At the Australian Tax Teachers' Conference in Brisbane today, tax experts called for the Australian rate of GST to rise to 15%.
Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Victoria University, Professor Duncan Bentley, joined with UK economist, Dr Simon James of Exeter University in the United Kingdom, and New Zealand GST expert, Clinton Alley of Waikato University in New Zealand to call for Australia’s GST to increase from 10% to 15%.
"Australia needs the budget freedom to invest in health, education and infrastructure,” Professor Bentley argued. "Pussyfooting around the dire need to strengthen the tax base undermines what has been an effective tax system in Australia.”
"The States are desperate to shore up their funding and the Australian public understands that need. Just look at the support for local industry and the acceptance by the States and the Commonwealth of the need to lower the online threshold exemption to ensure a level playing field,” Professor Bentley said.
Professor James and Clinton Alley said that the UK and New Zealand experiences have shown that, provided very low income earners are looked after, taxpayers are prepared to accept rate increases in the GST and VAT when there is a clear budget need.
On the online threshold exemption, Clinton Alley added, "The Australian system has to be sufficiently flexible to meet changing budget needs or it will not be as well-positioned to cope with the growth of e-commerce in a globally connected world.”
Professor Duncan Bentley is available for interview 0478406684.
A specialist in international taxation law, Professor Bentley has published widely on taxpayers' rights and best practice in international tax administration.
Public Affairs Unit, Victoria University,
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