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Want a new GST? Sink the old one!

Changing the GST was always intended to be hard and is getting harder by the week. Under the so-called intergovernmental agreement on implementation of the GST, any change in the rate or the base required the unanimous approval of the Federal, State and Territory...

Not the Queensland Budget Speech

. . . … Madam Speaker, if the Government is to balance the Budget in these difficult times, it cannot afford to indulge in forms of taxation that shrink the economy from which all public revenue is drawn. In some allegedly “conservative” circles, it...

Ride for free or pay the fine

In his second budget, Victorian Treasurer Kim Wells is aiming for a surplus of $155 million, of which $109 million is due to increased fines. The Government has budgeted for $662.5 million in total fines, including $306 million from road-safety cameras, in 2012-13....

Psst! Stamp duty can be avoided

As the Fairfax papers reported on April 14, the NSW government has rejected yet another recommendation to replace conveyancing stamp duty by a broad-based land tax. That is the effect of the “stamp duty replacement tax” recommended on page 13-4 of the...

FHOG Reloaded: New Home Builders’ Grant

SPIN: The First Home Owners’ Grant (FHOG) helps first-time home buyers enter the market. FACT: More precisely, the FHOG helps first-time buyers to compete with other buyers who can use the equity in their old homes to bid up prices. But by increasing bids from...