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Need for Green Paper to set out options for tax reform

Publication date: 30 Jul 97 | Source: THE TAX INSTITUTE

Recognition in the Mortimer Report on Government Business Programs that tax reform is a necessary part of the microeconomic reform process and comments last week by Minister for Industry, Mr John Moore that the Government needs to look at all taxes, highlights the urgent need for the Government to prepare a Green Paper setting out options for tax reform so that all sectors of the community can contribute to the reform process.

According to the Taxation Institute of Australia President, Mr Richard Gelski, one of the strengths of the Mortimer Report is that it seeks to develop coherent recommendations for Government to assist business in a coordinated and sensible way for the benefit of the entire community, not just the sectors directly affected.

"At present there is much speculation as to where the Government is going with tax reform and precisely how far it is prepared to go," Mr Gelski said.

"Unless the community has a clear idea of what options are open to the Government, there will continue to be unproductive debate lacking direction and impetus."

"Although the Prime Minister has set down basic criteria for tax reform, such as the need for simplification, fairness and equity, the broader parameters of the extent to which the Government is prepared to go need to be settled so that wider community involvement can now take place," he said.