Federal budget – states could levy income tax

States and territories could be able to set their own income tax rates.

A 2014 National Commission of Audit proposal, initially dismissed by then prime minister Tony Abbott, could see states and territories collect their own income tax.

For the last 75 years, the Federal Government has been responsible for setting the rates of, and collecting, income tax. The responsibility for this was at the time taken away from states and territories to fund the country’s World War II campaign. In what could be seen as a radical move, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has flagged the opportunity for the Commonwealth to reduce the rate if income tax it collects, allowing states and territories to set a rate of tax deemed necessary to fund services such as health, education and transport. "We, the federal government, will reduce our federal income tax by an agreed percentage and allow state governments to levy an income tax equal to that amount," he said.

By withdrawing Federal Government funding from a range of existing grant schemes, Mr Turnbull claims taxpayers would see no increase in income tax. "This, we believe, is the only way that we can genuinely reform our federation. It will give the states real financial autonomy," he said.

The initial proposal made by the National Commission of Audit would see the marginal income tax rate reduce from 32.5 per cent to 22.5 per cent. The states and territories could then impose a levy of more or less than the remaining 10 per cent, depending on the cost to provide services for which funding would be withdrawn.

The plan will be discussed at the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting which will commence in Canberra tonight. While Treasurer Scott Morrison would not commit to the plan, he did concede that he was open to discussing the issue. “ This has been an ongoing dialogue. I’m a pragmatist on all these issues. It is about trying to fix the problem, and the problem is you’ve got to be able to manage your increase in costs and how you are going to pay for them. You can’t pay for something with nothing,” he said.

The Treasurer also said that, “The Commonwealth will continue to engage on the basis that these reforms do not increase the overall tax burden.”

Tony Shepherd, the chairman of the National Commission of Audit naturally agreed that the proposal was a “great reform”. Speaking to ABC Radio National yesterday, he said, "The states have most of the responsibility for delivery of services and infrastructure, and yet they produce very little of the taxation necessary to fund it. The vertical fiscal imbalance is what is killing the federation."

However, the response from state and territory leaders has been mixed. South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill is concerned about the confusion it would cause, while his Western Australian counterpart, Colin Barnett indicated he was open to the proposal. Northern Territory Chief Minister Adam Giles warned of a ‘race to the bottom’ while ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr said he was “relaxed” about the proposition. Speaking to ABC’s Lateline program, Mr Barr said, “I think there’s certainly scope for reform of taxation. It’s an option that needs to have a public debate and we certainly look forward to what the prime minister will put on the table this week.”

Read more at The Guardian
Read more at The Age

Opinion: Fiscal disarray apparent

If there was any doubt that the Federal Government was in disarray over its fiscal policy, the news that states and territories could be given authority to set their own income tax rates confirms all our suspicions. ‘Passing the buck’ comes to mind.

For the last six or seven years there has been a general acceptance that our tax system is complex and needs to be simplified. Indeed, just last week it was mooted that Treasurer Scott Morrison was considering a proposal to simplify tax returns by allowing people to claim a standard deduction for work-related expenses. Yet as a new day dawns it appears that blowing apart the current income tax system is the way forward.

Of course, as with all the ‘proposals’ that have been discussed, the devil is in the detail. The Prime Minister has stated that taxpayers would see no increase in the income tax they pay under any proposed system. Of course they won’t because you can bet your bottom dollar (that’s all you may be left with) that any levy imposed by a state or territory will not be classed as ‘income tax’.

When the National Partnership Agreements were withdrawn in the 2014/15 Federal Budget, the states and territories could no longer provide the necessary funding for health, education and transport. With this proposal the Federal Government is simply putting its hands up in surrender. It may try to disguise it by passing it off as giving the states and territories fiscal autonomy, but all it’s really doing is handing over a ticking time bomb, the fuse of which it lit.

Already there is disparity between states and territories on taxes – stamp duty and payroll tax are prime examples. There is also a greater burden on the heavily populated states to provide more transport, while the cost of rural health is greater in the more remote areas. Dividing the issues does not make them easier to solve.

To pit state against state is not a clever strategy for a government facing the very real threat of a shrinking economy and higher costs. To borrow the catchphrase of the British Government when faced with the threat of Scottish independence – Better together – you bet we are.

Do you think states and territories should be able to levy their own ‘income tax’? Do you think this would lead to more tax being paid by individuals? Would you see it as being the first step to ending the Federation? How would you fund the growing shortfall in revenue for health, education and other essential public services?





