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  • Writer's pictureCaterina Sullivan

Where Do You Want to See Your Taxpayer Dollars Spent?

Updated: Oct 6, 2020

Budget 2020 is looming, and this could be one of the biggest budget night of many Australian people's lives. With the economic impact of COVID-19 and the devastating bushfires from earlier this year throwing us violently into a recession, there is a lot to be done to protect Australians from our financial situation worsening over the coming years.

However, for an event as impactful as budget night, many Australians feel disengaged from the outcomes. After all, the budget usually spans over 600 pages - and I don't think I would have to poll our residents to find out that less than 99% of us have read any year's budget cover to cover.

When I tell people that I work in the realm of politics, people often say to me, "If I was Prime Minister..." or "If I could tell them what to do...". Funnily enough, pretty much anyone can become Prime Minister; there are no legal restrictions that make it impossible for any person to become Prime Minister - just a few documents to be checked and a couple of sacrifices to be made (ensuring Australian citizenship, no dual citizenship, no public service income, joining a political party). And we CAN express any of our thoughts and opinions to our political representatives about any issue. That is their job, after all, to represent us.

I understand that people sometimes feel intimidated taking suggestions to their political reps and also probably intimidated by the idea of becoming Prime Minister, which means a lot of these frustrations and issues are told to me and then never get much further (unless I happen to be meeting with one of their representatives in the not-so-distant future).

That is why this year, I decided to conduct a survey on behalf of my company into where Australian residents for tax purposes decided they wanted to see their taxpayer dollars spent in 2020 / 2021.

The survey is currently open to all participants. There are a couple of demographic questions (age, postcode, education, etc.) and then only one actual survey question. This question asks if you could choose where you put your taxpayer dollars, which areas would they go to. You have a $20,000 budget to work with (approximately the average bill of the Australian taxpayer each year). There are a number of categories such as communication, education, foreign affairs and economic aid, manufacturing and construction and tourism. For any area you don't believe the government should be spending any money, you can just put in a 0.

The easiest way to fill out the survey to distribute your money according to what you believe is to start with all these 0-dollar categories. From there, calculate how many categories are left. If for example you have 15 categories left, put $1000 in each. From there, you can add an extra $1000 to the five categories where you would like to see more investment (or maybe an extra $2000 into a category). Then go through all the categories with $1000 and work out if there is maybe $500 you would like to take away from that category and distribute elsewhere.

Of course, if you need any help filling out the survey, please contact me on social media, and I will do my best to assist!

Once there are enough respondents, the results will be posted and be compared and contrasted to the outcomes of Budget 2020.

If you're really interested in seeing the results of this survey, please take part and share the link among your family and friends. Results will also be presented to federal politicians, so this is your chance to be heard!


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