Bringing equality and compassion to the heart of the budget
We all want a fair economy that works for people. One that ensures everyone can afford to keep a roof
over their head, food on the table and has the opportunity to flourish.
At Oxfam we are striving for fair and equal future without the inequalities that keep people in poverty.
In the 2023-24 Federal Budget, to be announced on the 9th May, we have the opportunity to put
equality and compassion at the heart of our spending priorities.
For too long our economic system, including our budget and our taxes, have been skewed to benefit big
corporations and wealthy people. Many billionaires, corporations and super-rich people pay little or no
tax and instead receive all sorts of subsidies for their corporations and lavish lifestyle.
As a result, inequality is rising to shocking levels in Australia. Recently, Oxfam released a report ‘Survival
of the Richest’ which found that the richest 1% of Australians have accumulated 10 times more wealth
than the bottom 50% in the past decade alone. The number of billionaires in Australia has sky-rocketed,
while so many are deeply struggling with the cost of living.
Australia prides itself on being egalitarian and giving everyone a fair go. It’s absolutely vital we turn
those values into action this budget.
Oxfam’s vision for an economy that benefits everyone, equally
To pay for the services everyone needs – like quality healthcare and education, affordable housing and a
strong social safety net – we all need to pay our fair share of taxes.
To make tax fair in this budget, Oxfam has called for an end to reduced tax rates to billionaires, big
corporations and people on high incomes. That includes scrapping the Stage 3 tax cuts that will deepen
inequality in Australia.
We’ve also called for the government to stop giving billions in subsidies (i.e. cash handouts) to fossil fuel
corporations, already making billions in profit and deepening our climate crisis.
Finally, we want billionaires, big corporations and the super-rich to pay more tax, especially when they
make massive windfall profits off things like a global pandemic or interest rate rises.
With the money from these taxes and budget savings, we can invest public money where its really
Oxfam’s vision for a compassionate budget – prioritising those in most need
Oxfam believes that all lives are equal and that no one should live in poverty.
Poverty is not inevitable. It is a budget and policy choice.
In the forthcoming budget, Oxfam is pushing for the government to:
- Invest in Closing the Gap for First Nation communities. We are so pleased to see the government has already announced over $400 million in extra funding.
- Meet its global commitment to provide climate funding to low-income countries, particularly those in the Pacific, by giving $1 billion to community driven projects that respond to the devastating impacts of climate change.
- To raise international aid to 50c in every $100 we spend urgently. Australia is currently providing 22c per $100, which is far below our peers such as the UK at 50c, Japan at 34c or Sweden at 91c per $100.
- Increase our emergency humanitarian funding to $300 million per year, and invest $200 million per year for three years in hunger prevention. No one should starve in a world of plenty.
Ever before this year’s budget is complete, Oxfam is also joining our Help Fight Famine allies in calling for urgent support to prevent the looming famine in East Africa – where one person is dying every 48 seconds from hunger, thirst and disease. The government has invested $40 million, but we’re pushing for an additional $110 million in immediate funding to meet the scale of the crisis.
By prioritising people and the public services we need to live with wellbeing and dignity, we can create a better future without poverty. The future is equal.