by Alan Thornhill
Wayne Swan is urging Australians to study both what the government has already done – and what it is already planning – on tax reform.
The Treasurer was speaking on the eve of the Federal government’s two day tax Forum, in Canberra.
His appeal amounted to a tacit admission that the Gillard government has not yet been effective getting its tax reform message across to the public.
That has been largely due to the, so far, successful campaign of relentless bluster, run by Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey.
Mr Swan insisted, though, that the government would be looking – at the Forum – for ways to build on the reforms it has already introduced or announced.
“…. the Tax Forum over the next couple of days will help us identify the next steps in tax reform,” Mr Swan said.
But what has the government already done – and what has it already announced – by way of tax reform?
Mr Swan was adamant in his answer to that question.
“We are implementing or have implemented something like 32 measures from the tax review, ” the Treasurer said.
He was referring, of course, to the Review of Australia’s tax system, which the government asked a former Treasury Chief, Ken Henry, to undertake.
“….it’s important we understand what has been done there,” Mr Swan said.
“For example, we have already implemented $47 billion worth of tax cuts over three years.”
The Treasurer also said that there had also been “a very big boost to the single pension.”
The single rate pension had risen by $148 a fortnight.
“We’ve introduced paid parental leave,” Mr Swan said.
And some “very important” tax changes would commence from July next year.
These would include:-
* a cut to the corporate rate of taxation
* a very big cut in tax for small business – some 2.7 million small businesses will receive the $6,500 instant asset write-off and
* “as part of our carbon pricing package we are tripling the tax-free threshold from $6,000 to $18,000, removing something like 1 million people from the income taxation system,” Mr Swan said.
“So these are all measures which flow directly from the original tax review and they are working their way through the policy-making process, working their way through the Parliament and they commence from 1 July next year,” he added.
” I make those points because what we will be doing at the forum is building on a very substantial record of tax reform that the Government has put in place,” Mr Swan said.
He dismissed suggestions, though, that the GST should be increased, to fund tax cuts in other areas.
Mr Swan described those suggestions as “lazy” reform.
Alan Thornhill is a parliamentary press gallery journalist.
Private Briefing is updated daily with Australian personal finance news, analysis, and commentary.
Wednesday June 19
The Dow Jones index rose 138.38 points to 15,318.20
Rudd supporter Joel Fitzgibbon says Labor “Leadership is no longer an issue, it’s all behind us.”
Former Tasmanian Federal MP, Michael Hodgman, affectionately known as “the mouth from the south” dies at 74
US and the Taliban plan peace talks
Holden chief asks his Adelaide workforce to take a pay cut to help its assembly plant remain viable.
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