As usual, the business lobby like every other vested interest group is trying to get whatever it can out of the federal government. Its particular focus for the election year is a cut in the company tax rate.

This is to be expected. What turns it into a joke, though, is anyone buying the idea that reducing the 30% corporate tax rate “is set to become a key election issue next year”, as the Smage claims.

I can really see the denizens of marginal seats pausing on a November Saturday at the local hall, their collective pencils hovering above the ballot paper, wondering if they can trust Labor or Liberal to cut company taxes the most.

Let’s just put the Smage report down to the effective lobbying of the Business Council. The latest BCA report pushing its members’ own barrow at everyone else’s expense trots out the old line of how our 30% rate is higher than the OECD average.

Of course, the BCA conveniently overlooks the little matter of dividend franking credits that most other countries don’t enjoy. It doesn’t work in their argument’s favour. That companies here are paying a higher proportion of tax also has something to do with the fact that they are making very fat profits, but that also doesn’t help them win friends and influence politicians.

But, hey, if the Smage is telling me it’s going to be a major election issue, maybe they mean the BCA members will pour large donations into the pockets of the party prepared to give them what they want. No, it’s still a joke.

Peter Fray

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