Newspaper article Coffs Coast Advocate (Coffs Harbour, Australia)

Unions Not Sold on Premier's GST Hike

Newspaper article Coffs Coast Advocate (Coffs Harbour, Australia)

Unions Not Sold on Premier's GST Hike

Article excerpt

Byline: CHRIS CALCINO APN NEWSDESK

INDUSTRY groups are backing New South Wales Premier Mike Baird's plan to raise the GST rate to 15%, while Labor and unions remain steadfastly against the move.

The Property Council of Australia urged Prime Minister Tony Abbott and the first ministers of each state and territory to use the leaders' summit on Wednesday to seriously consider GST reform.

"We can both grow the economy and raise more revenue if we rely on a better mix of taxes than what we have today," Property Council chief executive officer Ken Morrison said.

"That means being bold enough to embrace GST reform to abolish a range of inefficient state taxes. Stamp duty is not just a big cost to homebuyers, it is also a handbrake on economic activity, which impacts the whole community."

But Federal Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said Labor would oppose any move to increase the GST.

"It seems to me that the government's had a sneaky strategy, Mr Abbott's had a sneaky strategy where he will cut the funding to hospitals and schools and he's effectively taken state premiers hostage," Mr Shorten said. …

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