    COMMENTS

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    Glen48
    31st Mar 2016
    10:21am
    The state with the lowest tax will attract more people..
    MICK
    31st Mar 2016
    12:21pm
    Does anybody remember when the GST came in? I do. The categorical promise was "it will never be increased". Whilst it has not been increased to date the forces have been building to do just that.
    Only the gullible would believe that they will not be paying more tax in time and the ongoing attempts from this government to increase taxes on average citizens whilst talking about lower corporate taxes put this matter into context.
    I could not believe the Business Council of Australia yesterday suggesting the corporate tax rate should drop to 20% from the current 30%. So who do you think is going to be making up the difference? And I thought we had a "budget emergency".....the next lie of convenience from this corrupt government acting for the rich and their big business interests.
    We need an election and we need Australians to vote this bunch of bastards out. We do not need puppets owned by the rich to run OUR COUNTRY.
    KSS
    31st Mar 2016
    12:32pm
    No Mick the promise wasn't that the rate would 'never increase'. The promise was that it could only be increased if all States and Territories agreed to an increase.

    The fact that most people thought that would 'never happen' does not make it a promise at all.
    Kaz
    31st Mar 2016
    12:48pm
    No the original promise was that there would be no GST!
    moke
    31st Mar 2016
    2:26pm
    Regardless what the politicians promise at election time they will do as they please and bugger the ordinary Australians. They have their lot and you had better get on with it, you don't count as far as they are concerned
    KSS
    31st Mar 2016
    2:26pm
    Yes Kaz until Mr Howard went to an election with bringing in GST as a and won!
    JAID
    2nd Apr 2016
    7:44pm
    If that was the result Glen48 it would be difficult to argue that States collection of taxes was the wrong way to go though I think it is.

    By my memory, KSS is right about the GST promises too. Before it rises there are a couple mechanisms to look at.

    The first to have it applied to absolutely every transaction (with those unable to keep afloat in an agreed appropriate manner as a result supported by social security.)

    The second to reduce the costs of Government and there are so obviously many ways that can be done. Payment of outlandish wages and 'entitlements' not linked to productivity, putting out large scale tenders for which only small numbers have suitable capabilities rather than breaking them down into small tenders.

    The anti-competitive practice of government licensing of monopolies.
    Travellersjoy
    31st Mar 2016
    10:21am
    Ha,ha,ha,ha,ha.

    Pay no more tax? Only if you are rich or a corporation, or even a business. The LNP have wasted billions of dollars on personal frolics, self indulgence, and dumb ideas, the BCA wants business to get a tax cut. Where do you think the money will come from? US!

    I believe nothing that comes out of the mouths of government spokespeople, until I have checked it against the IPA plan for Australia and the Murdoch media. If it is on the list and Murdoch wants it, I know the government really wants it, too. Everything else is to fool the useful tools who keep voting for them.

    Tyrants thrive when there is chaos because the facts become blurred and invisible. Turnbull is tossing hand grenades around hoping to scare and confuse the punters.

    Vote for anyone but LNP at the election.
    Rae
    31st Mar 2016
    11:46am
    Plato claimed Democracy would lead to tyrants taking over in the longer term.

    I wonder who will fund the private schools and hospitals. Now it is the Federal government and I suppose that will stay the same.

    One gilded system for the rich and a degradation of services for the rest.

    We can no longer talk of the Common goods because they have all been sold.

    The IPA and IMF plan is doing nothing for the ordinary person's ongoing future. So far the only people being asked to contribute more has been the minimum income earner and the self funded retiree. It is incredibly unfair.
    Phil
    1st Apr 2016
    11:02am
    Nailed it Joyful!
    jamesmn
    31st Mar 2016
    10:33am
    if the idiot turnball wants the states to collect the tax for every state then maybe we should get rid of the federal government here we have a government with no policies and then you have the health minister to want gp's to take over seeing specialists what a complete joke gp's cant even refer you for a mri scan it has to be a specialist bring on the election to get rid of this pack of idiots he doesn't mention chasing up the tax his mates are not paying or himself or his wife he would be the worst prime minister and his team look at how many of his ministers have got the flick and there is more to come this government is running scared with no policies at all if the liberals had to win a election on their own merits without the nationals propping them up they would not have a hope that's why he wants the independents out with no say what a corrupt government.
    Phil
    1st Apr 2016
    11:07am
    Nationwide issues of corruption and the undue influence of big vested interests should be front and centre in this election campaign, but you won't hear a squeak from the LNP or ALP.
    jackie
    31st Mar 2016
    10:58am
    We won't need a Federal Government if States have to collect their own taxes.
    Rae
    31st Mar 2016
    11:50am
    Entirely correct as most services are now contracted to private corporations and the National Security could be run by COAG.

    A Head of State would be required and maybe a Federal Public service answerable to COAG.

    Think of the savings.

    Canberra could be sold to the Chinese as an administration centre for their numerous Australian holdings and the deficit paid off.

