Towards a fairer tax system

A discussion paper calls for lower, simpler and fairer taxes.

Yesterday, the Treasurer Joe Hockey released a discussion paper on taxation. Titled Re:think, it is a call for comment, ideas and options (by 1 June) which will then feed into a Green Paper of workable options, that then forms the basis of a White Paper to be released before the next federal election. The challenge, according to the discussion paper, is “to think creatively about the kind of tax system that will enable us to better realise the opportunities before us” in search of “a better tax system that delivers taxes which are lower, simpler and fairer”.

The top-level discussion points revolve around GST, personal and company tax, online sales (which avoid tax), bracket creep and tax on superannuation. The Re:think discussion paper indicates that Australia’s current dependence on personal and company tax is very high in comparison with other countries – a point which is arguable (because of different tax regimes) according to Fairfax economic journalist, Peter Martin.

Whether this is the case or not, no one seems to be arguing that our GST is very low compared to most OECD nations – at 10 per cent it is about half that charged in most other comparable economies. The GST is, however, a regressive tax that hits the poor hardest, so the suggestion that an increase in the rate of the GST would need to be accompanied by concessions for the least well off has also been floated. In an increasingly globalised world economy, taxing online sales and international trades is becoming ever more difficult. And bracket creep – where earning higher wages pushes many previously ‘average’ wage earners into higher tax brackets – is inevitable.

Tax concessions on superannuation mean a much lower rate of tax is applied to contributions and this system has been shown, over time, to be heavily skewed in favour of those on higher incomes. Negative gearing, capital gains tax on property and the uneven application of tax on bank deposits, property and shares are also up for discussion.

Read the full paper

Join the conversation by contacting the Tax White Paper Task Force.

Opinion: A step in right direction

There is a lot to like about the Re:think discussion paper. Firstly, instead of a narrow list of  policies, ordinary Australians are actually being asked how they think our tax system could be simpler and fairer. So the three step process:

  • an outline of issues and call for comment
  • a ‘green’ paper of likely policies, and
  • a final white paper of intended changes
  • is inclusive, considered and comprehensive.

Yes, much of this work was done by the Henry Review in 2010 when the Labor Party famously rejected nearly all of the proposals. But the world turns quickly, so five years down the track it its fair to say we have learnt a lot more about globalisation and digital financial transactions and this knowledge is valuable in the search for reform.

What hasn’t changed, however, is the need for a more equitable retirement income system. The Age Pension remains far too low to support a modest, let alone reasonable standard of living. It costs the nation approximately $39 billion a year. But superannuation tax concessions cost us $35 billion and they currently favour the wealthiest 20 per cent of the population. Within the next few years they will cost us $50 billion – overtaking the cost of the pension. This is the so-called ‘low hanging fruit’ the taxation review must address. But will any government or political party have the courage to take on our biggest financial institutions to reduce these concessions? I sincerely hope so.

What do you think? Do you have ideas on how our tax system can be reformed? Is an increase in the rate and scope of GST a no-brainer?





    COMMENTS

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    Deenick
    31st Mar 2015
    10:14am
    While I am yet to read the paper all is quite about family trust and Corporate Directors who employ tax accountants to minimise their tax to the utmost. It would seem to me that because this is the big end of town stuff and the domain in of politicians it is off limits. Perhaps if these two areas along with overseas corporation being tax, there be less need to increase GST whihc is the easiest tax to sell
    Deenick
    31st Mar 2015
    10:18am
    PS perhaps Miss Fallick would like to check her facts on how many recommendations Labor did implement and reject. That is unless she is Liberal supporter then it would not serve her purpose.
    Kaye Fallick
    31st Mar 2015
    12:48pm
    Hi Deenick - i believe fewer than ten of the recommendations made it into legislation. As per note to grumpy below - last week i was told i was too leftwing - so if too right wing this week, then hope my average is somewhere in the middle
    Anonymous
    31st Mar 2015
    3:09pm
    Never let your left hand know what your right is doing.....
    Deenick
    31st Mar 2015
    6:42pm
    Hmm Ms Fallick, Sorry I must have an a different reoport
    Grumpy
    31st Mar 2015
    10:56am
    excuse me Ms Fallick, but your blue slip is showing.
    If you read the original Henry proposal for the Mining Tax you would have seen it was a complete system which provided for Commonwealth participation in the exploration and development phase of mining and subsequently entitlement to a share of the profits (or losses). This means it promoted the interests of junior miners against those of the established foreign owned/directed big miners (Rio Tinto/BHP Billiton). This was however a more complex, balanced proposition than can be sold within the 90 second Channel 9 TV grab attention span of many electors.
    Ms Fallick, you may also recall that the far less effective Mining Tax we ended up with was the direct result of the trenchant opposition of Mr Abbott and his colleagues (who now wail endlessly about Labour negativity) spurred on by the by the big miners and ably assisted by the massive PR campaigns mounted by the big miners.
    Increases in GST are only ever supported by bureaucrats and politicians seeking the anonymity and lack of visibility inherent in such taxes, and the flat tax mob who know that such taxes impact them proportionately far less than a reasonably balanced progressive tax.
    Note also big business supports increased and extended GST because by and large THEY DO NOT PAY IT!
    Kaye Fallick
    31st Mar 2015
    12:47pm
    Hi Grumpy - thanks for joining the debate - just for the record, i was accused of being a leftie last week - could this mean that my bias is indeed in the eye of the beholder?
    MICK
    31st Mar 2015
    1:26pm
    I know the feeling Kaye. I tell it like it is, do not support Labor but keep being branded as a Labor stoolie (yuk).
    Readers will understand. Keep up the fair journalism.
    DC
    31st Mar 2015
    2:14pm
    Oh come-on Mick - you of all people NOT a Labor supporter?? I nearly chocked on my muesli.
    Congratulations to Kaye for a change to raise the prickly tax issue fair and square, something we all should be open-minded about.
    Sceptic
    31st Mar 2015
    4:36pm
    Not a Labor supporter mick. I do recall recently that you said vote for an independent (who is unlikely to be elected), but put Labor as your first preference. Note. My comment in parenthesis.
    Anonymous
    31st Mar 2015
    9:37pm
    Sceptic
    i don't agree with mick's "yuk" statement, seems uncalled for. If you base your politics on policies rather than parties, then you put your support behind the party with the best policies and if that is Labor, at that particular time, then their support is justified. I supported the previous Labor team completely because they did a brilliant job FOR Australia in those DIRE times (GFC). However, that support will not go to the current Labor team because they support the removal of OUR civil rights and have supported metadata retrieval which is a gross abuse of our rights. It is a step down the road to fascism which is totally unnecessary for Australia and only gives an unaccountable, opaque and Untrustworthy government tools to keep all or any dissenters from being heard. Given their gross mismanagement of Australia's economy, they will have to dig up lots of data to keep people in check.

    I have been looking at the Greens policies and find that they are rather good which was a surprise. I particularly like that bloke from WA, Scott Ludlam, new blood that is intelligent, politically aware and willing to stand up and be counted. Lucky WA.

    So, my point is, that maybe mick supports policies rather than parties?
    wally
    3rd Apr 2015
    11:50am
    Hi Musso. Are you finally going to expose yourself......as a retread Commie at last?
    Anonymous
    25th Apr 2015
    4:46pm
    Hi wally
    …. and you an indoctrinated and propagandised patriot American who accepts anything, including fascism and control by unelected megacorps, without any thought bubbles? Not to mention the willingness to trample on your own democracy, rule of law and removal of habeas corpus! Ooooooh, but don't mention communism ….. just like American freedom, democracy and capitalism….. it doesn't exist anymore!!
    pate
    31st Mar 2015
    11:02am
    We re actually being asked what we woulld prefer All I can say is B*S* as If that ignoramus would listen to anybody all he wants is for the opposition to put forwards their ideas and he can say but that was tied back in the year dot and didn't work then and yet you think it will work today?
    Anonymous
    31st Mar 2015
    9:40pm
    pate

    I don't think I have met you before…. I have been through some hassles lately so if I have met you, I apologise for my tardiness.

    I must say…. I enjoyed your comment It says things straight up and doesn't muck about. I have difficulty doing that.

    I agree completely with your comment.
    dougie
    31st Mar 2015
    11:11am
    Isn't it great that a political party is actually going to throw this taxation thing open for comment. One just hopes that all parties put their heart into it and do discuss and work towards a better system. Other governments have had the opportunity and done little so lets get this underway, make it wide ranging and particularly look at the big end of town.
    If GST were to go to 15% then the government of the day must ensure that this is applied to purchases overseas in some form. Whether it be an import surcharge or just a GST applied to the actual cost price of the goods. Do away with this idea of sending items in as a gift for free import. As pensioner I would be prepared to discuss the increase as long as other things were altered to compensate for the increased costs.
    Come on Mr Shorten start talking and thinking outside the union square.
    Paulodapotter
    6th Apr 2015
    12:39pm
    Might be a result of fear, given every idea of their own has been knocked over. It always makes me smile when a government throws things open for debate. It's designed to allow them to cherry pick other peoples' ideas while they hide behind the "well, it wasn't my idea" protective barrier.

