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Howard's GST gets you where you live.

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Wayne Swan MP (Member for Lilley)

Shadow Minister for Family and Community Services




Revelations in today’s Sunday Telegraph (attached) of massive GST impacts on rents, will seriously undermine the val ue of tax cuts and punish many low-income earners, according to the Opposition.


The Shadow Minister for Family and Community Services, Wayne Swan, said moves to pass on the GST directly or to increase rents at a rate twice the government’s election time undertaking proves the Australian public have been mislead on the impact of the GST on rents.


“Evidence emerging in Sydney is pointing to average rent increases of around $20-$30 per week as a result of the GST.


“For a family earning $50,000 per year a GST induced slug of this magnitude will instantly wipe out half of their tax cuts.


“And for those on much lower incomes - many of whom spend up to one-third of their weekly budgets on rent - big rent increases like this would be crushing.”


“Many may be forced to move out of their existing rental accommodation.”


Mr Swan said that many landlords almost certainly don’t want to be in the position they are in - but they have no choice.


“They have to maintain their bottom line, and it would be unreasonable to expect that they wear the costs of the GST.


“The blame rests squarely at the feet of the Howard Government - they were the ones who said the GST would result in a fairer tax system.


“But the GST is proving to be a de-facto rent tax that will punish low income earners, and all but wipe out tax cuts for middle income families.


“And for those who attempt to avoid the GST rent impact by moving into low cost alternatives like caravan and mobile home parks - they will be slugged with the GST directly on rent.


“The government believes the 100,000 low income Australians who permanently live in caravan and mobile home accommodation are ‘tourists’ and as such will be slugged with the GST on half of their site fees.


“Only a Government that is desperately out of touch would contemplate singling out low income earners and families for treatment like this.”


ENDS Sunday 23 Jan 00  Contact: Wayne Swan on 0418 795 329

Web:   Matt Linden on 0410 643 525




att  2000-01-25  11:13