National

SA urged to hit the rich in state budget

By AAP Newswire

South Australians want the state government to increase taxes on the well-off and property investors to fund a GST shortfall in the state's finances.

Ahead of Tuesday's SA budget, the Australia Institute has released a poll of 606 people which found 50 per cent backed the extra tax slug on the wealthy.

About 20 per cent backed reversing tax cuts in last year's budget and only 10 per cent were in favour of increasing state debt.

There was even less support for any further privatisation of public services with only six per cent of respondents in favour.

The government is facing a more than $500 million shortfall in GST returns and has indicated this year's budget will be tough.

It has already moved to increase revenue in some areas, including charging more for hospital parking.

But Australia Institute projects manager Noah Schultz-Byard said voters want to see those who could afford to contribute a little more being asked to do so.

"Cutting services like public transport, health and education is the least popular option for budget repair in South Australia," he said.

"There is broad support for increasing taxes on wealthier South Australians and property investors, with it being the most popular way to balance the budget amongst supporters of all age groups and political parties."

Mr Shultz-Byard said budgets were about choices and tended to reveal a government's priorities.

"This research has shown that, if the government goes down a path of cuts to services and privatisation, it will be out of step with the wishes of a majority of South Australian voters," he said.