    31st Mar 2015
    11:17am
    Deenick - I thought I read somewhere that only 4 of the henry recommendations were enacted out of what 90 or so. This report builds on Henry as I read it but there are things not addressed as you identify (another is negative gearing) - heard yesterday that 64% of federal politicians have at least one negatively geared property. Don't agree with grumpy on mining tax ( (poorly conceived) but comments on GST have merit.
    There is a bigger question to ask ourselves - if a large portion of govn revenue is from resources and if those resources go down (eg iron ore from $120 to $58) do we increase taxes elsewhere or reduce spending and live within our means
    Travellersjoy
    31st Mar 2015
    11:45am
    All the Nationals, all the Liberals, and a few of Labor, have one, or often several investment properties.
    What a rort it has turned into.
    particolor
    31st Mar 2015
    1:07pm
    So I heard this morning !! An average of 2 each !! And so would I if I got a Quarter of a Million a Year for Snoring !!
    MICK
    31st Mar 2015
    1:41pm
    Your last paragraph us the reason why this country is in big big trouble. Both sides of government have done nothing otger than sell off the nation to foreigners. Now we own next to nothing and thebtudal wave is set to hit.
    So who will stump up tax money? Simple: average Australians
    But fear not as things are set to get much worse. Voters have still not tuned in to the real problem though: both sides of politics which have become lazy sellers of the nation and do not have the guts to do what will benefit the nation.
    maxchugg
    31st Mar 2015
    1:57pm
    Yet again I am in agreement with Mick. Under no circumstances should essential services be sold to anyone. Simply look at what happened immediately after the Commonwealth Bank was sold. Previously the government had control over exorbitant charges by banks by simply using their power of competition through the Commonwealth Bank. Privatization saw bank profits go through the roof at the expense of customers.
    After privatization it became tedious listening to Alan Fels of the ACCCresponding to complaints about the latest rort with the standard line that "it's not fair but there's nothing we can do about it."
    Privatize essential services at your peril. Never forget what happened to Auckland when the electricity generation system was sold.
    Also, even if the Tax Office will have to face QCs in court, stamp out the tax avoidance industry which, as Kerry Packer made clear to a Senate Committee that paying tax was optional for the wealthy.
    Kato
    30th Apr 2015
    10:46am
    http://thenewdaily.com.au/money/2015/04/29/lib-voters-property-tax-help/
    Kactus
    31st Mar 2015
    11:21am
    One of the problems that will have to be addressed here, is not making the changes so complicated that ordinary people can't understand them.
    Confusion is not something that attracts votes.
    particolor
    31st Mar 2015
    1:08pm
    Please Explain ? :-)
    Kactus
    31st Mar 2015
    2:48pm
    We don't want a repeat of all the confusion created by the changes to pension introduced on 1/1/15.
    particolor
    31st Mar 2015
    3:11pm
    Nobody will Employ Me ? ! :-( I wonder if its something to with being 69 with a Wooden Leg, Glass Eye and a Hearing Aid ? Or just the Wrinkles and Walking Stick ?
    Kactus
    31st Mar 2015
    3:26pm
    That's very unfortunate.
    You can always fill in your time by making vacuous comments on the internet.
    bartpcb
    31st Mar 2015
    11:22am
    People are not seriously going to fall for this con job are they?? The government wants more money, it has already decided on at least three ways to achieve this. All three are going to hurt. They put forward 10 suggestions in which the 3 decided upon are embedded. They invite a 'round table scenario' and allow the electorate to add to the ten suggestions. They have their super salesman Hockey to smile and joke and eliminate everything bar the three pre-decided upon. Everyone feels they have had 'input' and although they don't like being ripped off by Abbott and Hockey, they realize there was no alternative. Hockey then 'closes the deal'.
    MICK
    31st Mar 2015
    1:43pm
    Yep. Taxes for average Australians and tax reductions for the rich. Bet on it.
    Grumpy
    31st Mar 2015
    3:45pm
    Spot on bartpcb!!
    The purpose of the discussion paper is to canvass all the options before the government ignores all those that were not on their agenda at the outset.
    I think the correct vernacular is, what is it, oh yes a snowjob.
    Anonymous
    31st Mar 2015
    5:35pm
    Whoop Whoop Yahooooooo!!

    Good on yah, you lot….. I am totally sick of non-thinkers who are sucked in by pathetic propaganda, time and time again….. and you three THINKERS have done my heart good!!!!!!

    With my hat doffed and appropriately genuflected, I thank thee.
    Kato
    30th Apr 2015
    3:19pm
    As soon as Hockey was asked after his sojourn to the USA. We are still following through with the changes we implemented with regard to medicare, welfare and pensions.All the rhetoric that is being spun now lies and more lies. His main job is to look after my lord and masters BIg Business.
    dougie
    31st Mar 2015
    11:36am
    Kaye Fallick,
    You can now see why so many free thinking people are becoming disillusioned by this site. Anyone who has an idea or a straw of support for the Government (as you showed ) which does not fit into the thoughts of some contributors, is immediately decried - called names - or placed firmly in the eye of ridicule.
    I always felt that this site was a great opportunity to air some thoughts but it seems that is not so. Kaye you have today suffered the ridicule that some of us suffer on a daily basis when we contribute. Only from a few but that is a few too many.
    Grumpy
    31st Mar 2015
    3:58pm
    DC, you question Mick's childhood as the cause of bitterness about the current government. In view of your undying support for all the current government is proposing I feel it is your childhood we should be examining.
    Did you grow up in an environment completely lacking in compassion and a consideration for your fellow men who may not be as fortunate as yourself?
    Take an unblinkered look at what this government and the Howard governments before it have done to the social fabric of this country. They have substituted division for national unity, racial intolerance for tolerant multiculturalism, religious intolerance for religious tolerance (which has given a huge dose of oxygen to potential terrorists), destroyed the nation's revenue base for the benefit of their chosen few......Need I go on?
    I feel as strongly as Mick. My childhood was spent in the UK (happily). My only knowledge of Australian politics was gained in adulthood. So how will you now use the standard Coalition tactic of playing the man not the ball against me?
    DC
    31st Mar 2015
    11:54pm
    Hi Grumpy, Sorry but what a lot of crap. What exactly did the Howard or other Conservative Gov ever do to you?? I did in fact grow up in post war Germany and I can assure it was no sugar coated existence either.
    I do remember the days of "the recession we had to have" (Keating) and years of 18% interests on our mortgage as well as losing employment during the time on top of it.
    The stuff about the coalition playing the man and not the policies is crap as well. Check your history or Hansard - they are both as bad as each other!
    Travellersjoy
    31st Mar 2015
    11:41am
    The trend by tax "experts" is to become ever more resourceful in collecting tax from ordinary working people and redirecting national wealth to a smaller and smaller cluster of affluent propertied people.
    A fair tax system collects most from those who have most, directs more to those with the least, and invests in nation building like governments used to do.
    Propping up mining companies is not nation building, nor is it liberal capitalism.
    Losses to the tax system must be stopped eg tax evasion/avoidance; subsidies for the affluent eg health insurance, religion, and private education which are 'lifestyle choices' of some; negative gearing and superannuation which are direct tax payer subsidies for wealth accumulation by the privileged who have well paid jobs, surplus income and property; all the tax exemptions that accrue to property owners as share holders, corporations or businesses and private trusts.
    The GST and PAYE systems are used to ensure the poor and working people never escape tax. That is why they are called 'efficient'. Every suggestion for ensuring the wealthy pay fair tax contributions is stigmatised as too expensive, too inefficient, or non competitive. The rationalisations in support of the affluent and corporate to not contribute tax are sophisticated and endless. Corporate 'poor me' is continuous and well funded. The government, which is meant to be the agent of the people/demos, acts more often as a mouthpiece and agent of mainly foreign corporations and banksters.
    Tax payers have no responsibility to ensure some kids get an inheritance, some people accumulate a property portfolio, religious organisations can proselytise their beliefs in our schools, health insurance companies make good profits, corporate profits are fattened up with public money, or that high income earners can live in retirement at the standard they have been accustomed to.
    Tax payers are supposed to be paying for the legitimate operations of our nation, our communities and our people, including especially those reliant on pensions and benefits.
    Various web sites have had excellent suggestions for evening up the tax and transfers system, and the government still speaks as if only GST and income tax exist. They are NOT on the side of tax paying Australians, who they think should be paying more so the others can continue their gold plated lifestyles.
    I will be responding to the request for submissions, and I hope thousands of other ordinary people do too. It doesn't need to be fancy, but please, put your thoughts on the record while you have a chance.
    MITZY
    31st Mar 2015
    2:02pm
    Well put Travellersjoy: I will do a submission, as hopefully many others will.

    I am wondering if a Liberal Government who leans so much in favour of big business, banks, corporations, miners etc. would consider a tax levy on their profits before they whittle away their profits with their deductions/benefits/perks/etc. This tax levy would be a "fair shake of the sauce bottle" and could be applied to health, education and pensions, for instance.
    Fancy having a tax applied that couldn't be eroded with perks etc. Fancy having those establishments actually paying a "fair share" of tax to benefit us all. After all, these establishments use the same facilities as the rest of us poor mortal salary and wage earners who are paying their fair share from what they physically earn. How about the top of the tree providing the benefits the trunk of the tree has been providing since governments began fleecing since time immemorial!

    Methinks whatever we contribute to this nation's future tax structure will be tossed aside pretty quickly in favour of what they want to hear from the top end.
    particolor
    31st Mar 2015
    3:23pm
    Sheep Comments !!
    At the end of the Comments we will hear " Well after reading all Comments Most people said Do it Your way Joe "
    TwainAndHume
    31st Mar 2015
    3:53pm
    Extremely well put, Travellersjoy, may I paraphrase you in my submission to J.H.?

    As regards the GST .... I think that the GST should be raised on such things as junk food, alcohol and the like .... keep it off the foods that we should be encouraged to eat and keep it off medicines (which need no encouragement to increase prices).

