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The inefficiencies in and distortions caused by our tax system


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.

Author profile

Prof Henry Ergas
Henry works for Deloitte Access Economics. - Current at 01 September 2011


This was presented at The Great Tax Debate .

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Individual sessions

The Great Tax Debate - Panel B

Author(s):  Greg SMITH,  Henry Ergas,  Adam Creighton,  Cassandra Goldie

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The Great Tax Debate - Panel A

Author(s):  Mathias Cormann,  Rob Oakeshott

Materials from this session:

A process to implement a tax reform agenda

Author(s):  Rob Oakeshott

Materials from this session:

The principles underpinning an efficient and equitable tax system

Author(s):  Mathias Cormann

Materials from this session:

Tax reform: Priorities and prospects

Author(s):  Greg SMITH

Materials from this session:

The Henry Review - A liberal critique

Author(s):  Adam Creighton

Materials from this session:

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