Published on 01 Sep 11
by "TAXATION IN AUSTRALIA" JOURNAL ARTICLE
The following is an edited transcript of Western Australian Senator Mathias Cormann’s presentation at The Tax Institute’s “Great Tax Debate”, held in Sydney on 31 August 2011. Mathias discusses the principles which should underpin an efficient and equitable tax system. He says that any Australian Government intent on advancing genuine tax reform should be prepared to genuinely engage and reach agreement with state and territory governments about the federal/state financial relations implications of any tax reform.
Based on this principle, he argues that the taxes introduced by the present Commonwealth Government were not designed on the basis of good long-term public policy, but were designed to generate additional cash for the government quickly. These include alcohol taxation, the tax on the northwest shelf gas project, the increase in the luxury car tax, the mining and carbon taxes. He argues that, having received the Henry Review report recommendations, the government should have engaged in proper, structured, open, transparent and inclusive consultation. Finally, he outlines the Coalition’s preferred approach to tax reform.