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Inquiry into employee share ownership



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Media Release - 7 June 1999

The Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia

House of Representatives Standing Committee on Employment, Education and Workplace Relations

Chair

Dr Brendan Nelson, MP

Deputy Chair Mr Rod Sawford, MP

Members Mr Phillip Barresi, MP Mr Kerry Bartlett, MP Mr Craig Emerson, MP Ms Teresa Gambaro. MP Mrs Joanna Gash, MP Ms Julia Gillard, MP The Hon Bob Katter, MP Mr Kim Wilkie, MP

Inquiry into Employee Share Ownership

Dr Brendan Nelson, MP, Chair of the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Employment, Education and Workplace Relations announced that the committee will hold a public hearing for its inquiry into employee share ownership plans, in Canberra on 10 June 1999.

Representatives of the Australian Taxation Office will be giving evidence.

Dr Nelson said: ‘A number o f companies have told us that the compliance cost of the taxation legislation discourages small companies from setting up an employee share plan. Larger companies have said that the tax laws are unnecessarily restrictive and complex. They claim these factors deter the growth and uptake of employee share plans.’

‘Many share plans operate though trusts. The Ralph Review has proposed that trusts be taxed in a similar way to companies. However, we have been told that this would jeopardise the viability of employee share plans.’

‘The Australian Taxation Office, in its submission to the inquiry, raised concerns about protecting Australia’s revenue base. Recently a number of aggressively marketed tax minimisation schemes have been developed, based on incentives available for employee share ownership plans.’

‘ Employee share ownership schemes are widely used in other countries as a means of encouraging national savings. The Committee is keen to examine any barriers to this occurring in Australia.’

Correspondence and inquires: Committee Secretary House of Representatives Standing Committee on

Employment, Education and Workplace Relations RI 116 Parliament House CANBERRA ACT 2600

Tel (02) 6277 4573 Fax (02) 6277 4427 E-mail: eewr.reps^aph.gov.au

Public Hearing

10 June — Canberra

Venue: Parliament House, Committee Room 1R3

9:00-10:00 Australian Taxation Office

Terms of reference The extent to which employee share ownership schemes have been established in Australian enterprises and the resultant effects on: (a) workplace relations and productivity in enterprises; and (b) the economy.