    Everything else you write make utterly perfect sense.
    Pancake
    31st Mar 2015
    11:43am
    Just raise the GST to 12.5% but like everything else the Governments (no matter which side) are doing, just phase it in as quickly as say the rise in the super guarantee rate to 12% or the rise of the Aged Pension age to 70. Slowly!!!!
    Kactus
    31st Mar 2015
    12:33pm
    Yeah, I don't see why the GST should rise by 50% in one hit.
    Hobbit
    31st Mar 2015
    11:55am
    Rather than comment here why not write directly using the link provided in the article above.
    Theo1943
    31st Mar 2015
    12:28pm
    Bracket creep would not be a problem if the brackets were indexed, but many previous Governments have shied away from this because they want the extra money.
    MICK
    31st Mar 2015
    1:46pm
    Just like Capital Gains Tax. Used to be indexed but now governments cash in on inflation whikat taking zero risks. A casino!
    Adrianus
    2nd Apr 2015
    10:00am
    I think we once had indexation of brackets but during Keating's time of very high inflation it had to be stopped.
    Hawkeye
    2nd Apr 2015
    1:58pm
    Pretty sure it was the Fraser Liberals who gave us tax indexation, but he also stopped it after a short time because it left him with a bare cupboard when it came time to hand out tax cuts as an election bribe. And for that same reason, no other government is ever going to consider it, even tough it is the ONLY way to get a fairer income tax regime.
    rtrish
    31st Mar 2015
    12:41pm
    It is good people are looking at the tax system, though OMG I am getting sick of "conversations." However I cannot see anyone with much to lose will be standing by and allowing changes - they will be squealing like pigs: it is unlike me to say that, but I am not hopeful. I certainly do NOT want to see GST added to all foodstuffs - that is one tiny area where I can buy economically, by buying things that are GST free and cooking from scratch.
    particolor
    31st Mar 2015
    1:20pm
    Yer Right !! :-)
    Kactus
    31st Mar 2015
    2:27pm
    Absolutely, no GST on foodstuffs that are currently exempt!
    KSS
    31st Mar 2015
    12:42pm
    There are people on this site who just refuse to be even remotely satisfied. We have had months of daily exhortations to the current Government to 'punish' the rich for no other reason than they are 'rich'. There have been calls here for stopping negative gearing, closing superannuation 'loopholes', upping the rate of income tax (for only the rich of course), slugging 'big-business' with more tax, a few for and against raising the GST and of course hitting politicians hardest on all fronts. Just as long as it only affects themselves in the sense of a raised Government pension to which they are entitled.

    Now, when there is a discussion paper/report released that will seek input from all and sundry for ideas, and an opportunity to talk about bringing some of those 'demands' to fruition, people are still whining and complaining. I am amazed that those who confidently predicted the total demise of the Liberals in NSW are not still curled up in the foetal position on the floor sucking their thumbs and hanging on to Teddy. But No! Here they are confidently predicting the failure of Mr Hockey to even begin to talk about addressing whatever inequities there may be in the current taxation system.

    Accusing Ms Fallick - a reporter with a decidedly left bent - of being a Liberal sympathiser! Ha Ha...

    It must be wonderful to be so eternally and dogmatically right!
    Adrianus
    2nd Apr 2015
    10:04am
    Good post KSS!
    Abby
    5th Apr 2015
    3:21pm
    Agree KSS
    Pass the Ductape
    31st Mar 2015
    12:55pm
    Its so easy isn't it? Just raise the GST and when successive government run out of spending money - raise it again - and again - and again. Enough will never be enough because the business end of town will always find a way to rort the system leaving us poor sods to pick up the slack - that's why a good tax accountant is literally worth their weight in gold!
    The business end of town are always complaining about tax issues, but you never hear them complain about the tax breaks they get in their day to day expenses of running a business. What a pity the 'common worker' can't claim fuel costs to go to work; claim a tax break on a new car every couple of years and pay so-called lease payments (called car payments for the rest of us) on tax; go to lunch, have a slap up feed and claim it on tax as a business lunch; purchase personal items for the home and claim it as office expenses - plus a myriad of other ‘tax claimable’ expenses too numerous to mention.
    No! You won't hear any complaints about these tax issues from the business end of town - nor politicians, because the sods all do it and its left up to the plebs to fork out a third of their earnings to keep the country going, plus a GST on all goods and services. Now they want increase it (I did hear to 15%) and to include all food items as well.
    We might as well go down the communist road and give them the bloody lot, then ask them to give back what THEY think we can exist on. Save all this nonsense about how THEY are going to give US options as to what we should do about taxes. Gimme a break - they already know what they're going to do and that will be to rip us off for as much as they think they can get away with.
    Pass the Ductape
    31st Mar 2015
    1:00pm
    Should be 'claim' all lease payments on tax - not pay!
    FrankC
    31st Mar 2015
    1:37pm
    There is a system in nearly all government institutions called "Salary packaging', a system I was involved in while working in a public hospital in Sydney. You were able to claim almost anything, from credit card interest, personal loans, to child care, to mortgage, rent etc. These payments were added up over the year, and became a fortnightly deduction from your salary to reduce your tax, so long as it didn't rise above $1699.p.a.It really reduced your PAYE tax by a couple of hundred dollars or so per fortnight. You imagine a hospital with a thousand or more employees saving $200 per fortnight, multiply that by the number of government institutions, the mind boggles !! And this is legal.! There's one way of recouping tax, apart from stopping payments to retired ex prime ministers, for their cars, office secretary, chauffeur -- now there's a big saving,
    KSS
    31st Mar 2015
    1:44pm
    " What a pity the 'common worker' can't claim fuel costs to go to work; claim a tax break on a new car every couple of years and pay so-called lease payments (called car payments for the rest of us) on tax; go to lunch, have a slap up feed and claim it on tax as a business lunch; purchase personal items for the home and claim it as office expenses - plus a myriad of other ‘tax claimable’ expenses too numerous to mention."

    Actually Ductape they can if they want to and take the time to sort it all out with an accountant - just like the 'rich' do. As can anyone with an ABN access tax offsets like any business. The only difference is scale.
    MICK
    31st Mar 2015
    1:54pm
    Good one Ductape. Agree.
    Anonymous
    31st Mar 2015
    6:39pm
    Ductape

    You see clearly through this guise to rip and burn the ordinary people and willing to stand up against it. I salute you and look forward to our next crossing of swords, with respect.

    Cheers
    Adrianus
    2nd Apr 2015
    10:14am
    Ductape " What a pity the 'common worker' can't claim fuel costs to go to work; claim a tax break on a new car every couple of years and pay so-called lease payments ."

    The 'common worker' can claim and in many cases is in a much better situation than a small business owner.
    Hawkeye
    3rd Apr 2015
    12:26am
    Frank,
    I usually have a laugh at your posts, but lies like that can't be laughed off.
    Adrianus
    3rd Apr 2015
    4:06pm
    Hawkeye, I'm pleased you have a laugh. If I'm honest this is the only post of yours I have read in months.
    It may be of interest to you to learn that just last month a 'common worker' asked for my advice on how to salary package his car with his employer. For your benefit learn a little about novated leases. Hope that gives you a laugh too. :)
    LiveItUp
    31st Mar 2015
    1:07pm
    "What hasn’t changed, however, is the need for a more equitable retirement income system. The Age Pension remains far too low to support a modest, let alone reasonable standard of living."

    Good heavens I think the age pension is more than enough. It should just be for the basics not for people to live the high life. We a family of 4 live well on much less than what people on the age pension receive and don't get any concessions.
    MITZY
    31st Mar 2015
    3:19pm
    Bonny: Not all pensioners are equal. The one's living the high life with their million dollar super etc. and apparently there are quite a lot of them highlighted in the Press recently, should not be on the age pension at all?
    A pensioner who has been unfortunate enough through health and lifestyle factors due to not being fully employed all of their life to save for their retirement find it difficult to survive on the age pension. They would not agree with you that what they currently receive would take care of "living the high life". They may have struggled to keep ahead of their mortgage payments on their homes, or been forced to sell and then rent (who knows).

    There definitely is need for a more equitable retirement income system. Probably a good idea would be to have the governments of the day take control of superannuation contributions from the taxpayers, invest the proceeds and pay out retirement pensions. If something like this happened contributions would go fully to the government and we would not be paying investment advisers fees etc.
    Investing our contributions for the benefit of the nation's infrastructure etc. and our retirement would be better than having the likes of some of these investment advisers robbing us of our hard-earned moneys. By the way do any of them ever end up in gaol for their fraudulent activities?
    Below is an account of my next door neighbour's situation last year:
    From January 2014 to December 2014 (with two six monthly adjustments) the single age pension totalled $21,893.42 which equalled $421.06 per fortnight, which equalled $210.53 per week.
    Council rates, water rates, electricity, gas, buildings insurance, contents insurance, Strata levy, car insurance, green slip, car services etc. claimed $10,977.18 of her pension (i.e. slightly more than half the annual pension (balance $10,916.26). These costs are after receiving concessions given to pensioners.
    Other bills: small mortgage; petrol; food; household items; chemist; phone/internet; home maintenance/repairs; garden/lawns (unable to do herself, incapacitated); ageing dog (but healthy - cost for food/annual check-up).
    This accounted for $13,102.25 leaving a deficit of $2,185.99.
    On top of this her ageing car cost her $3,800 for a new head gasket and other items and she ended up in deficit $4,729.67. Without the car repair she would have been $1,846.27 in deficit. Her meagre savings have been eroded completely.
    She has been battling breast cancer since March last year and had one breast removed, done the chemo and the radiation and has been told she is presently cleared. The travel from where she lives to where she has been treated has cost her expenses not foreseen also. Her and I have been sitting down on and off to try and improve her position for 2015. So far with her bills etc. she was $300.25 in deficit for January, and $7.85 in credit for February. March and April she will be in credit by approx. $150 each month (unforeseen obstacles excluded).
    In all the above recorded items what has not been included is health insurance (she doesn't have any and luckily or unluckily for her whichever way you look at it) her cancer treatment being critically needed did not put her on a waiting list for treatment. She hasn't had regular dental check-ups for the past three years.
    She has never been a smoker (ever) doesn't drink alcohol, doesn't involve herself with any gambling, but I always notice she eats well on fresh foods. Television is her entertainment and some very good neighbours watch over her. If her 1990 old-fashioned TV capitulates, then the good neighbours (14 houses in our cul-de-sac) will be putting in to buy her a new one. She's a good neighbour and we all love her. Some of us have vegie gardens and supply/swap with each other and give to her.
    As I said at the beginning, "Not All Pensioners are Equal". We don't know the extent to what some pensioners and/or unemployed, and/or disabled, or even people who are on pensions because their super or life savings have been cruelly parted from them by unscrupulous advisers or even stockmarket crashes etc. have caused them to be in the situation they are in.

