20 August 2015

State and territory treasurers discuss tax reform with the Commonwealth


This media release annouces that national tax reform is on the agenda at tomorrow's meeting with the state and territory treasurers.

Tomorrow's meeting in Canberra with the state and territory treasurers is a unique opportunity to achieve consensus across government for the progress of much needed national tax reform.

The Australian people will be looking to us to reach agreement on the reform options that will promote economic growth and create jobs to ensure Australia's continued standard of living.

All governments across Australia must work together to improve the economic climate for business, and ensure more efficient delivery of government services while keeping taxes as low as possible.

At the recent Council of Australian Governments retreat, leaders agreed there is an opportunity to consider more durable revenue arrangements to address growing financial pressures facing all governments. In addition, any revenue arrangements need to be fair, efficient and sustainable.

Tomorrow we will have a broad discussion on the strategic issues facing Australia's tax system and seek to develop a shared perspective for progressing the tax reform process.

As Federal Treasurer I will take the opportunity to advise my state and territory counterparts of the six principles that the Commonwealth is pursing through the Tax White Paper process.

We believe that Australia's personal and corporate income tax rates are too high and that we need to reduce the burden of tax on hardworking Australians.

Also on tomorrow's agenda are a number of specific measures to promote greater integrity in the tax system.

These include the draft legislation to ensure greater consistency in the application of the GST to digital products and services and the request by COAG to broaden the GST to cover overseas online transactions (physical goods) under $1,000.

The Commonwealth will report to the states and territories on progress in these areas and provide reports on progress by various working groups led by the states on other areas of reform.