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Howard disagrees with Costello on GST in aged care services.\n

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Australian Labor Party National ALP

Simon Crean - Howard Disagrees With Costello On GST In Aged Care Services Wednesday, 11 August 2004

ALP News Statements

Today in Parliament Prime Minister Howard disagreed with his Treasurer on a crucial point of tax policy.

The question put to the Prime Minister could not have been clearer:

"My question is to the Prime Minister and I remind him of the Treasurer's answer yesterday that services to "retirement village residents in serviced apartments… are not GST free" …

Just yesterday, the Treasurer told the Parliament:

"Retirement village residents in serviced apartments and independent living units are not GST free"

In other words, Mr Costello yesterday changed the Government's policy, pre-empted a draft ruling from the Australian Taxation Office that is long overdue, and confirmed that he plans to extend the GST in aged care services.

But today the Prime Minister overruled his Treasurer. He did this because he disagrees with his Treasurer about the policy change.

But this disagreement just magnifies the uncertainty on elderly Australians who are anxious about the Howard Government's plans to extend the GST.

Peter Costello should just come clean. He should stop holding back his tax ruling to extend the GST and give elderly Australians the certainty they need and deserve.

Authorised by Tim Gartrell, 19 National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600.