    It's like somebody said a few weeks ago on this site: "All the pensioners are at the Coffee Club spending up on pension day"?! Well maybe some of those pensioners are of pension age but not on the pension and entitled to spend what they like, maybe some are there because they are fortunate to have a surplus income to their pension or part pension, or maybe some of them go for a cup of coffee and cake with a friend or two once a fortnight as part of their grocery shopping partaking of a Senior's discount? However, you or I will never know unless of course we go and ask each and every one of them. That of course would be an invasion of privacy.
    I admire you greatly if your family of four live well on less than $21,893.42 per annum ($210.53 per week).
    LiveItUp
    31st Mar 2015
    11:18pm
    Good heavens the government taking control of superannuation. It is our money and is for our retirement and anything left should be disposed of as per our wishes not disappear into the government coffers.
    MICK
    31st Mar 2015
    1:23pm
    It is unlikely that a 'fair' tax system will ever come from this government because this government is cotrolled by rich Austrlians to pursue THEIR INTERESTS.
    The current noise is more sabre rattling by thus government to get people to vote for it again. Ain't happening Joe!
    TwainAndHume
    31st Mar 2015
    4:00pm
    Mick, one can certainly hope .... though it is amazing (as in the United States) the number of people who vote against their own best interests while being distracted through fear and other emotive tools wielded by calculating spin merchants.
    Kato
    30th Apr 2015
    12:32pm
    http://thenewdaily.com.au/money/2015/04/29/lib-voters-property-tax-help/
    Ozetwo
    31st Mar 2015
    1:24pm
    It's all window dressing. The final decision will be an increase in GST to either 15% or 20%. The ploy for public input is reminiscent of the LNP Queenslands "survey" set up and engineered so that the only answer to balancing the budget was asset sales.I think its a Judge Judy line where she says "Don't pee in my pocket and tell me its raining".
    MICK
    31st Mar 2015
    1:58pm
    That's it. A con to claim that the process is legitimate. It is not because an increase in the GST was agreed to long ago. I have said this for over a year and the more this topic comes up for discussion the more it will be a sure bet.
    Anonymous
    31st Mar 2015
    3:13pm
    Same-same the 'Commission of Audit'... what a laugh... a low-ranked public servant could have come up with that guff in less than a day at $20 an hour.
    Grumpy
    31st Mar 2015
    4:05pm
    Completely agree Ozetwo. Love your last sentence.
    Not Senile Yet!
    31st Mar 2015
    1:30pm
    Raising the GST is not the answer to the Government's continual cry about it's lack of Revenue to pay for it's ever increasing ability to devour whatever tax it now reaps by allowing more and more tax concessions to Businesses in an ever increasing manner in the name of increasing employment!!!
    Private Enterprise only employs when there is profit to be made....not to provide a tax income for the Governments.....and then that profit is vested into ventures to create more profit!!!
    It is not Businesses that create Community nor is it Business that creates the future tax payer!!!
    Yes, they contribute....Yes they assist a family through employment....BUT NO!...It is not their PRIMARY OBJECTIVE!!!!
    Our Governments need to correcting their INABILITY to Balance the Budgets.....then by stopping Big Business from raiding their tax income through subsidisation!!!!
    There is no use pouting more water into a bucket to fill it when it has Holes in the Bottom!!!
    Simplifying the Tax System is an absolute target as it does remove the huge cost of running and implementing the Current overcomplicated system.....however, one cannot just Slash and Burn.....simply because it would shrivel the economy TOO quickly!!!
    Sadly no elected Government has been able to get it's opposition to agree to a slow and gradual implementation of Tax reform over a long period of say 15-20 years.....to lessen the radical impact....not just on employment but also the economy and business!!!
    Short term fix it solutions like raising the GST seem easier to implement.....but are not the solution....not only for Government but also the workers or the Economy!!!
    The Fact still remains Both Major Parties CANNOT keep their Promises made to be elected.....something even Business Owners are surely FED UP With!!!!
    A Mining Tax has been long overdue.....however it needs to be Modest...no more than 10%....and then it needs to be channelled away from general Revenue and into something like Medicare...so ALL Australians reap a benefit!!!
    As for Business....their tax concessions need to be reeled back....so they are not getting a tax subsidiary that exceeds their tax imput into our Countries' Economic Wealth!
    How??? Again..by sticking to a Long Term Plan that does not change at each election.....that is Gradual and not excessive....so as to allow Companies to adjust gradually to being weaned off excessive dependency on tax concessions that are currently far too generous!
    Total removal should not be the goal....but lessened so as to remove the continual cry to increase tax beyond a reasonable level for the working masses!!!
    Remember....Both Government and the Employers/Big Business.....need the workers to be able to afford to buy products for the self sustenance of Economic Growth and thus the normal increase of tax revenue!!!
    Right Wing Liberal economic philosophy to an extreme can be just as bad as Left Wing Labor economic philosophy.
    SADLY....neither side see Politics as a Negotiation for the best for ALL anymore!!! They only see it as Fight to see who is the Victor!!!
    As an Ageing Australian....it is a sad sight to see....that our MP's are only interested in their Party Policies and their own Views/Pockets!!!
    Gone are the Real Politicians....who had a vision for Australia...beyond being just a extension of the good old USA!!!
    We need to get back on track and be our own Nation by not following or copying others.....but by being our own inventive selves!!!
    By creating a system of Tax that is fair to the Majority yet does not Punish the minority!!!
    To achieve this....both Parties need to heed to the fact that their duty is to Serve.....not to Take....not to Command!!!
    And Dreams are Free!!!!
    Anonymous
    31st Mar 2015
    3:15pm
    Brevity is the soul of teaching.... run that one past me slowly again....

    Remember that when teaching you need to do it one step at a time., I recommend an online forum of your own where you can progressively build understanding of your points one by one.

    Too many at once is too much! Not biting you ass.. just saying.
    Grumpy
    31st Mar 2015
    4:14pm
    You are definitely Not Senile Yet. Your comments are all very pertinent and on point, especially the suggestion that politicians think of the good of the nation not just that part which supports them.
    Your greatest problem is that you have hit on so many important issues in one piece it exceeds the attention span of some (Trebor?)
    Trebor, I note that you have adopted the political right approach of playing the man not the ball. Whichever way you vote, perhaps if you are unable to play the ball you should consider desisting from comment.
    Rob
    31st Mar 2015
    5:38pm
    So in your model Grumpy anyone who has a different view to you is playing the man?
    Anonymous
    31st Mar 2015
    10:05pm
    Dear Grumpy - I test at somewhere to the left of the Dalai Lama.... I was in no way 'playing the man' - I was pointing out that a long dissertation is not what most will read, and while it may contain some salient points, it needs ..... brevity.

    Now stop playing the man with me. Salud!
    Adrianus
    2nd Apr 2015
    10:29am
    Not old boy, I have to agree with all of your points in a very good post. Thank you!
    I would add though tax reform should have short term and long term considerations. To scrap the idea of increasing GST because it is not a long term solution does little for our short term problem.
    WideBayMike
    31st Mar 2015
    2:07pm
    Here is my idea for a fairer tax system. Scrap personal income tax; whatever you earn you get to keep. Maybe include sole traders and husband and wife type businesses to help get rid of the cash black market that currently exists. I think we are doing it wrong by collecting tax from wages. Increase the GST and collect taxes when people SPEND money. GST doesn't have to be a flat rate it can be at a different rate for different things. People like myself on a fixed income would need the government to adjust pensions etc. The government wants and needs more money. Here is a fair way of doing it. If you don't want to pay tax under my proposal you don't have to break the law you don't spend money.
    KSS
    31st Mar 2015
    3:05pm
    WideBayMike, it is not illegal to minimise tax. Most people will minimise their tax each year with the help of their accountant. H&R Block make a living doing just that for 'ordinary' people.

