Category Archives: Taxation

Adrian Bauman & William Bellew. Does a spoonful of sugar help the medicine go down?

“A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down”, according to Mary Poppins. Many more spoonfuls of sugar currently pervade our lifestyles and unconscious food choices. The recent media focus on sugar has been remarkable, but the media frenzy has … Continue reading

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Geoffrey Harcourt and Peter Kriesler . The case for taxation.

We were happy to sign the Australian Institute letter on taxation cuts in the Sydney Morning Herald (12/04/2016).We now would like to set out the general philosophy that lay behind our support. We have always argued that taxes have two … Continue reading

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Brian Lawrence. Bracket creep and income tax priorities in the May 2016 Budget

The May 2016 Budget will frame a political narrative about rising average incomes over recent years and the budgetary measures that will ensure that the trend will continue in the next year and beyond. This will occur despite the impact … Continue reading

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John Menadue. Bad apples, corporate culture and leadership.

The recent scandals at CBA,ANZ  and now Wespac have focused us on business culture. But the CEOs  keep telling us that there is no business culture problem but only a few bad apples. If only that were true. The issues … Continue reading

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James Morley. The idea that conservatives are better economic managers simply does not stand up.

Conventional wisdom holds that conservative politicians are more prudent stewards of the economy. These politicians are often happy to reinforce this view by citing their business acumen and denigrating the experience – or lack thereof – of their opponents. Think … Continue reading

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Negative gearing has created empty houses and artificial scarcity.

In the SMH on March 28, 2016, Laurence Troy and Bill Randolph discuss the problem of negative gearing encouraging owners to leave houses empty. In this article they say ‘At the last census there were nearly 120,000 empty dwellings in … Continue reading

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John Menadue. The fake discussion about state taxes.

Malcolm Turnbull’s ruse is obvious. He wants us to forget all about deficits and debt and the need for budget repair. To avoid these issues, he now tells us that if we want improved health and education services, we cannot … Continue reading

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Cavan Hogue. Malcolm Turnbull, COAG and media confusion.

Turnbull knew what he was doing. The media has turned on Malcolm Turnbull who is accused of ignorance. Media views seem to change even more often than political promises.  However,surely the PM knew why he called the meeting with the … Continue reading

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Michael Keating. The Turnbull Proposal for State Income Taxes

Prime Minister Turnbull says his proposal for the States to levy their own income tax ‘is the most fundamental reform to the Federation in generations’. Well maybe. It certainly would be a significant change, but reform? Furthermore, even if this … Continue reading

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John Menadue. State income taxes – another political diversion?

Malcolm Turnbull’s suggestion of states entering the income tax field may please ‘state rightists’ in the Liberal party, but it will damage our national aspirations and our national society and economy. In the repost below, Michael Keating, almost two years … Continue reading

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Michael Keating. Federalism (repost)

The Government’s Commission of Audit, which preceded this Budget, recommended that policy and service delivery should as far as practicable be the responsibility of the level of government closest to the people receiving those services, and that each level of … Continue reading

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Ian Verrender. Turnbull will have a tough sell on economic policy

Malcolm Turnbull is hardly going to win votes by spruiking the economic record of his predecessor. And yet he hasn’t exactly made any headway on his own tax reform or budget repair agenda, writes Ian Verrender. History, they say, is … Continue reading

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John Menadue. Budget repair and private health insurance.

Readers of this blog will be aware that I have been expressing concern about the serious consequences of the government subsidy costing $11 b. p.a. for the private health insurance industry. This subsidy has serious budget consequences:  it is skewed … Continue reading

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Michael Keating. The Outlook for Housing and Labor’s Tax Proposals

Since the collapse of the mining boom, housing investment has been an important driver of the Australian economic performance. Furthermore, notwithstanding the rapid growth in superannuation balances, housing still accounts for over half of the wealth of Australian households. In … Continue reading

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Jeffrey Knapp. Big four accounting firms avoid scrutiny in multinational tax avoidance.

The Senate Inquiry into corporate tax avoidance is due to hand down its final report by April. One of the lesser-mentioned groups appearing before 2015’s Senate hearings are Australia’s big four accounting firms. Multinational companies like Apple, Chevron, Google, Microsoft, … Continue reading

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Trevor Boucher. Tax principles and negative gearing.

I just wish that current comment about negative gearing would pay some attention to tax principles. Tax principles? Yes, they do exist. A person who negatively gears a rental property has two objectives in mind: getting a rental return and … Continue reading

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Michael Keating. An Update on Tax Reform

The Prime Minister seems to have been encouraging speculation that the Government has decided not to consider any reform of taxation that involves an increase in the GST. If true, hardly a courageous decision, given the support he has received … Continue reading

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John Menadue. Tax reform and vested interests.

We are in the midst of a misleading campaign on tax and budget reform. Large corporations and high income groups are pressing the government to increase the GST in order to reduce company tax and taxes for high-income groups. I … Continue reading

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Andrew Leigh. Putting the spotlight on company tax dodgers

Every year, the International Tax Review nominates its ‘Global Tax 50’ — the people and organisations who are most influential in improving tax systems around the world. Two years ago, David Bradbury made the list, for being “a vocal and … Continue reading

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Michael Keating. The Turnbull Government’s Fiscal Strategy

This second article, in response to the release of the Government’s Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) on Tuesday 15 December, focuses on the Government’s fiscal strategy. It is a companion piece to another article that focussed on the Government’s … Continue reading

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Michael Keating. The Turnbull Government’s Economic Strategy

  The Government’s Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) released on Tuesday 15 December outlines the Government’s economic and fiscal strategy and, equally important, what it expects that strategy to achieve. It is especially significant on this occasion, as it … Continue reading

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Michael Keating. The Key Options for Tax Reform

One useful outcome from the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting on 11 December, was its acknowledgement of the “emerging budgetary pressures across all levels of government, particularly in the health sector.” This acknowledgement must be the critical starting point … Continue reading

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