A historic tax increase signals Australia's new direction

Joe Hockey's 'temporary levy' may well become permanent as it opens the door to full debate on economic inequality and its political consequences.

For all of Joe Hockey’s warnings that the age of entitlements is over and that his first budget will begin the painful process of winding back entitlements like the age pension and family support payments, the most significant government leak about what may be in the budget is the proposal for a  temporary income tax ‘levy’.

The fact is that the levy, which would be set at 1 per cent for people earning more than $80,000 and 2 per cent earning more than $180,000, is in reality an increase in income tax.

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