    There are always illegal ways to do anything if you really want - rob a bank instead of working for example. But they are in the very minority. Even the 'rich' using complicated arrangements are working within the law with very few exceptions.
    Anonymous
    31st Mar 2015
    3:16pm
    It CAN be made illegal at the stroke of a pen..... where the pen has some balls behind it.
    MITZY
    31st Mar 2015
    3:37pm
    WideBayMike: If it happens that GST rises to 15% and it gets applied to "everything" the government will have to compensate the likes of you and me with a huge compensation not a small amount as was done by John Howard on its introduction). Can you imagine paying 15% GST on "everything". Think of the many items GST is not applied to presently. I don't fancy paying 15% GST on my council and water rates and other utilities, car and home insurances, visiting my doctor, dentist, hospital etc. These are unavoidable GST expenditures if this happens. One can naturally curtail some spending at the Good Guys, Harvey Norman, Betta Electrical, Myer, David Jones etc. by going without, that will put a few more people out of work. No thanks, the think tanks had better find another way to increase their revenue, there are plenty of avenues to ride or drive down.
    The next thing they'll administer is a GST on my $5.90 per fortnight March pension increase!!! Whoops there goes the 90 cents.
    Grumpy
    31st Mar 2015
    4:22pm
    WideBayMike, your proposal does not address the vital issue of social equity. Surely it is better to have a progressive tax system like PAYG where the proportion (not amount) you pay increases as your capacity to pay increases i.e. if you ain't got any you don't pay. You only pay according to what you have got. GST is the exact opposite of this. Everyone pays the same rate, even those whose only income is a government pension.
    Politicians and bureaucrats like GST type taxes because someone else does all the collecting at their expense, no one really knows how much they are paying and they are relatively simple. It will take only a small legislative change and they will be able to change rates by regulation instead of having to go back for Parliaments' approval.
    Anonymous
    31st Mar 2015
    5:22pm
    WideBayMike
    See my comment below….. the fair and equitable personal taxes as compared to unfair and inequitable FLAT taxes, is WHY Australia is an EGALITARIAN country and why we sailed through the first and heavy part of the GFC without any much hassles.

    Countries that have less fair and equitable personal taxes and more unfair and inequitable FLAT taxes, such as GST, got struck hard….. well the ordinary people did anyway, as the wealthy are riding a cloud of excess and ostentatious greed. The polarisation of wealthy is vast when you start getting the poor to pay for the wealthy. The middle class thins dramatically and the poor and disadvantaged grow and as they pay most of the taxes, the govt has less taxes to pay for services and infrastructure required, so the economy declines even further. It is a cycle that Australia has not had to deal with because of our EGALITARIAN make up. YOUR proposal suggests that we dump the essence of our fair and equitable economy that is strong, to encompass the needs of the wealthy (eerrrhhhh…. more wealth) and turn Australia into those other countries.

    At the moment Australia is punching way beyond our weight and doing so easily…… the ONLY reason that is happening is because of our EGALITARIAN system.

    Going with unfair and inequitable GST type taxes and dumping fair and equitable taxes breeds economic STAGNATION and DECLINE. The wealthy forget that without the people being well off, the economy simply doesn't work that well…… look to the USA, expanding poverty, growing slums, daily violent crime, out of control drugs, public facilities and infrastructure in disarray, public education a joke and public health to die for…… etc. etc. All the Americans get is PATRIOTISM to replace reason and fed PROPAGANDA day in and day out, by their corporate mainstream media, to keep them under control.
    Chris B T
    31st Mar 2015
    2:58pm
    When the Government Puts in Place What is a low or high Income then we would know the
    starting points.
    When superannuation is mention this is all you receive from so called experts.
    Exactly the same for large Corporations, when is it large or small.
    There is a defined PAYE TAX, why isn't there a define limits and cut off points with
    superannuation benefits connectted to those earnings. Above this point no more offsets.
    shirboy
    31st Mar 2015
    3:03pm
    All pensioners should be exempt from paying any GST
    Anonymous
    31st Mar 2015
    3:17pm
    ... and bank and medical fees and tax on fuel to get to the doc etc.

    Fixed it for ya!
    Anonymous
    31st Mar 2015
    4:21pm
    Give me a break pensioners get everything for nothing now why should they be exempt from GST THEY CAN AT LEAST CONTRIBUTE A SMALL AMOUNT.
    Anonymous
    31st Mar 2015
    5:31pm
    TREBOR
    Duh! Why should a country as wealthy as Australia be in such a mess….. besides the gross mismanagement by the Liberal Party, that is…. that we cannot provide the BASICS of a civilised society, such as ensuring that such things as bank fees and medical costs are free. The banks earn BILLIONS for doing bugger all and holding OUR ECONOMY to ransom! Health support is a BASIC requirement for a HEALTHY economy.

    Shirboy
    You are right, it is STUPID to make pensioners pay GST when they do NOT get an income, other than government payments. They get given a small pittance and then told that they must give a great chunk of it back in GST and then be told that their pension must be reduced because Australia can no longer afford them. These sorts of FALSITIES are what the Liberal Party is all about….. prop up the wealthy with ordinary Australians and then tell ordinary Australians that we cannot afford to pay for OUR elderly and disadvantaged. It is NOT the elderly and disadvantaged that cost the average Australian, it is the parasites that make up the wealthy elite.

    ROBO
    Bloody hell, where do you come from mid west USA!!! ULTRA right wing dribble if I ever heard it. You are just having a JOKE aren't you?
    Anonymous
    31st Mar 2015
    6:05pm
    No joke at all a lot of us are sick of pensioners crying poor when lets face it you are not able to keep yourselves or pay your own way and have to have Government hand outs, does not matter what side of politics you are on this is a fact.
    Anonymous
    31st Mar 2015
    10:08pm
    My medications cost $50 a month. I still pay power, petrol food and everything else with a few discounts here and there...

    Where am I getting everything for nothing?
    Anonymous
    31st Mar 2015
    10:13pm
    Wow, Robo - that IS fanatical. Not able to keep ourselves - yes - we kept everyone else for fifty years plus, and took all the nonsense of social changes etc on the chin... recessions we had to have, equality for some that removed equality from others, dismal industrial relations.... you name it.

    I don't recall ever considering that my grand-parents should not receive a pension..... it was .. and remains .... part of the deal of working all your life, and taking all the rubbish from lesser beings who imagine themselves better.

    Are you advocating that we not support children, the disabled, the elderly, and the poor?

    Which planet are you from?
    Anonymous
    1st Apr 2015
    8:42pm
    ROBO
    Yep, that sought of political ultra right extremism comes from the mid west USA.

    In the USA people get FED, day in and day out with CORPORATE propaganda and as their educational levels are underfunded and downgraded, they have also been taught NOT to THINK. Pity because of the Americans I know who do actually think, I have great respect for their intellect!

    DO TRY and DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT and understand that it is the ORDINARY PEOPLE who pay MOST of the TAXES and NOT CORPORATIONS.

    HERE IS WHY:
    Corporations may be taxed 30% in Australia BUT its investors get to claim that 30% back as a refund or a credit against their income. Hence, the Corporations may pay taxes which go into the GOVT coffers BUT most of it is immediately taken back out again by investors claiming their portion of the 30% against their own tax liability or in a cash refund!!!!

    Corporations and businesses do NOT even PAY GST, they collect it from ORDINARY PEOPLE and then claim back (get refunded) what GST they themselves have paid and merely pass on the balance of that paid by ORDINARY PEOPLE to the govt.


    Hence, it is the ORDINARY PEOPLE and NON-CORPORATE BUSINESSES who have paid for ALL our infrastructure, our services and benefits, and our disadvantaged.

    So everything that is what a civilisation is, has been provided for by ORDINARY PEOPLE and you are saying that we, the people, in a wealthy country are NOT allowed to provide for OUR aged and disadvantaged!!!! That we should PANDER to CORPORATE GREED and give them OUR hard earned MONEY instead, when they give this country (especially FOREIGN corporations), absolutely nothing, except maybe hoards of 457 visa workers to undermine our economy.

    CORPORATIONS (especially Foreign) simply EXTRACT and give NOTHING BACK…. FACT!!!!!

    So ROBO, me mate, how dare you suggest that Australians are NOT allowed to look after their aged. Those same aged, that have provided this country, in their youth, with infrastructure, services and benefits, and provided us with the civilisation that we now enjoy.
    Hawkeye
    3rd Apr 2015
    1:04am
    ROBO,
    I'm stunned and pretty well lost for words at your attitude, so forgive me, but I am going to get personal here.
    WHAT A DISGUSTING LITTLE PERSON YOU MUST BE.
    I SINCERELY HOPE THAT YOUR FINANCIAL PLANNER RUNS OFF WITH ALL YOUR MONEY ON THE DAY YOU RETIRE

    31st Mar 2015
    3:08pm
    The important phrase is that everyone who earns money in Australia should be paying the correct amount of tax. Easily said when some get deductions and others do not.... but let's leave the discussion to the paying of calculated tax.

    The most important thing about this is that it must, if followed through (hold my breath - NOT), impact on excessive savings into superannuation schemes and on concessional rate of capital gains, as well as deeming of shares tax.

    In that last it will be a balancing act, since many superannuation funds for the little people rely largely on gains from shares, so chopping it would create a hole in super, thus putting pressure back on pensions etc.

    Again I state my view - superannuation at a concessional rate of tax should be permitted up to an amount that will provide an adequate living - same for everyone - after that it is savings and to be taxed fully.

    This, of course, will impact on politicians, who while drawing a nice salary, get to spend not that much of that in daily sustenance, and therefore get to put a heap away.

    Which reminds me - politician super must be brought into line with the rest of the community... they put their cash into it - it operates as all other funds do - they get the same result based on the merit of the investment etc. No more free rides on the public purse.

    In this day and age there is zero argument for keeping politicians etc for life once they have finished their tenure. Nobody else gets that and neither should they - and their jobs are no more insecure than that of everyone else these days - in some cases - much more so, in fact.

    Did Sophie Mirabella actually need a pension straight away when the government slotted her into a nice little earner on the board of ASC when her seat kicked her out? Utter rubbish.

