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Treasurer Joe Hockey admits the government’s ‘open for business’ promise must be followed up with action. Alan Porritt/AAP

Abbott’s ‘open for business’ honeymoon is over

From a three-and-a-half year high last month, business confidence data for October shows the post-election honeymoon is over, with business conditions continuing to underperform in non-mining sectors…
This year’s federal budget failed to provide any hint of meaningful tax reform for businesses and individuals. Image from

A budget for citizens — but where is the tax reform vision?

Budget night has come and gone again. For those sad folks (I count myself among them) who follow tax and fiscal policy obsessively, it’s the most glamorous night of the year. But the budget does matter…
There are economy-wide gains to be made from lowering the corporate tax rate, but businesses will need to make concessions of their own. Image from

Subsidies are standing in the way of corporate tax reform

Yesterday, the government’s business tax working group released its discussion paper on possibilities for tax reform. The paper makes a case for a broader base and lower tax rate (the corporate tax is…
Scripted beforehand: Tax Forum discussion about a lower corporate tax rate followed predictable lines. AAP

Reduce the corporate tax rate? Not so fast

As former Treasury Secretary Ken Henry observed, much of the national conversation that took place at the first session on business taxation at the National Tax Forum could have been scripted beforehand…
Is it time to reform the GST? AAP

Tax forum: GST needs changing, so let’s debate it

While changes to the GST are not an explicit item on the Tax Forum agenda, they should be and the issue will arise anyway. A broad and comprehensive GST tax base along the lines of the New Zealand model…
Record terms of trade have masked dropping productivity growth - until now. AAP

Australia’s productivity: what can be done?

What is to be done about Australia’s deteriorating productivity performance? It’s by no means inconceivable that the answer to this question could be “nothing”. Historical precedent strongly suggests Australians…

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