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Public hearings concerning the proposed new tax system

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ItiU S O O S

16 December 1998


Public Hearings Concerning The Proposed New Tax System

Tomorrow the Senate Select Committee on a New Tax System will commence the public hearing stage of its inquiry concerning the proposed changes to the tax system. The Committee will conduct its first public

hearings in Committee Room 2S1, Parliament House, Canberra at 9:00am, Thursday, 17 December 1998 and 9.00am Friday, 18 December 1998. Please see the attached program for details.

The matter of the Government’s proposals for taxation reform contained in the publication Tax Reform: not a new tax, a new tax system, was referred to the Committee by the Senate on 25 November 1998.

In the first stage of its inquiry, the Committee was instructed to examine the economic theories, assumptions, calculations, projections, estimates and modelling which underpinned the Government’s proposals, including particularly the following matters:

a) the estimated levels of revenue to be generated or foregone

due to the proposed changes, including the estimated level of

revenue to be generated by imposing a goods and services tax

(GST) on the basic necessities of life (such as food, clothing,

shelter and essential services) and books;

b) the effects of the proposed changes on:

(i) national Gross Domestic Product,

(ii) national export performance and national debt,

(iii) the national Consumer Price Index, and

(iv) the distribution of wealth in the Australian community;

(c) the effects of the package on future federal budget revenues,

expenditures and surpluses, including a critical assessment of the

economic assumptions underpinning the Treasury’s projections in

this regard;

(d) the effects of the taxation and compensation package on

disposable income and household spending power for a range of

‘cameo profiles’, including but not limited to those presented in the

proposals, under the following scenarios:

(i) a GST extended to the necessities of life (such as food,

clothing, shelter and essential services), and

(ii) a GST not extended to the necessities of life (such as

food, clothing, shelter and essential services);

(e) with the aim of identifying families and groups who may be

disadvantaged by the Government’s proposals, focusing on lower

and fixed income individuals, families with dependent children or

adult members, groups and organisations, and those with special

needs, such as people with disabilities;

(f) the assumptions made as to consumption and saving patterns

and the cost of living for the various ‘cameo profiles’;

(g) whether the stated objectives of the package can be met by

using an alternative and fairer approach; and

(h) such other matters as the committee considers fall within the

scope of this inquiry.

The Committee will present its report on the first stage of the inquiry to the Senate by 18 February 1999.

Further information: Rob Diamond Committee Secretary Phone (02) 6277 3134 Fax (02) 6277 3122