Australian Exceptionalism & Tax Reform

A short speech on our economic strength and the importance of tax reform.
Tax Laws Amendment (2012 Measures No. 3) Bill 2012
Income Tax (Seasonal Labour Mobility Program Withholding Tax) Bill 2012
Tax Laws Amendment (Income Tax Rates) Bill 2012
30 May 2012

On a blog post on 8 December last year, Possum Comitatus—aka Scott Steel—wrote of 'Australian exceptionalism'. He wrote:

'Never before has there been a nation so completely oblivious to not just their own successes, but the sheer enormity of them, than Australia today.'

It is within the context of that extraordinary economic performance—unemployment, inflation and the cash rate each below 5 per cent for the first time in 40 years—that we are considering this package of bills.

Time does not permit me to go into the many features of this package of bills that the Assistant Treasurer has pulled together, so let me simply note: that the Seasonal Labour Mobility Program builds on the successful Pacific Seasonal Worker Pilot Scheme; that the government is realigning the tax rate schedule for non-residents to align it better with marginal tax rates that Australian residents face; that the government is removing the ability of children to access the LITO to discourage income-splitting between adults and children; that we are introducing technical amendments to ensure that legislation does not impose unintended consequences on taxpayers; and that we are scaling back large tax concessions for generous executive salary packages that are simply not available to many low- and middle-income earners. It is a terrific package of bills and I commend them to the House.

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