Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

Plenty of Noise and Finger Pointing Are Certain in Tax Debate

Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

Plenty of Noise and Finger Pointing Are Certain in Tax Debate

Article excerpt

Noel

Whittaker

"THOSE who don't know history are doomed to repeat it." These words, from statesman Edmund Burke, came to mind when I read all the latest argy-bargy about possible changes to our tax system.

In April 2008 the Rudd government held a national think tank called the Australian 2020 Summit. One of its major recommendations was a total review of our tax system to make it more equitable. The Rudd government took up the challenge and commissioned the Henry Tax Review. The five members of that committee were highly respected and represented a good cross-section of Australian institutions. The terms of reference, however, were farcical, as two major areas of tax policy were off-limits - GST, and tax on superannuation payments for people aged 60 or over.

In late 2010 the committee handed down its report, which the Rudd government quickly consigned to the too-hard basket. Only after intense pressure did they release its contents - just one week prior to the 2010 May budget. …

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