    Just joking but it is a thought. Haha.
    Phil
    1st Apr 2016
    11:12am
    With modern communications it would be more efficient to sack six state and territory governments, revamp local governments and make Canberra take responsibility for uniting the country with a national approach to health, education, welfare and the judiciary as well as defence, trade and foreign affairs.

    I can't see the crews of the state gravy trains agreeing to that one any time soon.
    JAID
    2nd Apr 2016
    7:47pm
    Whitlam years thought there Phil and not a bad one.
    ex PS
    5th Apr 2016
    7:15pm
    We definatley have one tier of government too many.
    Adrianus
    5th Apr 2016
    8:45pm
    The previous Labor government thought that we needed 200 in the Education department, when it was a state responsibility?

    31st Mar 2016
    11:12am
    This is a classic buck-passing move by a sleazy ex-banker politician, to remove tax heat from himself, and transfer it to others.

    Note the reference to "income tax". This insinuates that the States will increase tax on your INCOME.
    In reality, the States impose LEVIES, SURCHARGES, FEES, DUTIES, and other IMPOSTS, that bear NO RELATION, as to whether you have income or not!!

    So under the "New Turnbull Tax Regime", as well as paying income tax, you will start to find a raft of ADDITIONAL STATE imposts, charges, levies, fees, duties and taxes on transactions - just as any GOOD BANKER rips you off with a multitude of hidden, opaque, and outrageous charges - just when you thought you'd paid everything up!!

    Meantimes, the sleazy corporate set get a vast reduction in tax levels - at the same time as their corporate tax lawyers devise cunning schemes to set up multiple trading entities based in multiple jurisdictions, so they can avoid all the extra STATE imposts, fees, duties and charges!!

    This whole scheme smacks of a return to the bad old days, when you were slugged left right and centre, with a raft of hidden state fees, charges and imposts, as well as income tax.

    The introduction of GST was supposed to have eliminated all these state charges and imposts - now we have a sleazy ex-banker PM, re-introducing them as "Tax Reform"!!

    Something stinks here, and it isn't the rubbish bin!!
    Phil
    1st Apr 2016
    11:16am
    Divide and conquer. Unmake the Commonwealth and reduce it to six petty states squabbling over the spoils while the multinationals dictate policy in a race to serfdom and penury.
    JAID
    2nd Apr 2016
    7:56pm
    Despite that I have held some hope for Mr. Turnbull (not entirely dissipated) it looks similarly as a buck passing measure to me too Aaaron. Same overall tax cost likely but no federal government responsibility.

    Government needs to look at the wages and entitlements of its staff. These are way out of synch with the community. It needs to routinely break projects down into tender blocks sized so that wide capability exists and take the competitive advantage. The health and medical void is a yawning gap which will consume all if we do not more assertively deal with purchasing as a nation gaining by the numbers.

    Finally, and Mr. Turnbull does assert this. We will have to learn to live within our means. That will mean denying ourselves some things.

    As individual buyers we could take on the same attitude.
    Dave V
    31st Mar 2016
    11:34am
    Actually, it makes a lot of sense. The states administer the health system, the federal government doesn't do it. Therefore, the States would be much better off doing both the collecting and administering themselves. One proviso should be that the federal health bureaucracy should also be dismantled, saving a lot of duplication and waste.

    Of course, there's no guarantee that States wouldn't increase taxes over time. But maybe it would make them think realistically about how much health is costing these days and how in heavens name we are going to fund it all in the future. At the moment, whenever the feds suggest any sort of cuts or savings they get howled down by the States. Give the States a go and see how they like it.
    Anonymous
    1st Apr 2016
    8:20am
    And residents of states with lower resources simply cross borders to access better health services? Or do the struggling states levy higher taxes than well resourced states, potentially resulting in mass migration? Heaven help Tasmanians if this is introduced. NT residents might be okay since it's not a state, but then....?

    I see it as divisive and a cop out. How the hell do you manufacture money by switching responsibility for raising it? You can't. You drive administration costs up, and ultimately the only way to meet costs is to raise more money which means increasing taxes.

    It's time the LNP stopped beating around the bush and faced up to the reality that they are not collecting enough tax from certain sectors who have access to too many avoidance rorts. Stop the BS and get on with running the country properly. Reduce capital gains tax concessions, negative gearing concessions and superannuation tax concessions and address corporate tax dodging and there will be ample funds to pay for the services a healthy society needs. But maybe, at the same time, address what's creating ill-health? Get serious about addressing obesity, mental illness, poverty, frustration and hopelessness and we would have a lot less sickness. Make the health system a HEALTH system rather than a sickness industry that profits handsomely from keeping people on the treatment treadmill. Encourage more use of Naturopathic and Homeopathic medicine, physiotherapy, counselling, and dietary changes. Fix the nonsense method of specialist referral that is costing the earth.

