Australians face being slugged another backdoor tax hike, with the basic postage rate going up for the second time in just over 12 months, Senator Simon Birmingham said today.
Under questioning in Senate Supplementary Budget Estimates this morning, Australia Post has revealed plans for its second 5-cent rise in basic postage rate in just 16 months – to 60 cents – after several years at 50 cents.
“This is a shameless, inflationary backdoor tax that adds to the cost of living for ordinary Australians, simply to help the desperate and debt-laden Rudd Government’s bottom line,” Senator Birmingham said today.
“This second jump in the cost of basic postage stamp will raise an extra $140 million from Australians sending letters, while Australia Post provides a dividend of $180 million straight to Government coffers – this is a backdoor tax increase.
“Whatever happened to pre-election Labor and its promises to ease cost of living pressures?
“This is yet another example of Australian pensioners and families paying the price for Kevin Rudd and Labor’s reckless spending and rapidly rising debt.”
Australia Post increased the price of a basic stamp from 50 cents to 55 cents in September 2008 and, as revealed under questioning today, has now applied for a further 5 cent increase from 55 cents to 60 cents in January 2010.
“Every Australian who posts a letter should be worried about just how often and by how much the Rudd Government plans to increase the cost of sending a birthday card to Mum or a small business sending invoices to the customers,” Senator Birmingham said.