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Treasurer's announcements welcome: but where's the detail?

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Lindsay Tanner MP

Acting Shadow Treasurer and Shadow Minister for Finance and Consumer Affairs


11 November 1999


Treasurer’s announcements welcome - but where’s the detail?



Labor welcomes the Treasurer’s announcements today. They are a nother important step in securing business tax reform for Australia.


However, the Opposition notes that today’s “decisions” are subject to further consultation to finalise the detail.


In taxation matters the detail is crucial to the ultimate revenue outcome, and small technical changes can have a substantial effect on taxation liability.


Indeed, the decisions announced in the ANTS package have been changed by the government, resulting in a more than $3 billion reduction in revenue.


In addition, evidence today by US expert witnesses before the Senate inquiry cast serious doubt on some of the revenue assumptions made in the Treasurer’s earlier announcements on business tax.


Revenue neutrality is the key test that the business tax package has to pass in order to satisfy the public that any changes are fair. The package can be made revenue neutral, but the evidence today shows that this will be a difficult task.


Accordingly, while we welcome today’s announcements, the onus is on the Treasurer to settle the detail and bring legislation into the Parliament as soon as possible.


Rather than marking the end of the business tax debate, the Treasurer’s announcements today should be seen as an in-principle position which needs to be finalised as soon as possible so as to enable Australia to achieve real business taxation reform.





Further information: Lindsay Tanner (03) 9347 5000 or

Chris Fry (02) 6277 4045 (w) or 0419 517326



al  1999-11-15  12:13