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Reith reveals Government's secret GST roll back plan.



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Reith Reveals Government's Secret GST Roll Back Plan Simon Crean - Shadow Treasurer

Media Statement - 16 July 2000

Peter Reith has exposed the Howard Government's monumental hypocrisy on the GST.

Appearing on the Sunday Sunrise program today, Mr Reith admitted that the Government is planning further changes to the GST package.

First he said there would be "refinements".

Then he said he was getting advice from small business on a "day-by-day" basis on what changes were needed.

Finally he tipped out the whole strategy, admitting that the tax laws put in place on July 1st weren't locked in stone. He said that "no one in their right mind" would say they were locked in stone. In other words, more GST changes are in the pipeline.

John Howard, Peter Costello and Peter Reith want the luxury of telling Labor it can't make the GST simpler or fairer, while at the same time they are planning their own package of changes.

They can't have it both ways. Now that Peter Reith has exposed the Government's plan to change the GST, they must come clean on the detail:

What are the changes they will be announcing? ● When will they be announced? ● What will they cost? ● Will they include changes to the GST legislation? ●

Will they involve making some goods or services GST free? ● Will they include increases to compensation? ● Will they include measures to make it simpler for small business? ●

Peter Reith was only admitting today what Labor has said all along. This is an unfair, complicated tax.

Since the GST package was announced the Government has rolled it back to the tune of at least than $8.7 billion.

Peter Reith revealed today that that was just the beginning. There are more GST changes on the way.

The Government's hypocrisy in attacking Labor's plans to make the GST simpler and less unfair is simply breathtaking.

Partial Transcript - Sunday Sunrise - Peter Reith With Glen Milne - 16 July 2000

E & OE - Proof Only

Refinements

MILNE: …you've attacked Labor's plan to roll back what they say are the unfair aspects of the tax. Does that mean that you'd rule out any further changes to the GST on your part?

REITH: Well we've always said as we, as issues arise in terms of refinements, I mean there have been a number of refinements as we've moved along, but I don't think we're talking about sort of technical changes,…

Changes

MILNE: Well let's have a look at a couple of specific areas. If small business comes to you after the first business activity statement comes in, is due in three months time, and says 'look we've got particular difficulties here', would you address those difficulties?

REITH: Well that is very hypothetical Glen. I can tell you we have a group called the Small Business Consultative Committee and it's already announced they're running through until the end of December, and they feed me with lots of advice about how the system is going. This is not a bi-month thing, this is a day-by-day week-by-week proposition. And they've been feeding in the small business community's reaction to the changeover, you know, and ideas. And no one is saying that the tax laws as at the 1st of July will be locked in stone forever and a day. No one is saying that. No one in their right mind would say that. So obviously the government's position today is as it's been all the way through the process, and will continue to be.

Authorised by Geoff Walsh, 19 National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600.