    Turnbull is a great disappointment. He is proving to be as lazy and lacking in capability as his predecessor and most of this team. The LNP focus seems to be on protecting the wealthy tax evaders from obligation at all costs, and finding new ways to bleed stones.
    ex PS
    5th Apr 2016
    7:06pm
    DaveV, do you really think that the feds will reduce the amount of taxes that they now take. Very unlikely, we will just pay more tax.
    Ton-o-bull wants to increase taxes but he hasn't got the guts to do it and face an election, so he tries to put the responsability onto the states in the hope that the voters won't tie it to him.
    I would bet that if the States were to take over taxation Ton-o-bull will reduce Federal funding by the amount collected.
    Bes
    31st Mar 2016
    11:37am
    Australia has become a weak country.
    Regardless of it’s many resources it is weak and in debt and is being SOLD OFF at an alarming rate. Australia is selling off its ASSETS just to SURVIVE!
    Once an ‘asset’ is sold it becomes a ‘one time profit’ but then ceases to be an ASSET.
    We are weak because we allow ‘personalities’ to act as the managers of our countries wealth.
    They are called Politicians and they simply play at Politics.
    Our constitution is being ridiculed and our government system can now be seen as being flawed…..seriously flawed.
    The world is watching! Some ready to take advantage by simply buying up everything that is put up for sale. If not resources then state assets and land.
    We are weak, we are forced into elections by law but the leaders we choose now, never serve a full term.
    For every elected government, the leaders are deposed mid term and the job taken by an individual chosen by their own political party.
    World leaders never quite know WHO will step off the plane when Australia comes calling.
    UNSTABLE government is expensive and serves to create destabilisation and disrespect from the electorate…..our Nation. Who can we TRUST?
    SIX state governments and a federal government manage us.
    It is the most expensive government system ever devised and is now costing us dearly and making us bankrupt! Government keeps on growing and politicians reap their ‘reward’ and live longer and They BLAME us! The Electorate.
    Both state and federally the version of government is NOT based upon good management…. but rather how can we TAX them more!
    We live in this country where we have to extradite people from one state to another as though we live in SIX different countries.
    Those SIX different countries have different laws.
    Those SIX different countries have different police forces.
    Those SIX different countries have SIX different Premiers and government.
    Those SIX different countries have to sell Assets to survive.
    Those SIX different countries are led by an UNSTABLE Federal government.

    The BIGGEST DEBT that Australia has is GOVERNMENT.
    Economically we are being DESTROYED by the colonial system from the 1800’s!
    The Westminster system was designed and used by England as ONE government for ONE country.
    Australia is governed by the Westminster system SEVEN TIMES and with no idea of WHO will lead us during any one full term of government.
    Polly Esther
    31st Mar 2016
    11:58am
    The bottom line is, as I have said many times, this country is simply over governed, from Federal and Senate ,to State and Local.
    You are in my opinion pretty much on the ball Bes with all that you say.
    KSS
    31st Mar 2016
    12:18pm
    I agree we are over governed here in Australia and you forgot to include the local councils in your post.

    The duplication of systems and processes. departments, officials and so on is a disgraceful waste of money. Having said that, given the outcry in NSW as the State Government moves to amalgamate small (and largely inefficient) local councils in to bigger more cost effective councils, can you imagine just how loud the screams would be if it were to be mooted that all State and Territories Governments be disbanded and a single centralised Government take charge?
    Phil
    1st Apr 2016
    11:19am
    You have summed it up perfectly Bes, thank you. The LNP now wants to unravel the Commonwealth so that its corporate masters can pick of six little statelets with ease, as they do in the Disunited States.
    maxchugg
    4th Apr 2016
    9:50am
    Bes, you are spot on!
    Glen48
    31st Mar 2016
    12:04pm
    Sister works in a hospital reckons the waste is over the top,,every thing gt thrown out once use ..in the olden day they use to autoclaved .
    Tom Tank
    31st Mar 2016
    12:14pm
    The only use once is to try to overcome the gradual incursion of infections like Golden Staph, and others that are resistant to known antibiotics.
    It may seem like a waste but if you or yours contract one of those infections in Hospital you would not be happy.
    There is a reason for it altho' perhaps it doesn't have to be every item, especially those that have not been used.
    KSS
    31st Mar 2016
    12:20pm
    I agree there is waste within the health system - over servicing comes to mind - but single use equipment is NOT it.
    Anonymous
    1st Apr 2016
    8:24am
    In a retirement home, I discovered they were throwing out sheets of bubble-wrapped pills because the outer box had been opened.
    Tom Tank
    31st Mar 2016
    12:20pm
    It would be the first step to ending the Federation and there would be a bunfight amoungst the States to attract businesses by cutting business tax rates.
    This appears to be a desperate move by Turnbull to get something on the table re tax as he has nothing else so far.
    He has stated that he wants to remove Federal funding for Sate schools but will maintain Federal funding for Private schools.
    Seems like the Institute of Public Affairs with their extreme right wing economic ideology are still moving in the corridors of power within the LNP. The end of our so-called classless society??
    Phil
    31st Mar 2016
    12:21pm
    If you think inequality is disastrous now you ain't seen nuthin' yet. What a truly appalling prospect.
    KSS
    31st Mar 2016
    12:30pm
    Here we go again, a supposed agenda item for discussion, at COAG this time, has been leaked and the howls of protest begin.

