29 October 2014

Treasury increasing productivity by reducing regulation


This media release discusses changes to Treasury-related legislation.

The Government has delivered on its election promise to cut $1 billion in red and green tape each year with its second Repeal Day.

The Treasury portfolio is delivering a range of initiatives that reduce compliance burdens for individuals and businesses.  

The Treasury Legislation Amendment (Repeal Day) Bill 2014 and the Corporations Legislation Amendment (Deregulatory and Other Measures) Bill 2014 were introduced into the House of Representatives on 22 October 2014.

The Treasury Legislation Amendment (Repeal Day) Bill 2014 implements a range of improvements to Australia’s laws and removes costly and unnecessary red tape:  

  • Schedule 1 amends the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 to repeal the payslip reporting provisions. Under the Fair Work Act, employers are already required to report details of employee superannuation entitlements that accrued during a particular pay period on an employee’s payslip. Repealing the payslip reporting provisions will save employers from investing in major upgrades in their payment system software with minimal benefit to their employees.  
  • Schedule 2 simplifies taxation laws by consolidating duplicated provisions from various taxation Acts into a single set of provisions, repealing spent or redundant taxation laws, and moving longstanding regulations into the primary law. 
  • Schedule 3 amends the Financial Sector (Shareholdings) Act 1998 to remove the deemed shareholding applied to an associate where the associate has no actual shareholding in the company.
  • Schedule 4 Bill addresses the fact that the definition of ‘Australia’ for taxation purposes is complex, overly detailed and expressed differently in different parts of the taxation laws. Schedule 4 rewrites the definition of ‘Australia’ into a single location in the tax law for use across all the tax laws in a simple and coherent form.

The Corporations Legislation Amendment (Deregulatory and Other Measures) Bill 2014 removes unnecessary regulation, clarifies existing regulatory obligations and enhances the efficient operation of certain Government bodies by:

  • Removing the obligation on directors to call a general meeting at the request of only 100 shareholders (the ‘100 member rule’).
  • Improving and reducing remuneration reporting requirements.
  • Exempting certain companies limited by guarantee from the need to appoint or retain an auditor.
  • Clarifying the circumstances in which a financial year may be less than 12 months.
  • Improving the operation of the Takeovers Panel by allowing takeover matters to be dealt with more efficiently.
  • Extending the Remunerations Tribunal’s remuneration setting responsibility to include certain statutory bodies.

The measures contained in the Corporations Legislation Amendment (Deregulatory and Other Measures) Bill 2014 are estimated to reduce business compliance costs by around $14 million per year.

The Treasury portfolio will continue to deliver on initiatives which increase productivity by removing unnecessary duplication in regulatory arrangements.