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Tax reform still waiting on Commonwealth-State agreement

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15 August 2012


FOLLOWING the release of the Business Tax Working Group report this week, Independent Lyne MP Rob Oakeshott has called on the Commonwealth to work more closely with the states to deliver comprehensive tax reform.

“Last year’s tax summit and the Business Tax Working Group are good, but genuine tax reform ultimately rests with state and federal treasurers reaching an agreement. At the moment, that’s the missing link,” Mr Oakeshott said.

“NSW Treasurer Mike Baird is quite open about the need for long-term comprehensive tax reform. The Commonwealth should accept his position is an invitation to negotiate.

“He knows many of the most inefficient taxes, such as insurance taxes and stamp duties, are state based. So it is very important that these need to be considered within the context of the work of the Business Tax group, and the overall considerations for reform.

“Removing at least one of these inefficient state-based taxes would be a significant boost for the economy, but obviously the states need some sort of support or cross-government tax agreement or it just won’t happen.”

Mr Oakeshott said tax reform, which formed part of his agreement with the federal government, was firmly on the parliament’s agenda, and was starting to bear fruit through the start of business loss carryback, the increased small business instant tax write-off and the tripling of the tax-free threshold to $18,200.

“At the same time, all levels of government continue to fail to reduce the actual number of taxes, particularly the inefficient ones, and continue to sidestep the importance of the Commonwealth and the states working together on this,” he said.

“It is through this combined work that the grand tax deal waits to be done.”



Media Contacts: Sharon Fuller - 0429 787320