    No more free rides.
    Grumpy
    31st Mar 2015
    3:37pm
    Ms Fallick, Your comments noted. My apologies if I have misjudged, however I had only one item to judge by.
    Given your circumstances, perhaps you are misplaced. Have you considered a career with the ABC?
    Gords
    31st Mar 2015
    3:48pm
    Not Senile Yet is on the right trail. After reading through the comments it is obvious how easily we are led away from the basis of the problem and finish up calling names across the "table". Think about it for just a little while along the lines that the Government is spending our money on what it decides is the best product. If you go shopping and finish up spending on more than you had on the shopping list you are out of funds. Borrow a bit more and pay some interest? That is the scenario that governments have followed for a number of years so now they have to find more money to go shopping. Not wishing to sound old hat, 40 plus years ago we had nowhere near the taxes we have today and the country was prosperous. Inept management of our money since then has led us to the predicament we face today. To governments, stop ignoring history and take a very hard look at what you should have learned Perhaps take a leaf out of the pages from the past and stop trying to reinvent the wheel.
    Rob
    31st Mar 2015
    4:41pm
    Not sure you are right Gords in respect to the number of taxes that applied in the old days. I think we had a higher number then that now. I think what has really changed is the entitlement mentality that has been created over the last 20 yrs. You watch Q & A, listen to talkback people come and indicate to any problem that has adiscussed that it needs more resourcing thrown at it. Never a comment as to what needs to how it can be paid for.
    Rob
    31st Mar 2015
    4:44pm
    The figure quoted on lateline last night the welfare income for aborigines was around $46000 the welfare figure for non-aborigines was about $23000. That a big difference. And Peasron was arguing for more.
    Anonymous
    31st Mar 2015
    5:58pm
    Rob
    I gather you are the right hand of ROBO because you are rather similar.

    Now to your little bit of bigotry of stats drawn from WHO KNOWS WHERE!!…..Other than the fact that our ORIGINAL AUSTRALIANS are living in worse conditions than 3rd world countries…...May I point out from personal experience, that the welfare income of aborigines is not entirely accurate.

    EXAMPLE: housing for remote Aborigines in remote areas - the cost of a small SHED (single tin with no double walls) with a kitchen, lounge and bedroom (no toilet/showers, these were communal) COST the same as a three bedroom, two bathroom, large kitchen, dining room, lounge, and games room mansion in the town which was a mere 25kms away.

    You see ….. from the architects, engineers, builders and suppliers….. they quadruple their prices when tendering if they know it is for Aborigines, as they are virtually a monopoly in remote areas.

    Even in the city….. tenders were put out and what they would have ended up with IF I had not been there at the time, was ONE house and the community block/rooms repaired. What they ended up with (after I got permission to go outside of this warped tender process) was THREE houses and the community block/rooms repaired with ADDED one utility room. That is a huge difference!!!!

    Now, back to the conditions that our ORIGINAL AUSTRALIANS are required to live in through lack of education, jobs and opportunities…… DISGRACEFUL 3rd world conditions and this in a country full of WEALTH.

    Governments (ALL PARTIES) should be hanging their heads in shame and YES, more money should be put their way BUT not just to FOB them OFF but to provide REAL education, REAL jobs and REAL opportunities. To clean up and organise their communities after assisting Aboriginal elders to regain their cultural authority and giving the kids something more to do than NOTHING!!!!!
    Rob
    31st Mar 2015
    6:59pm
    The figures were were broadcast on ABC lateline last night and I believe provided by Treasury. I think it also about time they started taking a bit of responsibility for their own future instead of continually relying on handouts. The billions that have been poured into Aboriginal welfare for what you say is so little return. The concept of the original australian doesn't - so what.
    Anonymous
    31st Mar 2015
    10:15pm
    Governments kind of remind me of the people who are addicted to Pay Day Loans..... thank you, Gords, for pointing me in that direction..
    Jezemeg8
    31st Mar 2015
    3:59pm
    I've yet to read the paper fully but I would love to know when our Government is going to crack down on the numbers of foreign businesses not paying full taxes on income that is earned in this country. Sure they employ Australians but why are they allowed to send their profits overseas to tax havens instead of paying taxes here?
    AquarianIdealist
    31st Mar 2015
    4:36pm
    Tax avoidance should attract the same penalties as tax evasion, then we might start to achieve a fairer tax system. Increase the GST by all means but get rid of state taxes. I also don't agree with the method of distribution (HFE) of the GST to the States. It should be based on population, why should the bigger states subsidize the smaller ones. We need to have a system in place that compels state governments to be efficient not inefficient.
    Anonymous
    31st Mar 2015
    10:17pm
    Well - tax avoidance is not ILLEGAL - but can become so at the stroke of a pen...

    Governments have no trouble at all changing the rules (moving the goal posts) for the 'lower classes' - they need to start working out that there are no 'classes' here and they are sworn to deal with all equally.

    OH - BTW - I've been a 'lifter' all my life... much more so than Joe Boy...
    Rob
    31st Mar 2015
    4:53pm
    It's all very well having the discussion on what taxes should apply, who should pay what etc. but we really need to be having a discussion with the public, side by side with the tax discussion, that considers what is it the Governments of Federal, State and Local should be actually funding. Why for instance are we spending billions on a war in the middle east that the countries of the middle east don't contribute to. it's there problem let them deal with it.
    Paulodapotter
    6th Apr 2015
    12:58pm
    Ah, but they got what we want. Watch out when they want what we got?

    31st Mar 2015
    5:03pm
    UNTRUSTWORTHY & LIARS come to mind

    Please tell me how ordinary people are to go through and sift the heap of propaganda that this govt spews, through their onside corporate (foreign) owned mainstream media.

    For instance, if this body recommends a FLAT tax of 25% will everyone jump on board, thinking it was great…. YES, most probably. The wealthy would be over the moon with joy, as they would be the ONLY benefactors of this proposal. Their tax would go from 45% (on income over $180,000) to 25% on everything. The average person is well below this figure…. for instance, IF you earned $80000pa your ACTUAL tax rate would be just under 22% and IF you earned $180,000pa your ACTUAL tax rate would be 30% and IF you earned $37,000pa your ACTUAL tax rate would be 9.65%. This is because our Income Tax is based upon EQUITY and FAIRNESS and does not tax the poor at the same rate as the more wealthy, because they have so much less to survive on, it is not fair that they shoulder the same tax as those in better situations. If we had a FLAT income tax, then everyone, even the disadvantaged would be paying 25% BUT with propaganda coming from the very well off, they make it look like a good proposition.

    They did this with GST, billions spent in propaganda and to Australia's embarrassment, we were the ONLY nation to actually VOTE for GST which is INEQUITABLE and UNFAIR and favours the wealthy and taxes HUGELY the average and poor of Australia…. forcing them to take the larger burden of taxes. If they propose to increase GST and include food….. the whole of average and disadvantaged Australia will be footing the bill for the LIBERAL Party's gross mismanagement of Australia's economic affairs.

    NOW, on to the next aspect of this so called 'White Paper'…… what is its worth when those presiding over it will be handpicked Liberal boys, selecting and presenting concepts that suit the Liberal party. NO MUCH AT ALL! Another CON full of DISHONESTY and PROPAGANDA designed to get the public to implement tax policies that support their constituency…. the greedy elite.

    NEXT, if there are 1000 proposals put forward, who sifts through and comes up with those that are to be included for consideration by the hand picked group of individuals. Another CON JOB.

    LASTLY, Australia is one of the MOST EGALITARIAN nations on earth (comes in second) meaning that the majority of the population is generally wealthy. The concept that we must move away from Income Tax and Company Tax because the rest of the world have, even IF these other countries are NOT Egalitarian, are in economic difficulties and have HUGE TOP HEAVY & OSTENTATIOUSLY WEALTHY select group of people whilst the rest of the country is in trouble and people are struggling to survive. HENCE, this is simply MORE propaganda fed to the ordinary Australian, so that they will voluntarily give up their share of the wealth to these greedy parasites.


    ****IMPORTANT***** the comment above….. "Is an increase in the rate and scope of GST a no-brainer?"….. PROPAGANDA and more PROPAGANDA….. of course it is no-brainer for the WEALTHY, they will be getting average Australian's to accept an INEQUITABLE and UNFAIR tax which THEY contribute the most to. IF it includes food, medical, financial, etc, etc this will cost the average Australian (whether you earn an income or not) close to $2000pa in taxes, then if you add a hike of 2.5%-5%, this will put many people in dire straits. Mortgage interest rates may be low at the moment but any extension or increases to this disgustingly UNFAIR and INEQUITABLE tax will set you back MORE than a 5% rise in mortgage rates. THINK how you would fare with a 10% mortgage rate and that should give you an idea of what this tax will mean to you. If you have no income except pensions, etc….. good luck, you will need it!
    sunny boy
    31st Mar 2015
    5:35pm
    ... hear,hear, Mussitate ... packaging is the modern day version of sleight of hand ... smoke & mirrors ... sums up GST! ... (shades of GFC) ??
    I've been off this thread & reading about tax on Wikipedia ... introduce law and be thoroughly confounded ! ... :-) ... see quote below (copy & paste) :-

    It was illegal in Australia from 1936 to try to avoid tax. The process of breaking down that law could occur only in a legal system not interested in truth, justice or democracy, and which permitted and accepted the specious, if ingenious, arguments of legal champions. Chief Justice Sir Garfield Barwick even implied that it was essential for democracy for the rich to be free to refuse to pay for the garbage to be collected; in the Westraders Case (1980) he asserted that 'the freedom to choose the form of transaction into which [the citizen] shall enter [to avoid tax] is basic to the maintenance of a free society'.

