Australians should be taxed to “fund the health, education and transport services we need”, according to an open letter from 46 other high-profile signatories.

The letter from the left-leaning think-tank the Australia Institute calls on policy-makers to tackle tax avoidance, close tax loopholes and cut unfair tax concessions.

It also proposes raising taxes to avoid dangerous levels of deficit and pay for services “that everyday Australians rely on”.

Paul Keating's former Cabinet secretary Michael Keating said it would be a small tax increase over a period of 10 years.

“[We are] talking about a very small increase over a decade — 1 per cent of GDP over a decade, it's not huge,” he said.

The letter says that if the nation's tax take is not increased, future governments will fail to fund future services and infrastructure.