The Budget Fails on Tax Reform

“The budget has failed to deliver any meaningful tax reform,” said Ben Oquist, executive director of the Australia Institute.

“21 years into the 21st century we still have a tax system that looks more at home in the 19th century.

“For too long treasurers have ruled out new taxes. It is time to open up the debate about how much revenue we need and how best to collect it.

“A fairer and simpler tax system would wind back tax concessions; tackle inequities; ensure public goods are supported; discourage polluting and destructive activities; and collect more revenue more fairly.

“On any of these measure the budget has failed.

“While fiscal support and increased debt and deficit is exactly what the economy needs now, tax reform is essential to ensure a sustainable, secure and fair revenue base for the future.

“The extension of the Low and Middle Income Tax Offset is band-aid tax policy at best.

“It is time to stop talking about temporary rebates and start talking about a modern tax system for the economic, social and environmental challenges modern Australia faces.

“Too many tax reforms have been taken off the political table. Resource tax reform, wealth tax reform, property tax reform and carbon pricing have been put in the ‘too hard’ basket.

“From affordable, quality aged care to climate change, policy challenges cannot be best addressed without a better tax policy.”