    Seems to me most agree the whole taxation system (including revenue raising and expenditure) is 'broken' and needs fixing, yet the only word people are prepared to utter is NO! Seems people want the status quo but with big increases in their particular payouts whether that be a pension, education, healthcare, unemployment or other welfare benefit, childcare .... the list is endless.
    Anonymous
    1st Apr 2016
    8:32am
    I think what most people want, KSS, is equity. They want everyone to pay their fair share of tax and to get their fair share of benefit.

    When we see multi-national corporates paying up, unfair superannuation tax concessions abolished, and the rorts the rich use to avoid tax abolished, and we can be assured that the tax burden is distributed equitably, I think people will then be happy to discuss which taxes might be increased to cover deficit - except I suspect there wouldn't be a deficit in that case. Nor, I believe, would we be short of funds to provide the social services and infrastructure needed in a healthy society.

    There may be a minority of selfish and greedy people among the lifters and battlers, but I think most of the selfish and greedy are very affluent, and it's time the message was conveyed to them that they have taken way too much and they need to start paying their way in society.

    Turnbull has been given extensive advice on how to fix the budget problem. He's not listening, because the remedy doesn't suit the greedy purposes of his supporters. That's the bottom line. And the ONLY solution for Australia is to get rid of the rot at the top and somehow (I have no idea how!) get a governing team that is focused on the good of the nation as a whole, instead of the good of a narcissistic few.
    Phil
    31st Mar 2016
    12:56pm
    Malcolm Turncoat has thrown yet another fragmentation grenade to break up The Commonwealth of Australia and transform an almost united nation into six warring corpocracies to be played off against each other by global business interests. Abandon Australia Fair!

    31st Mar 2016
    1:06pm
    Yes, Debbie, this confirms a few things, such as:
    1. Mal(evolvent) Turnaway is grabbing at straws and passing the responsibility of paying for his reckless spending on to the states.
    2. The incumbent government has no fiscal policy.
    3. The federal government wants less to do for the country and does not want to be accountable for the state of the economy.
    Kaz
    31st Mar 2016
    1:08pm
    KSS
    It will be a brave government that truly and honestly attempts true tax reform. This government is not it -firstly it does not have the skills, nor does it have the energy or knowledge of community to be fair in taxation. Most statements are smoke and mirrors as it tries to gauge public opinion by 'leaking' little bits of info here and there, without being brave enough to commit to a carefully considered plan/policy - due to their lack of skills and knowledge.
    Their entitled attitude will never allow them to be fair to those who are not in their 'elite' circle (because it is your fault you are not) - or as Cory Bernardi calls it, the 'church' of the conservatives.
    Anonymous
    1st Apr 2016
    8:33am
    You got that right, Kaz.
    Lescol
    31st Mar 2016
    1:29pm
    I am "stunned, shocked & appalled" that the current government thinks this idea could be their savior at the coming polls. It is typical of the contempt they have towards the electorate. If you also think it is time for a political change then vote last for the current government.!
    KSS
    31st Mar 2016
    2:28pm
    Lescol we don't know that 'they' DO think that. It is for discussion in COAG at this time.
    Anonymous
    1st Apr 2016
    8:34am
    We know they've run out of ideas for dodging their obligation to reform the tax system fairly and equitably and in a way that makes economic sense. And now they are clutching at flimsy straws that are guaranteed to break!
    pfbnug
    31st Mar 2016
    2:20pm
    Why not have done with it in one go. Dismantle the Commonwealth and let the States become countries, even the Territories.. Cuts out all the enormous cost of the Federal Government and its bureaucracy. How on earth will all the Federals maintain their extravagances with only the ACT to feed them?
    pfbnug
    31st Mar 2016
    2:24pm
    P.S. This would also give Oz seven votes at the U.N. when "One world, one government" comes into being. Maybe we could also claim cancellation of all our International Debt as poor countries.
    Anonymous
    1st Apr 2016
    8:35am
    There's a thought, pfbnug! I love people who see the positives where there are none!
    Adrianus
    31st Mar 2016
    3:08pm
    I'm not sure what the government is doing? They seem to be releasing all the unwanted ideas from the last 2 years of their brainstorming?
    The idea of States collecting their own taxes then the Fed compensating for a shortfall simply makes one realise the urgent need for us to sort out our out of date method of government structure. It's a little like British democracy coupled with American pragmatism. We are old enough and have made enough mistakes to now change the damn thing. It may have been a good idea 300 years ago but these are modern times requiring a modern approach. And when the constitution is sorted lets get the tax system balanced!!
    For God's sake is there nobody capable of organising this???
    Anonymous
    1st Apr 2016
    8:37am
    There is, Frank, but the power structure will never let them. And none of them are currently involved in politics, bureaucratic jobs, or the think tanks that are advising the government.
    cdbstock
    31st Mar 2016
    5:39pm
    What a ridiculous proposal! Talk about inefficiency! Each State/Territory would have to issue income statements (group certificates), examine State/Territory tax returns, issue tax due invoices, audit, (all requiring more duplication). Each taxable entity would have to cope with 2 returns - increasing the resources needed to comply. Even then States/Territories would 'race to the bottom' (remember 'death duty') - & the same old arguments for State/Territories grants would continue
    Gunner
    31st Mar 2016
    5:47pm
    Constitution?...what constitution? Free trade between the States? Commonwealth Government responsibility/powers pursuant to the terms of the Constitution? "...GST will see the removal of all other State duties and taxes...." Conned again.
    There is not enough trust in our Governments for a change of this magnitude...The Federation does not need change, it needs good, wise and sound leadership and management by the Commonwealth Government.
    Glen48
    31st Mar 2016
    6:44pm
    In 2014, as the Guardian reported at the time:

