December 25, 2004


MPs in push to cut top tax rate (Steve Lewis and Samantha Maiden, 24dec04, The Australian)

AN influential group of Coalition MPs is urging the Howard Government to embrace a once-in-a-generation opportunity to overhaul tax and welfare and boost national savings.

Seizing on the Government's sweeping election victory, the Liberal MPs and senators are calling for significant cuts in personal and company taxes and reintroduction of welfare reforms stalled by a hostile Senate.

A group of about 25 backbenchers has begun mapping out a reform agenda that will add to pressure on the Howard Government from business and welfare groups to boost productivity and workplace participation by removing disincentives in the tax and welfare systems.

The MPs argue that the combination of projected budget surpluses of $24billion over the next four years and the Coalition's control of both parliamentary chambers opens the way for a cut in the top marginal rate and new incentives to smooth the path from welfare to work.

Victorian senator Mitch Fifield, a former senior adviser to Peter Costello, said the group's "bottom line" was simple: "We want to cut taxes."

And he argued that lowering the top marginal rate of 47per cent to a rate closer to the company rate of 30per cent was desirable. [...]

"The whole objective from a tax point of view is to encourage workplace participation but also boost national savings," he said.

It's a race to see who can reform most.

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 25, 2004 10:21 PM
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