    I chose the above as a short example from the volumes available, and I believe I was not being "selective"!
    ... in the hope of ending on a "bright note" ... Mr. Harry Belafonte has been singing in my ear ... " There's a hole in the bucket dear Lisa, a HOLE .... "!! ... :-) ...
    Anonymous
    31st Mar 2015
    6:17pm
    sunny boy
    Barwick was, as you discovered, an elitist of the old english school of wealth for the wealthy, is good. His verdicts were always based upon WHO was before him and NOT the essence of the LAW. Hence, his judgements were not uniform, didn't make a lot of sense in terms of law and his 'ratio decidendi' conflicting.
    Lionel Murphy was the opposite, his 'ratio decidendi' was logical and applicable and his judgements were precise and uniform. The person in front of him was not considered in his judgement but the evidence and the law…. sometimes appeared harsh but in fact keeping the law impartial and fair to ALL, as it should always be. NOONE should be above the law and NOONE should be given legal concessions because they are wealthy and nor should ANYONE be treated harsher than others simply because of wealthy/govt bias.
    Barwick dirtied the very concept of the 'Rule of Law' and Murphy re-instated it.

    Murphy was actually one of the those I admired greatly. If you read any of his cases, the majority of them make sense, even to the layperson which is exactly how it is supposed to be. Berwick, was the opposite.

    Oh! That bucket with the hole…. just get a new bucket, then you can spend more time with dear Lisa…. :-)
    Hawkeye
    3rd Apr 2015
    1:25am
    GST - a TLA (three-letter-acronym) for GOT SCREWED TODAY

    31st Mar 2015
    5:52pm
    I am of the opinion that this bent on raising GST by mainly higher income earners, is just a way to divert our attention from fact they pay far too little tax on their incomes - often legally - due to loop holes and trust accounts, using offshore banking to hide money etc. Also of course big multinationals like Google Apple make good profits here but by shifting these they pay very little tax too.
    they would much rather hit the majority who have no way of shifting money or escaping as taken at source ie PAYG or PAYE whichever same thing. Me, given opportunity would put every single person drawing income from a company on it including Directors, Board Members etc. And also cut out their perks like company paying medical health premiums, school fees, no interest or low interest loans for houses etc and for workers salary sacrifices if these are before tax.
    Stop hitting the working man and woman and retired on limited incomes or pensions. Greed personified. And put in a mechanism so ATO has gross on all these people who get paid gross then use accountants to do tax maybe at years end meanwhile use the money to earn more. PAYG cant do that can they? Also legislate that the accountant company and maybe accountant personally too, will be punished same as fraudster if found guilty of not paying tax owed etc. That may help too. Problem today is MP's are being paid too much and in brackets like super concessions for wealthy and trust accounts too - so don't want to pay either.
    You do know they get paid higher than any others. Well Abbott for sure. Gillard was too due to a 75% pay increase in the 6 years Labor was in for themselves and non disagreed - quietly too notice didnt get reported. Abbott on $550,000 pa and Obama is on less so is Putin and Cameron. Check here
    http://www.paywizard.org/main/salary/vip-check/world-leaders-salaries
    If world leader is paid less then their underlings will also be meaning our MPs etc too well paid by us the taxpayer. Forget we employ them but for 1 month every 3 years. And remember we are 23 million with 11 million working lot less than any of the countries with far more people paying their leaders a lot less. And they want to raise GST hit us all and not cutting their pay! Or wealthy super concessions.
    Talk now to do super in 2016 - And dont forgt Labor was in for 6 years also did nothing re closing above either and Ken Henry Review also worked on bottom end of town - seems all agree to hit the poorest rather than own their fat wallets. Just like all agreed to huge pay rise.
    Anonymous
    31st Mar 2015
    6:33pm
    BigVal

    We differ greatly in our outlooks BUT everyone should read your comment because if people from opposite end of the sphere can see the propaganda and bulldust, then everyone in-between should too.

    Cheers BigVal!!!

    I will comment on the Labor thing though… can't resist… Labor was steering us through the first HUGE wave of the GFC AND for half that time did NOT have control of the SENATE and the other half of that time didn't even have FULL control of government and had to rely on independents to form government!!! Hence, they had to make concessions. Given these considerations…. they did a brilliant job in bringing us through a time that the rest of the world was FAILING. Australia was internationally declared the BEST ECONOMY in the world (beating China, Russia, USA, UK, EU, etc), one of the most EGALITARIAN, our currency was included in the international mix for the first time ever, and Australia was given a triple AAA credit rating for the first time ever…. etc. ALL THIS WHILST THEY WERE BEING SUBJECTED TO DISGUSTING BIAS AND PROPAGANDA BY THE CORPORATE (foreign) OWNED MEDIA!!!!!

    So, Labor may have had to do somethings that did not sit well with everyone BUT the team in place at that time were brilliant FOR Australia…… the unfortunate thing is that I do not see the current Labor team, in opposition, as anywhere near the same calibre and as such do not support them per se, as I am NOT a party creature but a POLICY person.

    Unfortunately, for Australia and the rest of us, the Liberal Party team currently in government are inept and have disgracefully and grossly MISMANAGED Australia's economy and are selling our country out to foreign interests.

    BigVal, I would trust you to do a better job than these fools…. you at least have Australia to heart and would do your best to keep our economy in order, instead of stuffing both your own and your wealthy mates pockets with Australia's heritage.
    particolor
    31st Mar 2015
    8:37pm
    HEAR HEAR !!
    sunny boy
    31st Mar 2015
    6:56pm
    mussitate
    Indeed I held Lionel Murphy in high regard and agree with your comments ... in my thinking he plied an even hand ( often dealt a "pizzling" from detractors ).
    Whilst I said I was not selective with my quote, I did indeed choose it because "Barwick" reflects the current government "climate" ... ( my Mother had an expression about " ..... .... when the Devil drives" ) ... :-) ... knighthood anyone ?? ... :-) ...
    Anonymous
    31st Mar 2015
    9:23pm
    sunny boy

    How delightful, appreciate your analogy and comparison on this one!

    31st Mar 2015
    9:46pm
    Fair and equitable personal taxes as compared to unfair and inequitable FLAT taxes, is WHY Australia is an EGALITARIAN country and why we sailed through the first and heavy part of the GFC without any much hassles.

    Countries that have less fair and equitable personal taxes and more unfair and inequitable FLAT taxes, such as GST, got struck hard….. well the ordinary people did anyway, as the wealthy are riding a cloud of excess and ostentatious greed. The polarisation of wealthy is vast when you start getting the poor to pay for the wealthy. The middle class thins dramatically and the poor and disadvantaged grow and as they pay most of the taxes, the govt has less taxes to pay for services and infrastructure required, so the economy declines even further. It is a cycle that Australia has not had to deal with because of our EGALITARIAN make up. YOUR proposal suggests that we dump the essence of our fair and equitable economy that is strong, to encompass the needs of the wealthy (eerrrhhhh…. more wealth) and turn Australia into those other countries.

    At the moment Australia is punching way beyond our weight and doing so easily…… the ONLY reason that is happening is because of our EGALITARIAN system.

    Going with unfair and inequitable GST type taxes and dumping fair and equitable taxes breeds economic STAGNATION and DECLINE. The wealthy forget that without the people being well off, the economy simply doesn't work that well…… look to the USA, expanding poverty, growing slums, daily violent crime, out of control drugs, public facilities and infrastructure in disarray, public education a joke and public health to die for…… etc. etc. All the Americans get is PATRIOTISM to replace REASON and fed PROPAGANDA day in and day out, by their corporate mainstream media and they are crippled by it.

    Good to see that most of the people on here are not so easily overridden.
    Kopernicus
    1st Apr 2015
    7:10am
    This mornings article by Ross Gittins on the spin coming out of Joe Hockey to continue the denial of unfairness in his previous budget is a must read. This spin is directed to influence the mooted tax review in the same direction - more unfair changes. He debunks Joe's spin that Oz is overdependent on 'direct' taxes showing them to be at about OECD average. Moreover our total tax burden is lowish in comparison. He also notes the history of tax reform since in the 50's - much like elsewhere and kinder to the wealthy here. All this spinning in the direction of whacking up the GST, a regressive tax.
    Another article in SMH notes actual tax paid by companies is 20, not 30%, following deductions that are not accessible to Joe PAYE.

    Ross observes that the tax discussion paper conclusion is to "reform our tax system to cope with the globalised 21st century, we need to make changes that cause high-income earners and foreign investors to pay less tax, but the rest of us to pay more."

    How's that?/ Bring on the election.
    Hawkeye
    3rd Apr 2015
    1:37am
    Unfortunately, here in South Australia, we only have the Murdoch press. So we aint gunna get to read anything of that nature.
    Grateful
    1st Apr 2015
    8:57am
    How sad to see this vital subject dragged through the politics gutter as always happens on this forum. We will have absolutely NO reforms while "politics" play ANY part. This MUST be bipartisan and unfortunately our leader is already blaming the opposition for something that hasn't even got off the ground. Pathetic!!!

    Australia's 76,000 wealthiest retirees are receiving just over $10 billion in superannuation tax concessions, which are now the subject of calls for reform.

    A report from the peak super industry body says 24,000 people who have more than $2 million each in their self-managed super accounts received about $216,000 in tax-free income stream payments each, or $5.2 billion in total.

    A further 51,700 people with between $1 million and $2 million in their accounts got a total of $4.9 billion in concessions, the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia said.

    Labor has offered bipartisan support to crack down on these concessions for the wealthy but (who's surprised??) the federal government appears reluctant, saying the issue is much broader.

