Important first step on tax reform

We commend the Senate today for taking the first of two critical steps in improving our tax system by passing the income tax changes and urge the Parliament to take the second step and deliver Australia a competitive company tax rate, Business Council of Australia chief executive Jennifer Westacott said today.

“Personal and company tax reform done together is good for workers, good for jobs and good for the economy. Now is the time to turbo charge the economy.

“The changes to personal income tax preserve the progressive nature of our system but encourage and reward aspiration and effort.

“It means Australians will keep more of their hard-earned money when they receive a promotion or get a few extra hours of work.

“Without the change, in a decades’ time the average worker would be faced with paying an extra $3,000 tax a year in today’s dollars.

“Fixing our business tax system will mean Australian businesses can better compete in an environment where tax rates across the globe are falling sharply.

“Australia’s 30 per cent top company tax rate has been frozen in time for 17 years and is now out of step with nations such as the UK which is moving to 17 percent, the US which slashed its rate from 35 percent to 21 percent and even France which has announced plans to drop its rate from 33 to 25 percent. The OECD average is 24 percent and in Asia it is 21 percent.

“We are kidding ourselves if we think we can impose one of the highest tax rates in the developed world on Australian businesses and expect them to continue to thrive, invest and create jobs.

“Failure to give Australia a more competitive business tax rate means we will leave $18 billion a year bigger economy on the table.

“We need to get the settings right for business to improve competitiveness to continue to drive economic growth.

“It is time to end the nonsense that economic growth is at odds with fairness. When business thrives, Australia thrives. We cannot have a fairer society without a strong business sector.”

Media Contact:
Business Council media team
02 8224 9214