Published on 01 Apr 12
by "AUSTRALIAN TAX FORUM" JOURNAL ARTICLE
This article provides an overview of the political and economic context in which the Tax Forum was held. While the Forum had unlikely beginnings in that it was a concession to secure the parliamentary support of independent MP Rob Oakeshott, it can be argued that it did make a positive contribution to the tax reform process. Given the growing constraints on the political capacity of Australian governments the viability of tax reform increasingly depends on building broad-based community support. In these terms it can be argued that Forum provided a valuable opportunity to discuss reform options and gauge the level of political support for reform proposals outside the increasingly adversarial arena of party politics.
The Forum may have provided an opportunity for key stakeholders to establish some common ground in relation to tax reform, but given the formidable political barriers to reform the article concludes by assessing the need for fundamental reform of the tax policy process.
Richard is an Associate Professor in Political Science School of Government University
Current at 1 April 2012