Impact of the Governments Plan for a New Tax System on Rural and Remote Indigenous Communities Report Prepared by ATSIC January 1999 The Allen Consulting Group
Tabled paper 965
Tabled Papers for 8th Assembly 1997 - 2001; Tabled Papers; ParliamentNT
Tabled by Sydney Stirling
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I m p a c t o f a N e w T a x S y s t e m o n R u r a l a n d " R e m o t e I n d i g e n o u s C o m m u n i t i e s 3. The Special Nature of Rural and Remote Indigenous Communities 3.1 Levels and Sources of Income Indigenous people in rural and remote communities have low per capita incomes. For the greater part, they are either in receipt of social security payments, or are in a Community Development Employment Projects (CDEP) scheme receiving incomes based upon unemployment benefits. There are some people who are in low paying occupations, but given the scarcity of jobs in rural and remote communities, there are very limited opportunities for Indigenous people to find employment in order to supplement social security incomes. The level of income available under the CDEP scheme in remote localities is approximately $180 per week for 15 hours work providing an annual income of a little over $9,000. This compares to income support payments available to unemployed persons under the social security system. Household incomes for people in rural and remote Indigenous communities are in the lowest quintile for the nation and amongst the lowest in the Australian community. Incomes are especially low at the level of sole person households and single parent families. There are only a very limited number of paid jobs available in the communities. While opportunities do arise to generate cash income from arts and craft production and sales and from tourism, in general these activities do not account for a large part of community incomes. 3.2 Pattern of Consumption The Household Expenditure Survey (HES) conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, provides the basic statistics on Australian household expenditure. It is these statistics that are used to analyse the impact of Government taxation and expenditure policies on different groups in society. Government assessments of the spending patterns of Australian households have been used to determine the appropriateness and adequacy of income support payments and to identify household types that are economically vulnerable. Similarly, Government reviews of taxation policy, of the adequacy of social security programs, of the equity of income distribution, and of the impact on households of changing economic conditions, all rely heavily on HES quantitative data (Smith (1991)). T lu : A lk ii C o n s u l t i n g f i r m ip 4
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