OK, so now we’re getting down to it: what Prosper Australia has been saying for years we need to address.
Last week the Business Council of Australia called for “meaningful tax reform” and yesterday the Grattan Institute pointed out that huge budget deficits are looming for Australia.
Grattan Institute chief John Daley says the combined deficits of state and Commonwealth government budgets could reach 4 per cent of GDP by 2023, or $60 billion in today’s dollars. He concluded that if government programs are considered essential, “the gap can only be closed by higher taxes”.
Of course Grattan, touted as an “independent and non-partisan” think tank–though supported by the Victorian and federal governments, BHP, the National Australia bank, the subdivider Stockland, and Wesfarmers–favours extending the goods and services tax (GST). Funny about that: extending the GST’s not likely to offend Victorian and federal governments, BHP, the National Australia bank, the subdivider Stockland, nor Wesfarmers. It’ll just hit the people again: especially those with no propensity to save.
I’ve never heard John Daley nor the Grattan Institute support the mining tax, nor a federal land tax to replace the mish-mash of state land taxes and the grab-bag of stamp duties on conveyances. Nor do they seem particularly troubled by the impossible level of Australia’s bubble-driven private mortgage debt.
Yes, tax reform is essential, but it would be a pity if the Grattan Institute or the Business Council of Australia are permitted to be its drivers, ‘cos they’re not proposing real tax REFORM, a shift from taxes to rents.
Everything should be on the table. Everything.
Including the excellent recommendations of the Henry Tax Review.
Grattan Institute: you’re next to useless!