Facts matter in tax reform debate

31 July 2017

“Politicians can have differing opinions in the company tax debate, but they shouldn’t mislead the public about the facts,” Business Council chief executive Jennifer Westacott said after Opposition Leader Bill Shorten today repeated his patently untrue claim that company tax reductions “impede growth”.

“The Opposition Leader himself previously told parliament: ‘Cutting the company income tax rate increases domestic productivity and domestic investment. More capital means higher productivity and economic growth and leads to more jobs and higher wages.’

“Treasury estimates the planned company tax reduction will permanently grow the economy by around one per cent – or $17 billion a year in today’s terms – which would make it a game-changing structural reform on par with Bob Hawke’s tariff cuts in the late 1980s.

“This principle is accepted by the overwhelming majority of economists, by previous Labor governments, by senior members of the current Opposition, and by other advanced countries that are reducing their company tax rates to lure investment and jobs away from countries like Australia.

“Independent Economics director Chris Murphy estimates that for every $1 of cost to the budget, a company tax cut delivers a gross benefit to Australian consumers of $2.39.

“This isn’t ‘trickle down’ anything. There is a straight line from increased business investment to higher productivity, to higher incomes for workers.

“When politicians trash the independent evidence, it’s our community that suffers. Voters deserve better,” Ms Westacott said.


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