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Government backbench backstabs Costello.

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Joel Fitzgibbon MP

Shadow Assistant Treasurer Shadow Minister for Revenue Shadow Minister for Small Business and Competition

8 December 2005


The Parliamentary Committee into Public Accounts and Audit has announced a new inquiry into taxation, in complete defiance of the Treasurer.

The Committee has done what the Treasurer has not been prepared to do by creating an inquiry into applying “common standards of practice by the ATO across Australia”. It will also focus on the self-assessment system.

The first witnesses to this inquiry should be the Tax Commissioner and Robert Gerard.

The Committee needs to consider whether interest, penalties and prosecutions have been sought in an even-handed manner by the ATO and what safeguards can be created to reform the system.

By establishing this inquiry the Coalition-controlled committee has sought to embarrass the Government, and the Treasurer in particular, for his handling of the Gerard affair and for refusing to listen to his backbench in relation to reforms of ATO operations.

What a Christmas present for the Treasurer.

Contact: Joel Fitzgibbon 0418293372 Brendan Long 0408421447