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Coalition attitude to tax administration



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STATEMENT BY THE TREASURER, THE HON P.J. KEATING, MP

COALITION ATTITUDE TO TAX ADMINISTRATION

The Leader of the Opposition, Mr Peacock, should immediately clarify his party's attitude to business tax avoidance and the attempts of the Commissioner of Taxation to ensure that

business pays its fair share of tax.

In a speech in Perth on Friday of last week, the Leader of the Opposition accused Mr Boucher of seeking a "cowboy image" in his dealings with business. Mr Peacock wants the tax administration system overhauled to provide "a fairer balance" between the Commissioner's powers and the "rights of business".

What "rights of business" is he talking about?

Is he talking about the "right" of business to avoid paying its fair share of tax?

The Opposition's intentions were clarified somewhat by the Shadow Minister for Finance, Senator Stone, yesterday when he said that "we'd simply have to have a bit of a talk to Trevor...."

That is, a Coalition Government would put pressure on the Commissioner of Taxation, an independent statutory officer charged with the job of administering our tax laws with impartiality and without fear of political interference, to go soft on business.

This campaign being conducted by the Opposition on behalf of some of its business cronies is a deliberate attempt to intimidate the Commissioner.

I regard it as abhorent that a political party would wish to influence the way in which Mr Boucher does his job. It is particularly abhorent that the political purpose seems to be to allow the top end of town to get away with paying less tax.

The Commissioner of Taxation has the strong support of the Government, and I can assure the Opposition's business mates that he will be given every ounce of support he needs.

CANBERRA ACT 17 July 1989