Treasury report confirms - Australia needs a competitive company tax rate

08 November 2017

“Today’s report from the Treasury adds to an already burgeoning body of evidence in favour of making our tax system more competitive. It is a simple fact that without reform we are risking the economic growth needed to create Australian jobs and wages growth,” said Business Council chief executive Jennifer Westacott.

“Treasurer Scott Morrison is absolutely right, Australia is at risk of becoming an isolated high tax island while other nations in our region and beyond reap the benefits a competitive tax rate which encourages investment and growth. “While other countries have reduced company taxes to boost their competitiveness, Australia’s company tax rate has been frozen in time for 16 years.

"The average company tax rate across the OECD is 24% and falling. The average across Asia is 21%. Last week the United States confirmed its plans to slash its federal company tax rate from 35% to just 20%, while France plans to move its company tax rate from 33% to 25%.

“Australia already has the 5th highest rate in the OECD. Action by these countries would leave us with the 2nd highest rate in the OECD.

“Australia’s 30% rate crushes opportunity by discouraging international businesses from investing in Australia and Australian jobs.

“The Treasury report makes plain that international action to reduce company tax, particularly in the United States, will make Australia increasingly uncompetitive.

“There is very real risk that when the US acts, Australia could see a permanent reduction in GDP and real wages growth. Inaction will mean poorer outcomes well into the future.

“Global action on tax rates should be a wakeup call to our political leaders. Doing nothing is no longer a credible option, if we don’t act Australians will be deprived of $17 billion of economic growth and about $4 billion in additional government revenue per year.

“Those who oppose the case for company tax cuts have no credible alternative to get investment growing strongly again. Critics of the Enterprise Tax Plan are standing in the way of wages growth and greater opportunity for Australian workers.

“There is nothing fair about letting Australians lose out on economic growth. Standing against a competitive tax system punishes workers and saps the economy of the opportunity for growth.

“Real fairness is about ensuring that people have access to good jobs with the conditions for growing wages in a country that has the capacity to support the genuinely disadvantaged.”



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