    ‘The [UK] government is to repay the nation’s remaining £1.9bn first world war debts and is considering clearing the “perpetual” bonds dating back to the 1720 South Sea Bubble crisis and the Battle of Waterloo.’

    How about that for a bit of history, folks?

    According to the report, the UK government has paid around £5.5 billion in interest, just since 1917.

    In paying off that debt (with new debt, if you don’t mind us inconveniently mentioning it), UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne said it was ‘a moment to be proud of’ and ‘a sign of our fiscal credibility and it’s a good deal for this generation of taxpayers.’
    Glen48
    31st Mar 2016
    6:45pm
    We are in good hands,,
    Tiny
    31st Mar 2016
    8:40pm
    Based on the article this indicates our Tax could be more. Mr Turnball says income tax will not increase, but the the article above states the rate would drop from 32.5 to 22.5, but then the stares could charge more or less. Now unless I am living on cloud 9 if the Federal Government drops it by 10, but the state can charge more, say 12 is it not obvious we will have to pay the difference?? So meaning Income tax would increase would it not?
    Lescol
    31st Mar 2016
    9:18pm
    Nothing would change much in the beginning and like in the US where the population numbers are smaller, some states remain disadvantaged.

    Since the COAG meeting has only limited time, they should only consider realistic proposals. As a result, the current government is not seriously considering tax reform and so in the coming election, vote which ever but vote the current government last! cheers
    Dot
    31st Mar 2016
    9:42pm
    Western Australia has it's own Mugabe and his name is Barnett, can you honestly trust this man with collecting taxes, here's a man that has sent WA broke.

    31st Mar 2016
    10:49pm
    This is absolute crap. All Turnbull is doing is changing the focus. Not all of the states will agree so the suggestion is dead in the water. Same as GST changes, just another smokescreen. All Turnbull ever wanted to do was please Lucy and get the top job so she could lord it over her peers. Neither of them had the foresight to answer the question; "If we get there, what do we have to do?" He is leaving his Treasurer out to dry and he doesn't appear to know what "loyalty" means. I worry for Australia if he wins the election. It may not be as bad as Labor but it isn't looking good.
    the_Albert
    31st Mar 2016
    11:09pm
    Labor is looking increasingly electable. Shorten has much improved and Bowen is far better than Morrison in the Treasury chair. The Libs got rid of Abbott but not his policies, and Windsor will account for Joyce. Why would anyone vote for the Turnbull government? The PM is suave and looks quite good but that is no reason to vote for his government. Only the rich ought to support the present lot, at least if they consult their own interests. The rest of us should vote informal, or Green, or Labor - anything but more Coalition!
    Anonymous
    31st Mar 2016
    11:33pm
    Whoa! You've drawn a long bow there the_Albert. Shorten is unelectable. He only beat Albanese because of the parliamentary vote as the raw numbers had Albanese as the choice by 2:1. Morrison would be head and shoulders better than that Bowen because of the boat policy. Both did that job, Bowen filled the detention centres, Morrison emptied them. Bowen doesn't have any costed, credible policies and Morrison's problem in doing the Treasurer's job is that Turnbull is "white-anting" him. You obviously follow the ABC exclusively as they are the only ones backing the traitor Windsor. I use the term traitor because that's what the voters in that electorate refer to him as. There was 8% support for Labor in 2010 yet he chose to support Gillard and they haven't forgotten.
    Anonymous
    1st Apr 2016
    8:53am
    Old Man, you can't be serious in suggesting that Morrison is capable of doing the Treasurer's job? Remember who came up with the daft idea that applying a fine of $78 for every $1000 a retiree dared to save over a given amount every year would somehow reduce the cost of funding retirement?

