There exists an immediate need for meaningful tax reform. We cannot continue to levy those who can least afford it whilst “rewarding” those who can avoid it. I’m NOT advocating “wealth distribution” (if you have worked hard to earn it, you should enjoy the fruits of your labour), what I’m in favour of is a system that is fair & equitable. Reform should not be limited at just the Commonwealth level. State/Territory taxes, “levies” (e.g. fuel) and other forms of charges, fees etc need to be thrown into the mix. For example, I find it difficult to justify Payroll Tax, when society is urging businesses to employ staff.
I have a view that the income tax concept should be reviewed. It does not seem equitable that the more you earn the more you should pay as a percentage of your income. As such, it’s not surprising that those on a high tax rate, e.g. up to 45 cents in the dollar, will look at ways to reduce their obligation. At the macro level, I would advocate for a flat uniform rate, e.g. 10 cents in the dollar, as a revenue tax payable on gross earnings by all persons including companies, foreign entities, trusts and non-exempt persons/bodies. The latter would include not for profit associations, charities, and religious bodies for example.
Following on from the above dot point, individuals would be allowed a tax free threshold to help offset costs such as health insurance, superannuation etc. This would not apply to non-individuals.
I would also support a review of superannuationinsofar as tax is concerned. Simply put, I find it difficult to accept that the money we earn to put into super is taxed. Whilst that money is in super it is taxed and then when we want withdraw it on retirement, it is taxed. My view is that contributions and withdrawals should be tax free so as to encourage people to plan for their future rather than relying on an old age pension. Of course, this would require superannuation changes to be kept to an absolute minimum so as to enable long term planning.
I do not support an increase to the GST Rate. In fact, if tax reform did result in a system that is fair & equitable, I would support applying the GST across everything, including food, but not fines/penalties. If a low revenue tax (see above point) was applied then the extra cost of the weekly shopping could be offset against revenue tax savings. Obviously, one would have to consider the impact of this on welfare recipients and the outcomes from modelling this approach.
I support the introduction of a resources tax to be levied on all non-renewable natural resources. Natural resources are the property of the people of this country and their cultivation or otherwise should result in a levy being returned to the people.