The Crest of the Commonwealth of Australia Treasury Portfolio Ministers
Picture of Wayne Swan

Wayne Swan

Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer

3 December 2007 - 27 June 2013

6 August 2008

NO.093

Treasurer and Treasury Secretary Release
Australia's Future Tax System Discussion Paper

The Rudd Government welcomes the launch today of the Australia’s Future Tax System (AFTS) Discussion Paper by Treasury Secretary Dr Ken Henry.

Long-term reform of our tax and welfare systems is a key way to secure our economic foundations for the future, create wealth, spread opportunity and reward working Australians.

The AFTS Review will play a vital role in modernising Australia’s economy to meet the great economic, social and environmental challenges of the 21st century.

Meeting these future challenges - like climate change, the ageing population, new technologies and rapid globalisation – will require a tax system that is as fair and efficient as possible and the AFTS Review will help achieve that goal.

The Review will be the most comprehensive examination of the tax system in over 50 years.

It will complement other key Rudd Government reforms such as the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme and modernising the Federation through the Council of Australian Governments process.

Like these other key reforms, the AFTS Review will help boost Australia’s productive capacity, and build prosperity in an increasingly competitive global environment.

The Government is particularly focused on building a tax system which is internationally competitive; streamlined, simplified and harmonised; and which encourages hard-work and rewards workforce participation by removing complex disincentives.

The review will encompass Australian Government and state taxes, except the rate and base of the GST, and interactions with the transfer system, and will consider:

  • The balance of taxes on work, investment and consumption and the role for environmental taxes;
  • Further enhancements to the tax and transfer system facing individuals, families and retirees;
  • The taxation of savings, assets and investments, including the role and structure of company taxation;
  • The taxation of consumption and property and other state taxes;
  • Simplifying the tax system, including the interactions between federal, state and local government taxes; and
  • Interrelationships between the elements of the tax system, as well as the proposed emission trading system.

The Henry Review will also examine the adequacy of pensions and retirement incomes generally, so we can protect the living standards of the many older Australians doing it tough.

To ensure the Review considers the widest range of views and information possible, the Review Panel is inviting submissions to the Review.  (Details at www.taxreview.treasury.gov.au).

In addition, the Panel will shortly provide further information about its broader strategy for consulting with and engaging individuals, business, the community and stakeholders on the task ahead.

The Review Panel will provide its final report to the Treasurer by the end of 2009.

The Tax Review shows the Rudd Government is taking the necessary steps to modernise the economy for the long term, to tackle future challenges and secure Australia’s future prosperity.

The discussion paper is available at www.taxreview.treasury.gov.au.  An information line will be in operation.  The number is 1800 614133.

MELBOURNE
6 August 2008