A report by the Sydney Morning Herald today provides a fascinating insight into the amount of taxpayers money that goes to the corporate sector either directly or as tax breaks.
The paper says that “each year, Australian taxpayers hand over more than $6 billion to selected parts of the corporate sector in direct outlays and tax breaks, more than is spent on unemployment and sickness benefits ($5.8 billion).”
The paper reports that $60 billion has been handed out in the past decade, much of it to some of the world’s richest corporations, on an apparently ad hoc basis and “often with no strings attached by various Federal and State governments”.
The paper argues that the Howard Government’s rhetoric on mutual obligation where social welfare is concerned has not extended to corporate welfare. Furthermore, the paper says handouts to the business sector have had brought few benefits other than to shareholders of some companies.