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GST: Time for a mature political debate

Publication date: 22 May 13 | Source: THE TAX INSTITUTE

Wednesday 22 May 2013: The Federal Coalition’s proposed tax policy white paper marks the beginning of a mature political debate on the role of the GST in our tax system, The Tax Institute said today.

“The time for political scaremongering on the GST is over, with the sustainability of Australia’s tax base at stake”, Tax Institute Senior Tax Counsel Robert Jeremenko said.

“Tax professionals have long argued the need for a genuine public discussion on reforming Australia’s tax system, which must include the GST.

“As recent events have shown, our current tax base is dangerously exposed to changes in domestic and international economic circumstances.

“Australia’s tax base must be robust and capable of withstanding cyclical shifts”, Mr Jeremenko said.

“Without reform, our tax system will not be able to provide sufficient revenue to meet the significant spending commitments of the coming years.

“Worse still, our current tax system continues to hamper economic growth, with State taxes such as stamp duties on homes and insurance duties amongst the most inefficient taxes in the country.”

Mr Jeremenko said that 90% of the entire tax take in Australia is generated by only 10 taxes, with an additional 115 taxes generating the remaining 10% of revenue.

“A mature debate on constructing a simplified tax system that supports economic growth and a shift towards more robust revenue streams is essential to safeguard Australia’s future.

“Such a debate is impossible without considering the role of the GST in replacing current inefficient State taxes and other much-needed reforms”, Mr Jeremenko said.

ENDS

Contact:

  • Robert Jeremenko, Senior Tax Counsel, 0468 987 300