Miscellaneous 2011

The inefficiencies in and distortions caused by our tax system

Source: Taxation In Australia Journal Article

Published Date: 1 Sep 2011


The following is an edited transcript of Henry Ergas’s presentation at The Tax Institute’s “Great Tax Debate”, held in Sydney on 31 August 2011. Henry discusses the urgent need for tax reform, given the likelihood of shrinking revenue and, ultimately, permanent deficits if current government revenue to GDP and current entitlements are maintained. In addition, Australia’s tax system is, in many respects, seen as seriously distorting.

In the author’s view, reform of our tax system will consist of several major components. The first is that we must move towards a tax structure that has more sensible tax bases and taxes those bases in a more sensible way. The second component involves tackling our dysfunctional system of fiscal federalism. Finally, we must consider the sustainability of entitlements and how to fund them into the future. The author then discusses how such reforms may be achieved, and recommends an independent fiscal commission that reports annually to government.

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Miscellaneous 2011

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