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Tax reform - at long last



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‘T h e National Fenners’ Federation has strongly welcomed the passage of a new system of indirect taxation as the beginning of an era of realistic and fairer taxation· in Australia.

n a tio n a l. Farmers’ Federation * U S T R A I : Λ

The Chairman of N FF's Economic Committee, Brendan Stewart said the NFF had been one of the first industry groups to propose a GST, in 1988.

"NFF congratulates the Government and the Democrats on implementing this important economic reform”, Mr Stewart said.

“The passage of this week’s legislation has seen the achievement of one of our long­ term policy objectives. The introduction of this package enshrines the principle that taxcs.should not be imposed on business inputs, but on the final product”, he said.

“The NFF particularly welcomes last night’s passage of legislation reducing the excise on diesel fuel, but warns that accessing the cuts could be unnecessarily complicated" w

“Our governments should now focus their attention on removing all remaining taxes on business inputs, particularly the residual fuel excises, stamp duties, and taxes on bank transactions”, M r Stewart said.

“The important task now is to implement the GST as effectively as possible, ensuring that compliance costs are minimised", Mr Stewart said.

“NFF is encouraged by the Government’s plans to institute an industry by industry education program, to ensure that all businesses, and particularly farm businesses, are aware of their compliance obligations", he said.

“Australia's farm organisations are ready to work with the Government in completing this important task” .

“It will be important that changes proposed in the Ralph Review of Business Taxation do not impose additional costs on farmers, leaving them worse off than before the tax reform process”. .

Mr Stewart said the excise on diesel had represented a tax on rural living for too long.

'T h e long overdue cuts in the excise will lift some of the burden on counby people, by reducing the costs of farmers’ inputs, as well as the cost of everything that goes into and out of country areas", Mr Stewart said.

“Australia’s broadacre fanners will also welcome the considerable reductions which will flow from the complete removal of excise on rail fuel. NFF has estimated that the value of removing all rail excise would mean an extra $1.60 in farmers’ pockets for every tonne of grain shipped”, he said.

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“But farmers should not be forced to navigate their way through a maze of regulations in order to gain ihe benefits of the lower diesel costs'*.

“Our analysis of the legislation passed last night appeals to show th ^ fam ers could face two processes in order to comply with the new laws”, M r Stewart said”

“NFF will raise our concerns over the new system with the Government, and will be calling for amendments to simplify the process”, he said.

“Addressing these concerns will enhance the undoubted benefits the package will have on country Australians everywhere, and farmers in particular".

“Farmers should save nearly a billion dollars a year in input costs, and it has been estimated that the total tax package will leave the average farm family business iron) $5,000 to $7,000 a year better off*.

For further information:

Brendan Stewart Chairman, Economic Committee, NFF 0418 885 604

Dr Wendy Craik Executive Director, NFF 026273 3855 0419257 469

Bob Douglas Director, Rural Policy, NFF 02 6273 3855 0418437 741