    First, fix this joke up, eliminate income tax below $30,000 and increase the GST to 12.5%.
    Adrianus
    1st Apr 2015
    11:27am
    Grateful, the issue is much broader. All too often, as has happened in the past, a government would announce tax reform. And all too often we await patiently only to find that 2 or 3 new taxes have been introduced. Let's have a comprehensive look at our tax system and drop the politics for a change. That means you too. :)
    Chris B T
    1st Apr 2015
    10:54am
    Today is day for No-Brainer tax reform but it would endup as a April Fools Joke as no
    Political Party is serious.
    Just joking April Fools.
    Adrianus
    1st Apr 2015
    11:47am
    Well it seems that many posters here are more interested in politics rather than a comprehensive reform of our tax system.
    I guess many of you don't pay much tax, or don't think you do, so it doesn't apply to many of you retirees on a full or part pension right?
    Wrong!
    We are all paying tax and should take this opportunity to think outside politics.
    You never know? A poster on YLC could make a valuable contribution? It may be a simple idea which provides some impetus to our economy?
    We are a good country looking for some inspiration.
    hely
    1st Apr 2015
    1:31pm
    i hope they will actually listen to what we say( and pigs might fly).I think the gov needs to collect more taxes to pay for everything we want as in better roads and more hospitals etc. first they need to stop the weathy and overseas corps get away with not paying the taxes they should and they should increase income tax . most of us who are employed can afford to pay more tax . if wecan afford overseas hols and the latest tv even if our old one is still working than we can afford higher income tax. i would also like some tax refunds on our preventative health spending such as gym membership which helps decrease our dependence on the health system
    Denzel
    1st Apr 2015
    5:54pm
    30% flat for anyone earning over 75,000
    Below that - no taxes
    With a smaller government - we should have surplus budgets every year.
    Anonymous
    1st Apr 2015
    8:51pm
    Denzel

    'smaller govt'…. oh! dear more American Corporate political dogma. The surplus budget prophecy is a fallacy. Look again to the USA….. they have small govt. that provides very little to the people but props up bankers to the turn of TRILLIONS of dollars and as such are TRILLIONS in deficit. Their country also has unemployed more than the whole population of Australia. They have extreme poverty, growing slums, daily violent crime, drugs out of control, downgraded and underfunded public education and very little in public healthcare…… CIVILISATION on the BRINK of FAILURE.

    1st Apr 2015
    9:10pm
    This is something EVERYONE should think about:

    ORDINARY PEOPLE and NON-CORPORATE BUSINESSES have paid for ALL our infrastructure, our services and benefits, and our disadvantaged.

    HERE IS WHY:
    Corporations may be taxed 30% in Australia BUT its investors get to claim that 30% back as a refund or a credit against their income tax liability. Hence, the Corporations may pay taxes which go into the GOVT coffers BUT most of it is immediately taken back out again by investors claiming their portion of the 30% against their own tax liability or in a cash refund!!!!

    Corporations and businesses do NOT even PAY GST, they collect it from ORDINARY PEOPLE and then claim back (get refunded) what GST they themselves have paid and merely pass on the balance of that paid by ORDINARY PEOPLE to the govt.



    So everything that is what a civilisation is, has been provided for by ORDINARY PEOPLE and we, the ordinary people, are now being told HOW our MONEY should be spent, effectively by WEALTHY CORPORATIONS. They tell us that we are spending too much on our aged and those most disadvantaged in our society and we should continue to fund the wealthy superannuation funds, and ensure that their taxes are reduced.

    We are never told about the above, because IF we are aware of the FACT that it is WE the ORDINARY PEOPLE who provide EVERYTHING that is Australian civilisation, then WE might stop the flow of OUR money to those that contribute VERY LITTLE towards it.

    Hockey latest mouthings are simply a con, he has no intention of undertaking a FAIR & EQUITABLE application of OUR tax money, his snout is too far into the trough of ORDINARY PEOPLES money to want to share it properly.

    No, Hockey simply wants to weasel MORE GST or other forms of money from us, so that he can cut corporate taxes and lower the tax rate of the wealthiest people, or give concessions to those WHO CONTRIBUTE the LEAST to Australia.
    Adrianus
    1st Apr 2015
    10:09pm
    Mussitate, you obviously don't know what an imputation credit is. The system was designed to stop the ATO from double dipping. A company distribution which has already been taxed carries with it a tax credit so it is not taxed again.
    During labors reign many businesses folded or stopped making a profit and had carried forward losses for 3 years. In some of these cases the ATO could be paying these companies for the unessecary high level of tax paid. The system is not perfect and needs real reform not tweaking with an additional tax.
    Anonymous
    25th Apr 2015
    5:14pm
    Frank
    You obviously don't know anything about imputation credits…. how logical is it for corporations to pay tax and THEIR investors to take it back again….. not logical at all.
    If you earn income - dividends are definitely INCOME, then you pay taxes on your income…. you do on interest, rental receipts, business income, wages, etc…. so why do we not pay taxes on dividends. A bit of a rort for the big boys and corporate owners (yes, that is what shareholders are). It is NOT double dipping, everyone pays taxes on their income. IF anything should be exempted from INCOME, it should be INTEREST EARNED, not dividends!!

    So the company pays a very LOW tax rate of 30%, the investors claim back the 30% and only have to pay the balance of 15% when the dividends are added to their other income which would be taxed on the top level of tax (OVER $170,000).

    This is how it works, especially with private companies. The director/shareholders, get paid a wage until their tax rate exceeds a FLAT amount of 30% (over $100,000) and this is AFTER these same directors/shareholders do a salary package and put another $100,000 into superannuation (ONLY taxed 15% in super fund), then the corporation simply stops paying wages and pays out their profit in a dividend which is fully franked to 30%. Effectively, our govt gets nothing out of the 30% corporate tax because it is given back to the shareholders in the form of a franking credit and with ALL the other manipulative measures…. virtually no one pays more than 30% tax whilst you and I and every other worker pays up to the top rate of 45% on moneys earned.

    Your unsubstantiated rubbish about businesses folding but talking of profit with carried forward losses for 3 years…. doesn't make any sense at all! More flip flop dribble, dumped in there to look good but is meaningless.
    Adrianus
    26th Apr 2015
    12:35pm
    I'm not going to waste my time trying to explain how the ATO is paying out money to companies following the Rudd/Gillard/Rudd attempted destruction of our great country to someone who doesn't want to know mussitate. You seem to have a handle on the franked dividend and input credit system. Although, I don't know why you cant grasp the idea that a fully franked dividend already has been taxed at the full company rate? How many times do you think a dividend should be taxed?
    Let me guess? Until it is no longer worth chasing? I wonder what an economy looks like when there is no monetary incentive to produce a profit from transactions?
    Jen
    4th Apr 2015
    1:29pm
    http://www.theage.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/energy-companys-11-billion-transfer-to-singapore-rings-tax-avoidance-alarm-bells-20150403-1me7ij.html
    Fready
    4th Apr 2015
    6:28pm
    Seems to me that there are several obvious things that would make the tax system fairer. They could put a cap on the amount an individual could have in super. I suggest it should be about $1.5 million because at current interest rates this would bring in about $60,000 per annum (less in a term deposit). At this cap the person who had made the effort and saved so much would be rewarded with a comfortable life style.
    We don't want to penalise people to the point where they say "it's not worth it". The top 2% of taxpayers already pay 27% of all the personal income tax collected.
    The other thing we must do (but no Government will have the balls to do) is include a portion of the value of the family home in the assets test. I suggest the value above say $400,000 be included. This will largely stop the rort of people with a $2 million house claiming a full pension.
    I would like to read some accurate and constructive comment on this blog rather than whinging and personal attacks.
    Beecee
    5th Apr 2015
    4:45pm
    No mention is made of the 65% tax rates for high income earners in the late 50's ,early 60's when Menzies was PM and Australia rode on the sheep's back and was also the land of milk and honey. Why can't these rates be levied on very high income earners. Many of the these are high flying Company directors earning exhorbitant salaries when compared to politicians who themselves would not be on the breadline if their tax rates were increased.The FBT lurks should also be wiped
    In regard to Superannuation,there needs to be a tax levied on excessive investments with a tax-free threshold of say 1 million.An approach along these lines appears to be currently under consideration.
    The current Govt. would have to expect some loss of support, but possibly not enough to lose office!
    Fready
    7th Apr 2015
    2:07pm
    The other thing that people whingeing about the "rich" should remember is that persons earning more than $300,000 already pay 30% contributions tax whereas the rest of us only pay 15%. This seems reasonable given that they are locking their money away.
    Everyone's notion of "rich" is different. ACOSS think that $100,000 in super will last the possible 30 years of retirement. What rubbish.
    RogerA
    8th Apr 2015
    9:17am
    Why so little attention to WideBayMike's comment, "GST doesn't have to be a flat rate it can be at a different rate for different things"? We have already 2 rates, 0% and 10%. Let's have 15% on small cars, 20% on large cars (such differences exist already in the State Govt's licensing of cars); let's have 20% on all Apple, Microsoft, Google sales (a way of partly combatting their income tax avoidance); and so on. There are so many ways to use GST creatively and progressively - and it is (currently) locked in for handing to the States, who need revenue increases just as much as the Aust Govt.
    Anonymous
    25th Apr 2015
    5:26pm
    RogerA

    Nice point, re changing rates. Maybe simply LUXURY CARS….. gee we already have that… maybe wines…. already have that, etc, etc. Besides our moronic leader says there is no pollution or climate effect caused by people, so the big cars don't cause any problems, so why tax them more?

    The Federal Govt. gets to keep ALL the money it used to get BEFORE GST and NOW, only dishes out small amounts to the States, rather than a majority of that money. So effectively, they should have oodles of money to provide for our disadvantaged, sick and elderly, for infrastructure, for services and benefits, etc. Where has it all gone…. to foreign climate deniers $4m to set up at UWA in WA, is one example of pathetic throwing away of money. The other is paying PUBLIC money into private pockets (PRIVATE schools and PRIVATE health to subsidise the wealthy and their kids) for starters and that is in the multi billions. Liberals have locked in other future govts. to continue this abuse of OUR taxes.

    So, our questions should NOT be what are the States doing (GST provides for them, it just needs to be reshuffled a little to be more equitable) BUT what is the Federal Govt. doing with OUR massive tax funds.


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