25 Mar 11 Preamble - Friday 25 March 2011
Last year, in gaining the support of the independent MPs, the Government promised a tax forum to be held by June 2011. This week the Government revealed one of the worst kept secrets in Canberra: that the tax forum will be delayed until October and will be held over two days.
The Government risks short-changing Australia with this stripped-back tax forum. The issues around tax reform are too important to be rushed over a two-day discussion.
We have long said to the Government that what is needed is a measured, structured approach. The issues deserve nothing less than the establishment of specialist sub-committees or working groups to undertake the heavy lifting of analysis and discussion, well before the forum convenes in October.
The Government spends a good part of a year working up its budget, and yet it expects tax reform to be sorted in two days.
One of the areas that we need a debate about is the tax reform potential of examining the rate and base of the GST, to be able to afford the abolition of some of the most inefficient and worst designed taxes in Australia: state taxes, like stamp duties on insurance policies and property sales.
The Tax Institute will continue to lead the debate on tax reform and striving for a better tax system.
Please see below for further activities this week.
Robert Jeremenko FTIA