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Senate inquiry into GST covers employment and education issues



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AUSTRALIAN SENATE

EMPLOYMENT, WORKPLACE RELATIONS, SMALL BUSINESS AND EDUCATION

REFERENCES COMMITTEE ·

• LEGISLATION COMMITTEE

PRESS RELEASE

PARLIAMENT HOUSE CANBERRA ACT 2600 Tel: (02) 6277 3520 Fax: (02) 6277 5706 Email: eet.sen@aph.gov.au

SENATE INQUIRY INTO GST COVERS EMPLOYMENT AND EDUCATION ISSUES

The Senat^Emproyment r W0rlq51acFRelMi0hs7SrnalTBusihess and'EducatioTrReference^ commences its round of pmblic hearings in Canberra tomorrow. The^Committee| chaired by Victorian Senator Jacinta Collins, is concentrating on the GST issue and'itsTikely effects on millions of Australians involved in some way in education. The Committee will also consider possibly adverse effects of the GST on employment, employment services, and in a number of vulnerable industries, especially tourism and hospitality.

The Senate’s wide inquiry into the GST has already allowed a for a significant imput of detailed research, information and informed comment on the proposed new tax system. It is difficult to imagine how such a necessary and important public discourse would have taken place without the Senate’s reference of the new tax bills to a select and several

standing committees. Public access to government circles and agencies is always restricted, yet this Government insists that it does not need the advantages that wide public scrutiny and debate bring to the making of fair tax laws. Several submissions have already

commented on the very limited scope of some organisations to make representation to government.

Committee chair, Senator Collins has said: ‘What people around Australia are saying is that, the Government still has a lot of explaining to do when it comes to introducing a new tax system. The devil is always in the detail when it comes to tax matters. There is a fear

that the ordinary concerns of average and lower income groups, and the disadvantaged, will be overlooked by the economic modellers in Canberra and by their advisers at the top end of town.’

The Committee will be holding public hearings next week in Sydney, Brisbane and Cairns, and the week after in Adelaide, Melbourne and Hobart. It will hear from unions, business, community support groups, local government and a range of interest groups.

A program of hearings is attached. Further information can be obtained from the Secretary Mr John Carter:

Telephone: 02 6277 3520 Fax: 02 62775706

Mobile: 0416 277 018

18 February 1999