A big question for when parliament resumes
and the budget process continues apace – what’s going to happen to the tax
reform debate?

We’ve had the super contributions tax
proposals Nick Minchin floated then seemed to summon back to port. Ross Gittins
has some good arguments against them in the SMH on Monday:

The move would do nothing to increase
national saving. It would merely transfer saving from the public sector (the
budget surplus) to the private sector (people’s super accounts), with a leakage
to the super industry, whose commissions would swell commensurately…

Indeed. Most of us would like to pay less
tax on our super contributions. But there’s not much point funnelling any
savings into the pockets of financial planners and the super funds.

Naturally, Minchin’s call was backed by the
funds
. But the whole point of tax reform is to
eliminate rorts to minimise administration costs and maximise tax cuts – not
create new ones.

Malcolm Turnbull seems to be the only
government MP who’s realised this. The future for the tax debate – from the
Government, at least – looks grim.

Peter Fray

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