Why the Henry Review Fails on Family Tax Reform
AbstractWhile acknowledging the importance of fairness and the need to avoid creating disincentives in the design of tax reform, the Henry Review recommends a simplified Personal Income Tax and child payments withdrawn on a single family income test. This paper shows that the proposed reforms would consolidate the existing family tax system, which clearly fails in terms of both fairness and disincentives. In the early 1980’s Australia had a highly progressive individual income tax and universal family payments. Since then family income tests on child payments and tax cuts at high income levels have transformed the system into one of joint taxation with the highest marginal rates on low and average wage two-earner families. Under the Review’s recommendations the same families would continue to face the highest tax rates. Data presented indicate strong negative effects on productivity and the tax base due to disincentive effects on labour supply and saving over the life cycle. The paper proposes a return to a strongly progressive individual based income tax and universal family payments.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 642.
Date of creation: Aug 2010
Date of revision:
Taxation; Family payments; Time allocation; Labour supply; Saving; Life cycle;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D91 - Microeconomics - - Intertemporal Choice - - - Intertemporal Household Choice; Life Cycle Models and Saving
- H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
- H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household
- J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
- J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
- J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ACC-2010-09-11 (Accounting & Auditing)
- NEP-ALL-2010-09-11 (All new papers)
- NEP-PBE-2010-09-11 (Public Economics)
- NEP-PUB-2010-09-11 (Public Finance)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Erosa, Andres & Gervais, Martin, 2002.
"Optimal Taxation in Life-Cycle Economies,"
Journal of Economic Theory,
Elsevier, vol. 105(2), pages 338-369, August.
- Andres Erosa & Martin Gervais, 2000. "Optimal taxation in life-cycle economies," Working Paper 00-02, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
- Andrés Erosa & Martin Gervais, 1998. "Optimal Taxation in Life-Cycle Economies," UWO Department of Economics Working Papers 9812, University of Western Ontario, Department of Economics.
- Blundell, Richard & Browning, Martin & Meghir, Costas, 1994.
"Consumer Demand and the Life-Cycle Allocation of Household Expenditures,"
Review of Economic Studies,
Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(1), pages 57-80, January.
- Richard Blundell & Martin Browning & Costas Meghir, 1993. "Consumer demand and the life-cycle allocation of household expenditures," IFS Working Papers W93/11, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
- Apps, Patricia & Rees, Ray, 1999.
"On the taxation of trade within and between households,"
Journal of Public Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 241-263, August.
- Apps, P.F. & Rees, R., 1998. "On the Taxation of Trade Within and Between Households," Papers 337, Australian National University - Department of Economics.
- Attanasio, Orazio P & Browning, Martin, 1995.
"Consumption over the Life Cycle and over the Business Cycle,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1118-37, December.
- Attanasio, O.P. & Browning, M., 1993. "Consumption Over the Life Cycle and Over the Business Cycle," Papers 9314, Tilburg - Center for Economic Research.
- Attanasio, O.P. & Browning, M.J., 1993. "Consumption over the life cycle and over the business cycle," Discussion Paper 1993-14, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
- Orazio P. Attanasio & Martin Browning, 1993. "Consumption over the Life Cycle and over the Business Cycle," NBER Working Papers 4453, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas & Jonathan A. Parker, 1999.
"Consumption Over the Life Cycle,"
NBER Working Papers
7271, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Apps, Patricia & Rees, Ray, 2001.
"Household production, full consumption and the costs of children,"
Elsevier, vol. 8(6), pages 621-648, December.
- Apps, Patricia & Rees, Ray, 2000. "Household Production, Full Consumption and the Costs of Children," IZA Discussion Papers 157, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Carroll, Christopher D, 1997.
"Buffer-Stock Saving and the Life Cycle/Permanent Income Hypothesis,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
MIT Press, vol. 112(1), pages 1-55, February.
- Christopher D. Carroll, 1996. "Buffer-Stock Saving and the Life Cycle/Permanent Income Hypothesis," NBER Working Papers 5788, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Christopher D Carroll, 1990. "Buffer-Stock Saving and the Life Cycle/Permanent Income Hypothesis," Economics Working Paper Archive 371, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics, revised Aug 1996.
- Reuben Gronau & Daniel S. Hamermesh, 2006.
"Time Vs. Goods: The Value Of Measuring Household Production Technologies,"
Review of Income and Wealth,
International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 52(1), pages 1-16, 03.
- Reuben Gronau & Daniel S. Hamermesh, 2003. "Time Vs. Goods: The Value of Measuring Household Production Technologies," NBER Working Papers 9650, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.