CANBERRA, AAP – Scott Morrison has no interest in tinkering with the GST, in what he says others call tax reform, should he win the May election.
The prime minister has told a business conference his government has been reducing and reforming taxes for many years.
“I know there are some … that think economic reform in this country is about putting up the GST and putting on a carbon tax,” Mr Morrison told the Australian Financial Review business conference on Tuesday.
“Let me be very clear again, I have no interest in putting up the GST or putting on a carbon tax. I don’t think that’s certainty, I just think that’s higher taxes.”
The coalition has cut the small business tax rate to 25 per cent and has legislated to abolish an entire tier of the personal income tax system, Mr Morrison said.
That will see 94 per cent of Australians pay a marginal tax rate of no more than 30 cents in the dollar.
“That hasn’t happened in generations,” Mr Morrison said.
“We have been on the tools when it comes to reducing taxes in this country for many, many years and our reforms are in place.”
Tax advisers BDO say a root and branch review of Australia’s tax system is well overdue and much-needed for a modern and digitised economy.
The Grattan Institute think tank has called for major tax reform by whoever wins the election and wants to see the GST increased, or broadened, and the winding back of tax concessions like negative gearing to fund income tax cuts.
The Business Council of Australia wants stronger support for states seeking to progress much-needed tax reform, such as phasing out stamp duty by providing them with a clear guarantee of no disadvantage in the allocation of GST revenues.
It wants the turnover threshold for the 25 per cent company tax rate raised from $50 million to either $250 million, $500 million or $1 billion.
It also wants, when fiscal conditions permit, the tax rate lowered to 25 per cent for all companies from 30 per cent currently.