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Australia's competiveness damned



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Peter Reith

DEPUTY LEADER of the OPPOSITION PRESS RELEASE SHADOW TREASURER

AUSTRALIA’S COMPETITIVENESS DAMNED

The 1992 World Competitiveness Report shows yet again that Australia can ill afford to ignore the massive cost reductions for business that go hand-in-hand with Goods and Services taxation reform.

The competitiveness report, compiled by the International Institute for Management Development and the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, shows that Australia is simply not keeping pace with the rest of the world when it comes to competitiveness.

According to reports in T h e Australian" newspaper this morning Australia slipped from tenth to thirteenth in the competitive stakes between 1989 and 1990, and since then we have slid back even further to rank only sixteenth out of countries in the OECD.

It is no coincidence that New Zealand, a nation that h a s embarked on major reform of both taxation and industrial relations, h as now b ecom e more com petitive than Australia.

It is no coincidence either that the overwhelming majority of the countries that are more competitive than Australia already have value-added tax system s.

With Australia suffering from the worst recession in sixty years with nearly a million people unemployed we desperately need to become more competitive on the world stage so we can pay our way and create jobs.

Yet, rather than improving our competitive position, we are going backwards.

This survey highlights yet again the need for the fundamental and wide ranging reform of the Australian economy that the Coalition has outlined in Fightbackl.

Indeed, after viewing the results of this report, how could anyone suggest Australia can afford to ignore the massive reductions in business costs that will result from a GST?

The GST, coming as it does hand-in-hand with the abolition of payroll tax, the abolition of fuel excise, and the abolition of the wholesale sales tax, m eans a $20 billion tax burden will be lifted off that back of Australian business.

Australia's tax system is not competitive, it needs a major overhaul, including the abolition of job destroying taxes and their replacement with a modern GST.

COMMONWEALTH PARLIAMENTARY L I B R A R Y MiCAH

22 June 1992 Hastings

Contact: David Turnbull (06) 277 4277 D105/92