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Analysis and Comment (21)

New Zealand has increased its GST several times since it was introduced, so why does Australia find it so hard? New Zealand has increased its GST several times since it was introduced, so why does Australia find it so hard? Image sourced from www.shutterstock.com

Easy as, bro - raising the GST, New Zealand style

When long-time Kiwi expat John Clarke was asked why he left New Zealand, he said: “Because it was there.” Clarke at least knew what being “there” meant, in contrast to most of his new compatriots, whose…
Go on Joe, raise the GST. Go on Joe, raise the GST. Daniel Munoz/AAP

Raise the GST: the conversation we have to have?

With eight months left on his contract, Treasury Secretary Martin Parkinson decided to jump into the GST debate on Wednesday night. In a speech to the Sydney Institute, Parkinson declared the federal budget…
It’s likely the states will get their way when it comes to reducing the GST threshold for online goods. It’s likely the states will get their way when it comes to reducing the GST threshold for online goods. Flickr/Kawaiikiri

Lowering the GST import threshold will require careful political management

The push from the states to reduce the GST threshold on imported goods is being driven by a desire for a bigger pool of GST revenue and in spite of the inevitable backlash from consumers, they will get…
The federal government has come under increasing pressure to lower the GST threshold for online purchases as sales continue to rise and revenue continues to be lost. The federal government has come under increasing pressure to lower the GST threshold for online purchases as sales continue to rise and revenue continues to be lost. AAP/Alan Porritt

States' push for GST on online shopping is just small change

Both Labor and Coalition states are pushing the federal government to extend the GST to more online purchases as they look for additional sources of revenue. And while the Coalition had promised no changes…
Consumption of fruits and vegetables can be expected to fall if their price goes up. Consumption of fruits and vegetables can be expected to fall if their price goes up. shaun/Flickr

Taxing fresh foods could have a big, bad health impact

A simmering discussion about Australia’s goods and services tax (GST) flared up again straight after the election, with WA Premier Colin Barnett arguing for an increase in the GST rate and a broadening…
Tony Abbott won’t raise the GST without a voter mandate - a smart move if he wants it to succeed. Tony Abbott won’t raise the GST without a voter mandate - a smart move if he wants it to succeed. AAP

Increase the GST to 20%? Yes, but I wouldn’t recommend it

It looks like the GST will feature prominently in yet another election. The government is running a scare campaign on whether the Coalition will raise the GST after the election. In the meantime Tony Abbott…
Despite much debate over the scope and efficiency of the GST, the major political parties have left the possibility of reform off the agenda. Despite much debate over the scope and efficiency of the GST, the major political parties have left the possibility of reform off the agenda. Image from www.shutterstock.com

The GST debate: is reform necessary?

Few taxes have been as politically fraught as the GST. The deal, brokered by the-then Prime Minister John Howard and the Democrats in 2000, was not only controversial for its political ramifications, but…
Re-run: if the US fiscal cliff has the same feel as last year’s debt ceiling crisis, we’re not surprised… Re-run: if the US fiscal cliff has the same feel as last year’s debt ceiling crisis, we’re not surprised…

2012, the year that was: Business and Economy

Different year, same crisis. Around this time last year, the United States was looking down the barrel of economic disaster with the debt ceiling. As we approach 2013, it peers over the fiscal cliff. That…
Federal treasurer Wayne Swan welcomed the report. Federal treasurer Wayne Swan welcomed the report. AAP Image/Alan Porritt

Broaden GST and cut industry subsidies: OECD

Australia’s robust economy makes it the “Iron Man” of the developed world but the government should hike the GST rate and apply it more broadly, according to a new OECD report released today. “Tax reforms…
State premiers preparing to gather at COAG on Friday have been disappointed by the GST Review. State premiers preparing to gather at COAG on Friday have been disappointed by the GST Review.

