Volume 18 Issue 1 – Marriot, Sim

COMPARISONS OF TAX EVASION AND WELFARE FRAUD:
HOW WELL DOES POLICY IN AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND REFLECT PUBLIC ATTITUDES TO THESE CRIMES?

By Lisa Marriott and Dalice Sim

This study reports on attitudes towards tax evasion and welfare fraud. Data is collected in an online survey with 3,000 respondents from Australia and New Zealand. The results challenge the assumption that society views tax evasion as less serious than welfare fraud. This finding is important for the Australian and New Zealand justice systems, where policy settings treat welfare fraud as more serious than tax evasion. In highlighting societal views towards tax evasion and welfare fraud, the study challenges extant policy arrangements that allow for different outcomes where crimes result in similar harm.

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