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Brough backs Labour's call on GST margin scheme.



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Joel Fitzgibbon MP Shadow Assistant Treasurer Shadow Minister for Revenue Shadow Minister for Banking and Financial Services

8 June 2005

BROUGH BACKS LABOR’S CALL ON GST MARGIN SCHEME

Labor welcomes Minister Brough’s back flip last night on proposed changes to the GST margin scheme on the supply of real property.

Last week I indicated in my speech to Tax Laws Amendment Bill No 3, that Labor believed that the proposed changes to the GST margin scheme for real property ‘were another example of a botched approach to legislation’.

In response to serious concerns raised by industry participants, Labor had indicated to stakeholders and the Minister’s office that it would be referring this Bill to a Senate Committee.

In order to avoid scrutiny of these deficiencies in this Senate process Minister Brough has indicated that he will amend the Bill himself to remove the changes to the GST margin scheme.

This is an embarrassing back flip from Brough, and is another in a series of mistakes that have had to be corrected since he took over the portfolio.

Serious questions must now be raised as to whether Minister Brough is giving enough attention to the Bills he is introducing. The problem is compounded by the fact that in many cases he simply refuses to consult with key industry stakeholders.

In order to break this pattern of repeatedly botched tax law changes, I now call on Minister Brough to make greater use of exposure drafts for tax bills.

RECENT EXAMPLES OF TAX LAW ERRORS UNDER BROUGH Date Bill Major errors corrected

Feb. TLAB (Retirement

Villages)

Whole bill corrects error made in House question time debate by Treasurer

Feb. TLAB (GST Non-

reviewable Contracts) Minister accepts Labor’s amendment on arbitration period in Senate

Feb. TLAB 7 (2004) Government amends bill in House to

change time frames for provisions relating to non-commercial loans.

May TLAB 1 (2005) Government now rewriting schedules on

GST on foreign tour operators

June TLAB 2 (2005) Government to withdraw provisions on

GST margin scheme

June TLAB 3 (2005) Major mistake to international tax bill

corrected in schedule 2.

Contact: Joel Fitzgibbon 0418 293 372 Brendan Long 0408 421 447