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26 Aug 11 Preamble - Friday 26 August 2011

The Tax Institute has long called for a measured and structured approach to tax reform. We need a timeline for reform and a process for taking the debate forward beyond the Government’s October tax forum.

However, it is crucial that our economic and budgetary situation is not used as an excuse to delay the hard work that is required to improve our tax system and ensure that we are well positioned for the challenges that lie ahead. Doing the work now will ensure the tax reform debate continues and that there is a medium-term plan for reform in the coming years as the country’s balance sheet improves.

The Tax Institute is continuing to lead the debate on tax reform and work towards a better tax system. Ahead of my attendance at the Government's tax forum in October, is an important step in the public debate: The Great Tax Debate: Constructing Tomorrow's Tax System, which is being held next week (on 31 August) in Sydney and via web stream. This Tax Institute event is being run in conjunction with the Australian Tax Research Foundation and will allow members and non-members access to expert perspectives on the tax reform debate. A series of speeches will be incorporated with Q&A panel sessions.  The papers presented by these speakers will then be published in a special edition of the September edition of the Taxation in Australia Journal. The event will lead into the formation of working groups to further explore ideas for tax reform and to ensure the national debate on tax reform continues.

Key independent MP, Rob Oakeshott, and Opposition Assistant Treasurer, Senator Mathias Cormann, will speak at the event. Rob Oakeshott was one of the key drivers behind the Government's commitment to host the October Tax Forum and has a keen interest in ensuring that tax reform is effectively and thoroughly debated in Australia.

Others confirmed to speak are: Greg Smith, former Henry Review panellist and current Adjunct Professor at the Australian Catholic University; Henry Ergas, Senior Economic Adviser, Deloitte Access Economics; Cassandra Goldie, Chief Executive Officer, ACOSS; and Adam Creighton, Research Fellow, Centre for Independent Studies.
There is no charge to attend this event, but available spaces are almost all taken, so please register (whether you would like to attend in person or access the live web stream) here.

Please see below for details of other activities this week.

Regards

Robert Jeremenko FTIA


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