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The Howard/Lees GST without food - it's still unfair.



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LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION

 

STATEMENT BY THE LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION, THE HON KIM C BEAZLEY MP

 

 

THE HOWARD/LEES GST WITHOUT

FOOD - IT’S STILL UNFAIR

 

The deal announced tonight between the Howard Government and the Democrats is bad news for fairness and equity in the Australian taxation system.

 

The Democrats have been hoodwinked into agreeing to a deal which falls well short of the full range of undertakings they gave the Australian public at the last election.

 

Unfortunately, the cave-in by the Democrats will be paid for most directly by low and middle income Australians, as they face a new, regressive 10 per cent tax on many of the essentials of life, excluding some food.

 

Australia did not have to have this tax. We didn’t need it, and a majority of Australians did not want it.

 

When asked to guarantee that food will not be included in the GST down the track, Mr Howard’s arrogant response was: “Oh, look, this is it.” This from the man who said he would “never, ever” introduce a GST.

 

The national wave of relief when Brian Harradine properly decided that he could not agree to an unfair GST has now been rolled back into the faces of the Australian public by an ideologically-driven Government and some naive accomplices.

 

Instead of keeping them honest, the Democrats have kept them in business.

 

What we have got here is not reform. What we have got is a change for the worse.

 

 

PERTH

28 May 1999

 

 

jy  1999-06-01  15:33