Peter Costello

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Senate Inquiry on Government's Taxation Reform Package

Crest TREASURER Press Release



The Government entered the election with a comprehensive proposal for reforming Australia’s taxation system. The proposal was exhaustively examined during the election campaign, and overwhelmingly endorsed by the people.

The Government has been returned with a mandate to implement tax reform and does not believe that a Senate inquiry into taxation reform is necessary.

In order for the Government to meet its commitment to implement tax reform on 1 July 2000 it is critical that the legislation be passed by the Senate by 1 July 1999.

It has become clear, however, that this is unlikely to occur unless the Government agrees to an inquiry being held. This is despite the fact that Labor has already made it very clear that it will oppose tax reform irrespective of whether an inquiry is held or what the outcome of any inquiry may be.

Following discussions with the independent Senators, the Government has proposed terms of reference for an inquiry by the Senate.

The Government’s proposal is a comprehensive one, which will ensure that all major aspects of the tax reform package are examined by the relevant Senate Committees. The reporting date of
15 February 1999 gives sufficient time for these issues to be examined thoroughly, while allowing the Government’s legislative timeframe to be met.

The proposed terms of reference are attached.

Tuesday, 10 October 1998

Contact: Niki Savva (02) 6277 7340

Notice of Motion

Madam President

I give notice that, on the next day of sitting, I shall move:

  1. That the Economics Legislation Committee report, on or before 15 February 1999 on the effects on equity, efficiency and compliance costs of including, or not including, food in the GST, together with any related adjustments to the tax package if food were GST zero-rated.
  2. That the Community Affairs References Committee report, on or before 15 February 1999 on the effects of the zero-rating of health services, including an examination of which services should be zero-rated under the tax package.
  3. That the Employment, Education and Training References Committee report, on or before 15 February 1999 on:
  1. the scope and effectiveness of the proposed zero-rating arrangements in the tax package for education in maintaining its quality and affordability; and
  2. the effects on education of imposing a GST on ancillary resources and services.

10 Oct 1998

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