Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Bumping Up the GST Will Take Australia Nowhere

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Bumping Up the GST Will Take Australia Nowhere

Article excerpt

TALK now rampant about the possibility of a GST increase to 15% is premature and manipulative.

As with any decision of government, a move to effectively increase by 5% the price of goods and services must be justified by both an explanation of need and a full understanding of all alternatives.

Problems with Australia's taxation system won't be fixed by simply placing a brake on spending, because that is exactly what an increase in this great big tax on everything will do.

Despite Malcolm Turnbull's assurances, it will require more than promises that the most disadvantaged won't be left worse off to sell either an increase in the GST or a widening of its base. Australia's taxation system is a complicated hotchpotch of measures that needs to be simplified and better targeted to ensure everyone pays their fair share. That is simply not the case at present. If you are a PAYG employee for example there are none of the loopholes available to small business, farmers, miners, etc to write off any manner of expenses.

Why someone in the Taxation Department doesn't simply put together the regularly published lists of highest-income-earning suburbs with the cost of housing in those postcodes and just for a moment wonder why one and one don't make two; has always been beyond me.

In the first week of October the new Prime Minister and his freshly minted Treasurer called a summit involving business, unions and welfare sectors.

"We're not going to conclude this meeting today and come out and say 'right we've decided to do X, Y and Z'," Mr Turnbull said.

Afterwards there were photo opportunities and earnest discussion on various late news programs. Negative gearing and an end to generous superannuation tax concessions seemed at point very much on the table.

Miraculously both have disappeared from discussion. …

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