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Social Security Reform: The Tax Forum and Beyond


Peter Whiteford, Social Policy Research Centre, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2053, Australia. Email:


This paper identifies the main issues relating to the Australian transfer system discussed at the Tax Forum held in October 2011. The paper focuses on the discussion of the adequacy of current payments for the unemployed and the issue of assistance with housing costs, the sustainability of transfers and taxes in the medium to longer term, and the high effective marginal tax rates associated with Australia's income-tested system.