GST review ranges wide, but ultimately delivers little change

As Prime Minister Julia Gillard prepares to meet with state premiers at Friday’s COAG meeting, the elephant in the room will be the Independent GST Review, released by Treasurer Wayne Swan last week. The…
While the Federal Government may argue changing the GST threshold on online purchases is an equity measure, it’s likely to be viewed by many as an exercise in shoring up the federal budget. While the Federal Government may argue changing the GST threshold on online purchases is an equity measure, it’s likely to be viewed by many as an exercise in shoring up the federal budget. Online shopping picture sourced from www.shutterstock.com

There are better options than expanding the GST net to online sales

The Federal Government is tipped to be eyeing the online world in a bid to shore up­ collapsing federal tax revenues. This move has more to do with squeezing “little areas” to get more tax, and ensure…
The GST is off-limits for both political parties, but a restructure could result in an increase in national productivity and incomes. The GST is off-limits for both political parties, but a restructure could result in an increase in national productivity and incomes. Image from www.shutterstock.com

Reforming GST is the key to productivity growth

With appropriate investment in design and explanation, a larger GST reform package could be one of the most effective and easiest options to help reverse Australia’s lagging productivity growth. Changes…
The lowering of the tax-free threshold on online purchases is stomping on the long tail of retail. The lowering of the tax-free threshold on online purchases is stomping on the long tail of retail. DGaston7564

Online GST push places an unfair burden on pop culture lovers

Will the long tail of the internet be docked by the fastidious imposition of GST to online purchases? Australian retailers have been lobbying the federal government to up the ante on online GST by lowering…
Australians love shopping online: so retailers must get to grips with the concept. Australians love shopping online: so retailers must get to grips with the concept. AAP

The great online shopping debate — how the locals can win

Australians are among the most enthusiastic online shoppers in the world. Our most recent survey, published in the CCi Digital Futures report, The Internet in Australia 2012, has found a quarter of Australian…
Prime Minister Julia Gillard speaking at the National Press Club yesterday signalled serious changes to the states' role in education. Prime Minister Julia Gillard speaking at the National Press Club yesterday signalled serious changes to the states' role in education. AAP Image/Alan Porritt

The real agenda behind Gillard’s Gonski response

After the government’s response to the Gonski report on schools funding, it’s worth looking at not only what was in the announcement but what wasn’t. Prime Minister Julia Gillard offered no indication…
The Coalition has ruled out increasing GST, despite calls from former Prime Minister John Howard for GST to apply to food. But could a policy change be in the wings? The Coalition has ruled out increasing GST, despite calls from former Prime Minister John Howard for GST to apply to food. But could a policy change be in the wings? AAP

Coalition must come clean on plans for GST

There is almost unanimous agreement among mainstream economists, tax experts, Treasury, business and even politicians (albeit very quietly) that the Goods and Services Tax will have to be increased and…
Western Australia is one of only two state economies in the black. Western Australia is one of only two state economies in the black. AAP

Boom and bust: the parlous health of our state finances

We are most of the way through a very long budget season this year, beginning with Victorian Treasurer Kim Wells in May and is not due to end till Queensland Treasurer Tim Nicholls delivers his first budget…
Increasing workforce participation of women and older people could increase Australia’s GDP by $50 billion. Increasing workforce participation of women and older people could increase Australia’s GDP by $50 billion. AAP

How can Australian governments change the game for economic growth?

If Australian governments are serious about raising rates of economic growth, they must reform the tax mix and increase the workforce participation rates of women and older people. Each of these reforms…
Ken Henry at the Tax Forum: talkfest or useful? Ken Henry at the Tax Forum: talkfest or useful? AAP

Missed anything from the Tax Forum? Catch up here…

So the Tax Forum is done and dusted. Was it simply a talk-fest? Or a useful exchange of ideas? We’ll have to wait and see. In the meantime, if you missed anything, don’t despair: we’ve collected some of…
A GST exemption on basic food was a political argument, not economic, and should be reviewed. A GST exemption on basic food was a political argument, not economic, and should be reviewed. AAP

Tax Forum: the GST exemption should come off food

It is a shame that the GST is off the menu at October’s Tax Forum, because one of its central tenets – the exemption of basic food and beverages – deserves to be debated again. The exemption is basically…
Julia Gillard, with Defence Minister Stephen Smith and Tertiary Education Minister Chris Evans, announcing the GST review in Perth on Wednesday. Julia Gillard, with Defence Minister Stephen Smith and Tertiary Education Minister Chris Evans, announcing the GST review in Perth on Wednesday. AAP

The winners, whiners and miners in Gillard’s GST review

Why has the Federal Government launched a review into the distribution of GST revenue among the states? There are two reasons. One, there is a need for genuine reform in that the effective amount of GST…

Research and News (2)