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Thursday, 23 September 1999
Page: 10402

Mr St CLAIR —My question is addressed to the Minister for Trade. Will the minister inform the House of the benefits to Australian exporters that will flow from the government's new business tax system an nounced this week? How will this help boost jobs growth?

Mr VAILE (Trade) —I thank the honourable member for New England for his question. The taxation reforms announced by the government this week will unambiguously assist to improve the circumstance of Australia's exporting industries. They will also assist in jobs growth in export industries. In Australia, 1.7 million jobs rely on exports, that is, one in five Australian jobs. In America, it is only one in 10. This tax package unambiguously supports our export industries. Our farm exports account for $25 billion of exports; minerals and energy exports are worth $40 billion; manufactures are worth $22 billion. In the New England electorate alone, the wool industry, the beef industry, education services and manufacturing industries will all benefit from the lowering of the corporate tax rate to 30 per cent by this government. The lower tax rate will make the Australian economy and Australian exporting industries much more competitive.

Australian companies will enjoy a rate which is 14 per cent lower than Canada's, 12 per cent lower than Japan's, five per cent lower than the rate in the US and equal to the rate in the UK, Germany, Europe, Thailand and Korea. Through modernising our taxation system, we are making the Australian economy far more competitive with the rest of the world. We want Australia's economy—in which Australia's exporting industries operate and use as a launching pad—to be seen as one of the world's most competitive economies for the new millennium.