    Given that many affected only earn $30 per $1000 per year (or less), that means their savings deplete year after year with inflation rising, or, put another way, retirees who try to be self-funding but can't quite manage it are offered a huge 7.8%+++ reward (more like 9% when benefits are counted) to ditch their savings quickly (take a world cruise, maybe?). And workers are sent a strong message that you would be an idiot to save for retirement because you get 7.8%+++ return for SPENDING and cop a huge fine for saving. The message to them is clearly ''Give your house and any surplus wealth to your kids before you turn 60. Enjoy a lavish life. The taxpayer will support you if you abandon all sense of responsibility. Planning and saving WILL BE HARSHLY PUNISHED (unless you achieve very high wealth and can be genuinely self-supporting).''

    And that IDIOTIC mentality is supposed to reduce aged pension costs?

    If that's how a competent treasurer thinks, we'd better stop paying generous salaries and start hiring monkeys!

    Of course Morrison also managed to create much of the problem Turnbull now seeks to solve by cutting essential expenditure, instead of having the guts to address the glaringly obvious opportunities to raise revenue AND make the system more equitable and efficient. Turnbull shouldn't be ''white-anting'' him. He should be sacking him! (Trouble is, Turnbull doesn't want equitable and efficient tax reform either. It might hurt his self-serving supporters a little!)
    Anonymous
    1st Apr 2016
    10:10am
    Another indicator of Morrison's incompetence - the only thing we hear from him is ''cut, cut, cut'' but while claiming expenditure has to be slashed to balance the budget, he also wants to cut income tax. He wants, specifically, to stop ''bracket creep''. Who's worried about ''bracket creep''? Only the over-paid politicians and their ilk, who are giving themselves obscene pay rises while everyone else's real income is falling. Most of the population would be delighted to get a pay rise that would push them into the next tax bracket. It would mean their pay was actually increasing with inflation!

    We don't NEED to worry about bracket-creep because it isn't happening. Only ScoMo has his snout too deep in the trough to notice!
    ex PS
    5th Apr 2016
    7:14pm
    When will people learn, this is not the USA, we do not vote for a PM, we vote for a party. The only people voting for Shorten or Ton-o-bull are the people in their respective electorates. And if you vote for any individual fantasising that you are voting for a PM, their is nothing stopping the party from kicking them out and replacing them with a puppet RE. Abbot/ton-obull.

    1st Apr 2016
    10:08am
    This government isn't transparent, it's opaque, but Turnabout is, you can see right through him.
    Supernan
    1st Apr 2016
    12:41pm
    We keep being asked how to meet the growing needs of Medicare, Health care, Education & Pensions. Simple answer as always: Tax large Companies who currently pay NO tax, stop subsidies to Mining & Energy Companies, cut out Super Concessions: let those wealthy enough to get all these tax concessions fund their own Super Funds.

    All that 2 sets of Tax collectors will do is create work for Accountants & make the low to middle income earners pay more tax. The rich already pay little or no tax due to their access to all the tax concessions, so it wont affect them. They'll find a smart way to get out of it.
    Glen48
    1st Apr 2016
    12:49pm
    former Victorian Planning Minister Matthew Guy rezoning the area known as Fisherman’s Bend near the Melbourne CBD.

    That delivered windfall profits as high as 500% to the existing landowners.

    Shiver me timbers! Some of them just happened to be Liberal Party folk that coincidentally owned a bit. As The Age reported in November:

    ‘Senior Liberal party members and donors including the party's honorary federal treasurer Andrew Burnes, were among those to reap huge paper profits from one stroke of Matthew Guy's pen.’
    From Money Morning

