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National tax summit



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PRIME MINISTER

FOR MEDIA 6 May 1985

Invitations have today been issued to business, trade union and community representatives to attend the National Tax Summit. .

The holding of the Summit honours the Government's election commitment to conduct a comprehensive review of the Australian taxation system based on widespread community consultations.

While the majority of invitations have been issued some others, like those to the general taxpayers representatives, will be sent soon.

(A list of those invited to participate in the Tax Summit is attached, together with a copy of the letter of . · = - invitation.)

NATIONAL TAXATION SUMMIT : INVITATION LIST

States

6 Premiers 1 Chief Minister plus supporting Ministers

Local Government

Australian Council of Local Government Associations

ACTU Executive

Employer/Self Employed Groups

Confederation of Australian Industry Business Council of Australia Australian Chamber of Commerce Council of Small Business Organizations

of Australia Australian Retailers Association Metal· Trades Industry Association Australian Bankers Association Australian Mining Industry Council „ National Farmers Federation · * ’ " *· Australian Associated Stock Exchanges

Law Council of Australia .

Institute of Chartered Accountants Taxation Institute of Australia Life Insurance Federation of Australia Australian Tax Research Foundation Australian Society of Accountants

Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries

Welfare Groups

Australian Council of Social Service Australian Pensioners Federation Brotherhood of St"Laurence Australian Catholic Social Welfare Commission

Returned Services League of Australia _ Smith Family .

Salvation Army

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Tax Academics

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Professor Russell Mathews Professor John Head Professor Peter Groenewegen Professor Yuri Grbich Dr Patricia Apps Mr E Sieper

Other

National Women's Consultative Council Australian Taxpayers Association Australian Federation of Consumer Organisations Youth representatives in consultation with the Office

of Youth Affairs General taxpayer representatives in consultation with the Office of EPAC

EPAC

Mr Coates Mr Kelman Mr Davidson Mr Braithwaite Ms Cutts .

Mr Menzies

P rime M inister

C anberra

Dear

As you will be aware, I have announced the Government's intention to convene a National Taxation Summit as part of our comprehensive review of the Australian taxation system.

I now take pleasure in inviting to participate in the National Taxation Summit. The Summit will begin on Monday 1 July 1985, ancfwill probably occupy the greater part of that week. The Summit will be held in the House of Representatives, Parliament House, Canberra. Further details of the arrangements for the Summit will be sent to you as soon

as possible. : -

I draw to your attention the nine firm principles which the Government will insist upon in any tax reform package which emerges following the Summit.

These principles are as follows:

. First, there must be no increase in the overall tax burden, as measured by the share of Commonwealth Government tax revenue in gross domestic product, this year or through the Government's current term

in office.

. Second, any reform must continue the process already begurj by this Government, and provide further cuts in personal income tax.

. Third, taxation changes must contribute to smashing tax avoidance and evasion, which remain as features of the tax system which the Government inherited.

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. Fourth, any reform must lead to a simpler system, which therefore all Australians can understand more easily, and which therefore makes tax avoidance and evasion more difficult.

. Fifth, any reform package must result in a tax system which is fairer, so that Australians are only required to pay tax according to their capacity to pay, and the overall system must be progressive.

. Sixth, any tax reform must not disadvantage recipients of welfare benefits, and should reduce or remove "poverty traps".

. Seventh, if any reform package which includes changes in indirect taxes is contemplated, it must be acceptable to the various groups in the Australian community whose response will determine whether we can maintain moderation in wage movements.

. Eighth, any reform must provide the best possible climate for investment, growth and employment in Australia.

. Ninth, any reform package must have widespread community support, including support at a widely representative National Taxation Summit· of economic organisations and community groups. '

I believe there is almost complete acceptance of the fact that the existing tax system now fails to meet the criteria of equity, economic efficiency and simplicity - it is increasingly disintegrating as a vi.able revenue base. · · ? '

The community cannot continue to allow its interests to be eroded in this way. The Government will accept the responsibility of legislating to protect those interests. _

To enable us to be as well informed as possible of community attitudes as we. move to achieve that objective for the benefit of Australia, we look forward to your participation in this process.

Yours sincerely

R .J .L. Hawke

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