Everyone’s talking about the Goods and Services Tax (G.S.T)
Tony Abbott, Joe Hockey and now Julie Bishop on Lateline last night have confirmed: a Goods and Services Tax increase is on the table for the Libs. In these tough economic times Labor will ABSOLUTELY not increase the GST.
This is a big worry for Australians concerned about the cost of living pressures. Australians deserve to know what they’re voting for this election. Below are the answers to the questions we are being asked from Australians worried about what this will mean for their families.
What have the Liberals said? What does it mean for Australians? Why on earth would they do it?
What have the Liberals said?
Julie Bishop - LATELINE 7 August 2013
HOST: In this case you're putting the GST on the table in the tax review which of course Labor refused to do.
BISHOP: We are. A tax review will look at taxes and the GST is a tax.
Joe Hockey - Doorstop 6 August 2013
HOST: Is it obvious to you that the GST has to be revisited?
HOCKEY: Well, it is part the equation, Phil. We've always said that…the State Governments have got to argue the case for change to the GST because it's their revenue.
Tony Abbott – Press Conference 6 August 2013
ABBOTT: If it comes up in the consultations, we will consider what the consultations come up with.
What would it mean for Australians?
What they’re flagging is a 12.5% tax. They will also look at applying it more broadly - to food, childcare, education and more.
For the average Australian, an increase in the Goods and Services Tax would add thousands of dollars to the cost of living: higher costs for fresh food, health and education payments.
Grattan Institute Chief Executive John Daley said to lift the 10 per cent Goods and Services Tax or extend it to food, health or education products - which are currently exempt - would potentially add another $3000 a year to average household costs.
It will mean paying more for:
- Fresh fruit and veggies
- Fresh Bread
But that’s not all – currently most childcare services are GST free. Labor has made childcare more affordable by increasing the childcare rebate from 30% to 50%. If the GST is extended to childcare it will make life much harder for many parents already struggling with juggling work and looking after their kids.
Why on earth would they do it?
Because they’ve got a $70 billion black hole they’ll pay for with cuts and increases to the GST. Big business want them to do it.
As reported in The Australian:
“The Business Council of Australia is calling for the next government to undertake a major overhaul of the tax…and part of their plan is to have consumers paying GST on previously tax-free items such as fresh fruit, bread and milk.”
“The BCA and other members of the business community say the revenue generated by a broader-based GST and a higher rate could be used to stimulate business by cutting the corporate tax rate and removing state taxes such as stamp duty and payroll tax.”
-“Australian Business Council wants GST extended to tax-free goods,” The Australian, July 31, 2013
And from the Business Council of Australia’s own media release:
''We need to make Australia's tax system more competitive, which means lowering our reliance on direct taxes such as personal and company income tax in favour of increasing revenue from indirect taxes such as consumption taxes, which are less harmful to growth.''
-Jennifer Westacott from the Business Council 17 September 2012
There’s something pretty shonky about talking down the Economy every day, saying that Australians are suffering and we need to make cuts (to jobs and services like Campbell Newman is doing in QLD?), and THEN saying you want to give your rich mates a tax break while everyone else pays more.
If he wins the election, Mr Abbott has already promised to do exactly what the business community wants: commission a review of Australia’s tax system, that can – shockingly! – decide that we must increase the GST and apply it to more things, while cutting company tax. We shouldn’t let Tony Abbott say it’s off the table now, then hide behind a review later. That’s a real Campbell Newman move, and we all know what happened when he came to power.
Australians deserve to know what they’re really voting for this election.
Tony Abbott’s been feeling the heat on this, and is now trying to claim it’s not on the table. But he’s still planning a tax review if he becomes PM, and his deputy leader Julie Bishop said just last night this tax review will look at increasing the GST.
You can’t trust Tony to manage the economy in the best interests of everyday Australians. Voters deserve to know the answers to these questions before they go into the ballot box on Saturday 7 September.
Tweet @JoeHockey, @TonyAbbottMHR today with a few questions they now need to answer.
1. Will the Goods and Services Tax be raised to 12.5%?
2. Will it be raised to 15%?
3. What additional items would it be applied to – fresh food, health products, education expenses like school fees? What about child care fees?
4. Have Mr Abbott, Ms Bishop or Mr Hockey had private discussions with the business leaders that are now publically calling for this?