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Aus Treasurer Attacks Opposition Tax Policies

by Mary Swire,, Hong Kong

31 August 2017

Australian Treasurer Scott Morrison has said that the Labor Party would introduce uncompetitive tax rates that would increase the annual tax burden on the economy by AUD31bn (USD24.5bn).

In an address to a Bloomberg event in Sydney, Morrison said: "You don't grow the economy by taxing Australia out of business. You don't support Australian households by taxing Australians out of [a] job."

"You grow the economy by pursuing the economics of opportunity, not the politics of envy. By making it easier for businesses to invest, grow, and create jobs."

According to Morrison, had Labor won the last election and implemented the tax policies in its manifesto, taxes as a share of GDP would have risen to 25.7 percent. The Coalition has set a tax-to-GDP cap of 23.9 percent over the medium term.

Morrison argued that Labor's proposals would result in the introduction of six new taxes.

Morrison said that the abolition of negative gearing would equate to a housing tax, while an increase in capital gains tax would represent an investment tax. Reversing the Coalition's tax cuts and concessions for businesses with annual turnover of up to AUD50m would amount to an SME tax, and increasing the tax on distributions on family trusts would be a "family business tax."

Finally, Morrison described Labor's plan to increase to the tax on superannuation contributions as a "savings tax," and its proposed increase to the top marginal income tax rate as a "higher wage tax."

Morrison estimated that these measures would cost more than AUD150bn over ten years and would mean "gluing the Australian economy to some of the most uncompetitive taxes in the OECD."

TAGS: capital gains tax (CGT) | tax | investment | economics | business | property tax | trusts | Australia | tax thresholds | small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) | tax rates | tax breaks | tax reform | individual income tax

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