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GST - There are some devils in the detail

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The National Fanners’ Federation today clarified a number of issues affecting farmers arising out of the compromise GST deal last week.

NFF President, fan Donges said that, despite some conflicting reports, farmers would continue to enjoy a full credit for the excise on diesel used on farms.

NATIONAL F A R M E R S ' F e d e r a t io n Λ Ό S T l A L U

‘T he Diesel Fuel Rebate Scheme has been re-named, not abolished. The compromise agreement between the Coalition and the Democrats would mean that credits for excise would be claimed through the GST system, rather than under the existing scheme”, Mr Donges said.

“A welcome aspect o f the agreement is that on-road use o f diesel would receive a credit o f about 23 cents a litre (16 cents a litre excise credit and 7 cents a litre GST credit) for vehicles over 4.5 tonnes GVM. Rail will now receive a full credit for all excises paid”, he said.

‘The agreement on diesel means that the unfair tax on distance which has affected rural Australia for so long has been reduced by over half.”

“However, our detailed analysis of the agreement reveals that the Government’s original proposals to remove many State taxes have been deferred, which will have an impact on farmers”, Mr Donges said. ■

‘T he Financial Institutions Duty will be abolished from 1 July 2001, and the Bank Accounts Debit Tax will be abolished from 1 July 2005. However, it would appear that the abolition of most State Stamp Duties has been deferred indefinitely, including duty on mortgages, leases and property conveyances”, he said.

‘This means that a fanner purchasing a $500,000 form will continue to pay $16,000 to ■

$18,000 on top of the purchase price in stamp duty. Fanners leasing equipment or seeking a business loan would also continue to pay additional stamp duty”,

“This represents a serious financial imposition, because it affects so many farm transactions”, Mr Donges said.

‘T he NFF has already raised its concern over the complexities flowing from the decision to exempt some food from the GST, while other food will attract the tax. Fanners cannot know how their produce will be finally used, and it would be unfair to expea them to a a as police”, he said.

“We believe it is essential that only retail sales o f food be GST-free. The complexities involved in the agreement highlight the need for an extensive education and information campaign for fanners and rural businesses, so that they can comply with their obligations”.

“NFF is concerned that the added compliance costs will threaten the viability o f small country shops, which often sell everything, from farm supplies to fresh food to takeaway food”.

For further mformation:

lan Donges NFF President 0419 613349

Dr Wendy Craik Executive Director, NFF 026 733 855 0419 257 469

Bob Douglas Director, Rural Policy, NFF 026 2733 855 0418 437 741

n v e House 14-16 B risbane A venue BARTON* ACT 2600

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