%.

“Since these inadequate pension changes were enacted, job vacancies have only decreased by 3%, which is a clear demonstration that comprehensive reform is needed once and for all,” said Mr Davidson.

“The IPA has repeatedly called on Canberra to remove this inefficient and discriminatory barrier to work. Today’s data is all the proof you need that the Federal Government urgently needs to get on with delivering this simple and effective reform in full.”

“Currently only 3% of Australian pensioners work compared to 25% in New Zealand, where such barriers do not exist. Leading surveys show 20% of all Australian pensioners would consider re-joining the workforce if tax and red tape barriers were removed, representing over 515,000 potential workers.”

Analysis by the IPA has found Australia’s worker shortage crisis is costing Australians $32 billion in foregone wages and the Federal Government $7 billion in foregone income tax revenue.

“This is revenue that could be invested in roads, schools, and hospitals, or be used to help pay off our spiralling national debt,” said Mr Davidson.

A recent survey conducted by the IPA found that 7 in 10 Australians want Australian pensioners, veterans, and students to be able to get into work before relying on migration.

“Instead of taking the lazy approach of relying on massive increases in unplanned migration to solve this crisis, which will only put further stress on failing infrastructure, the Federal Government must allow Australian pensioners to work without suffering significant financial penalties,” Mr Davidson said.

“Removing all the red-tape and tax barriers preventing Australian pensioners, veterans and students from getting back into the workforce is a simple and effective policy measure that is good for them and good for our nation.”

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