    3rd Apr 2016
    4:35pm
    Who said ''It is nothing more than a cunning attempt to offload millions of expenditure onto the states without giving them the means - other than imposing an income tax - of raising the extra revenue needed.''?
    Yes, you guessed it. MALCOLM TURNBULL, in 1976, when Fraser wanted to pull the same stunt Turnbull is raising now.
    This is called HYPOCRISY. Or maybe it's just called ''POLITICS''. Either way, it's sick.
    Lescol
    3rd Apr 2016
    4:56pm
    & remember voting later this year; anyone first but place the current government last. Only this way can we ever hope to replace the current right wing conservatives that have exceed their use by date. Again they have squandered a once in a decade opportunity. cheers
    Happy Jack
    3rd Apr 2016
    5:28pm
    Where's germsjerk? Where's jermsjerk69? Looks like he has given up on this absolutely hopeless LIEberal goverment led by by Tumbles Turnbull who we all thought could get this country back on track. Well, turns out he is as hopeless as the mad Abbott and can't get along with his own treasurer, Moaning Morrie. Truth is, germsjerk69 has come to the conclusion that Tumbles is floundering like a fish out of water with his stupid ideas being floated every couple of days and then being knocked on the head because he is a procrastinator and hasn't got the guts to make a decision.
    Anonymous
    4th Apr 2016
    7:48am
    Cut poor Mal some slack, Happy Jack. He's got a real problem, and he's running out of creative distractions to try to fool us into thinking he knows what he's doing.

    I mean he's bombarded with clear detail and compelling proof of the right way to solve the deficit problem. It's all been spelled out a million times. But he CAN'T tax the rich, can he? His rich and greedy supporters would abandon him in droves. So he's left with the continuing dilemma of how to either find a way to bleed stones, or find a way to trick us all into thinking he's doing something constructive. And the latter gets really difficult with the speed and efficiency of communication these days and with people being generally more educated and aware. It must be making life very tough indeed for poor Mal. I feel sorry for him!
    Adrianus
    4th Apr 2016
    8:02am
    The speed and efficiency of communication these days is making life much tougher for Bill Shorten and his bosses at the CFMEU.
    Adrianus
    4th Apr 2016
    10:10am
    Who you support says more about you than it does about who you support!
    Happy Jack
    4th Apr 2016
    9:43am
    Get on the money, Frank! Your pathetic attempt to shield the ineptitude of this dishevelled, pathetic , policy deviod Lieberal party government by putting the crap on Shorten won't cut it with the Australian voters. For sure the politically driven royal commission set up by your mate- useless, do nothing, Mr negative himself, tony abbott with the sole purpose of destroying Shorten found corruption. Corruption is rife in a number of our institutions including police forces in this country but no one would suggest we shut them down because of it. Ho' and while we're on the subject, why not a royal commission into the banks and other financial dealings abound with crooked dealings and the avoidance of tax by the wealthy, including it seems, a notable leader of a not too distance country. I would suggest frank, that you take leave of your senses and go the way of your offsider, germskerk69, who it would appear, as he has not made a contribution in some time, that he has given up on this hopeless mob.
    Adrianus
    4th Apr 2016
    10:20am
    Happy Jack, what has this thread got to do with me? I thought it was about what you think about states and territories being able to levy their own ‘income tax’? Whether you think this would lead to more tax being paid by individuals?
    If you see it as being the first step to ending the Federation?
    Do you have any ideas on how you would fund the growing shortfall in revenue for health, education and other essential public services?
    It will always be a growing shortfall while we continue to increase our population with non productive immigrants.
    The migrants of yesterday were hard working and industrious.
    maxchugg
    4th Apr 2016
    9:47am
    Interesting to note that Western Australia was all for states being permitted to levy taxes.
    A very different attitude to that which they would have displayed a few decades back when, before the mining boom, they were one of the mendicant states.
    Disadvantaging the poorer states is not in the long term interest of the nation, as demonstrated by the problems experienced in the USA with an impoverished Mexico on their borders.
    Happy Jack
    5th Apr 2016
    4:09am
    Frank! We can start by cracking down on the bludgers, both individuals and corporations, who are paying little or no tax ( take note of last nights 4 corners program ) and then we can go to work on negative gearing, grossly unfair tax breaks in huge super accounts, the deisel rebate, etc,etc, The list goes on and on, Frank and doesn' simply call for stupid ideas such as states collecting income taxes instead of the Feds which after all is only a means of shifting the tax collection blame away from Canberra. This would only result in a reduction in services as states would be competing for population growth by lowering taxes resulting in less revenue. You may recall, Frank, when the Joe Bjelki government in QLD abolished death duties, all the other states were forced to follow suit to stop the drain on population. We must, if we are to provide the educational, health, infrastructure and other services for our country, be collecting more tax, not less and it's there Frank- just ripe for the picking. We just need to ensure everyone pays their fair share and not come on with silly ideas, such Tumbles Turnbull's who wants to relinquish the running of government schools but be responsible for the private schools.what a pathetic joke that is.
    .
    ex PS
    5th Apr 2016
    6:54pm
    Just another big new tax, continuity with change at its best!


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