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Expert modelling belies Beazley's GST claims: Labor fails yet again to land a punch.

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Senator Meg Lees

Australian Democrats

Parliamentary Leader


Expert modelling belies Beazley’s GST claims

Labor fails yet again to land a punch


July 9, 1999



Opposition Leader, Kim Beazley’s televised address last night was yet ano ther attempt to mislead the Australian people about the impact of tax reform, according to the Australian Democrats.


Democrats’ Leader Senator Meg Lees said that there was not one shred of evidence to back up Mr Beazley’s claims that pensioners and low-income earners will be worse off.


“Mr Beazley is quite determined not to let the facts get in the way of his campaign of complaining and misrepresentation,” Senator Lees said.


“In fact, two independent modelling reports show very clearly that pensioners, low income families and social security beneficiaries are significantly better off under the revised tax plan,” she said.


“$5 billion of fairness, including GST-free food and increased compensation, was injected into the package by the Democrats to ensure that low income earners were actually better off after tax reform than they are now under Labor’s wholesale sales tax system.


“Australia’s top economic modellers, Professors Ann Harding and Neil Warren, found that, even in the worst case scenario, our changes will leave single age pensioners at least $2.61 a week better off after the effects of the GST are accounted for. Aged pensioner couples will be at least $4.39 a week better off.


“Modelling by Access Economics shows even bigger gains of up to $7 a week for aged pensioner couples.


“The ALP has been left on the sidelines of one of the most important national debates in recent times. All that is left for Kim Beazley is to engage in the same misleading, untruthful scare campaign that failed him during the last election.


“The gains the Democrats have won for aged pensioners, disability pensioners, sole parents, students, the unemployed, low income families and public and private sector renters are far in excess of anything Kim Beazley promised at the last election.


“Many of us well remember that Hawke/Keating Labor Government thought about introducing a broad-based consumption tax in the mid 1980s. Simply they didn’t have the bottle. As usual with the ALP, populism triumphed over policy.


“It’s clear from the ALP’s behaviour, and Mr Beazley’s prevarication as to what the ALP may or may not do about tax reform if it is returned to government, that it will be more than happy to assume the benefits of the hard work and tough decisions of others,” Senator Lees concluded.


Summary of the Harding/Warren modelling is attached.


For further information: John Schumann 0419 867876 Senator Meg Lees 08 8295 8911





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