Where's MY government bailout?
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29 September 2011

MELBOURNE:- Vested interests are determined to stifle reform of the government revenue base at the Tax Forum next week, says Prosper Australia.

“The government has lined up industry representatives and lobby peaks – all to plead the special needs of those who pay their salaries. This blatant pandering to elite advantage and the exclusion of fresh thinking that would turbocharge the Australian economy is a terrible blow,” Prosper Australia Campaign Manager David Collyer said today.

“Tax reform is a vital economic matter – where and how government derives its revenues is the foundation of national wellbeing.

“There is no excuse for taxing payrolls, conveyances, buildings, insurance, or income other than economic rent.”

“There is no one – no one – representing the genuine interests of ordinary taxpayers who must bear the cost of un-taxing privilege. Wage-earners and small business simply cannot spare time from work to play Canberra politics. Their tax burden keeps them in their place.

“For too long, government has taxed wages and enterprise, imposing compliance costs, deadweight costs and diminishing us all. There is a better way, in government capturing some of the economic rents that exist because of community investment and currently accrue to private interests. This is the most efficient and equitable revenue base, as Ken Henry points out.

“There are community representatives at the Tax Forum, but their focus is how government spends, rather than how it raises its revenues. Sadly, their contribution will be dismissed as hand-wringing by the so-called ‘economic producers’.

“Prosper was not invited to the Forum. Yes, we are disappointed: the central reform agenda in Australia’s Future Tax System has no champion.

Prosper’s submission to the Tax Forum outlines how government can effect striking improvements to Australia’s economic efficiency and social justice. It can be found at: http://lvrg.org.au/files/prosper-forum.pdf

“Australia has a genuine appetite for tax reform. We need leaders who see where the national interest lies and proceed directly toward it. ENDS

Media comment: David Collyer david.collyer@prosper.org.au

About Prosper: Prosper Australia is a tax reform lobby group and think tank that is now 120 years old. It seeks to move the base of government revenues from taxing individuals and enterprise to capturing the economic rents of the natural endowment, notably through Land Value Tax and Mining Tax.