Monday, 3 June 2013
Economics Committee; Report
On behalf of the Standing Committee on Economics, I present the committee's advisory report, incorporating a dissenting report, on the Tax Laws Amendment (2013 Measures No. 2) Bill 2013, together with the minutes of proceedings.
by leave—the Tax Laws Amendment (2013 Measures No. 2) Bill 2013 amends various taxation laws to implement a range of improvements to Australia's tax system. The bill contains 11 schedules. Full details of the measures are outlined in the explanatory memorandum.
The proposed amendments are implementing key government objectives as part of an ongoing tax reform. For example, schedule 1 amends tax laws to require large entities in the pay-as-you-go instalment system to make their instalments monthly instead of quarterly. While not increasing companies' tax burden, this measure is forecast to raise around $950m over the forward estimates. Schedule 2 introduces a tax loss incentive for designated infrastructure projects, which in turn will encourage investment.
On 30 May 2013 the selection committee referred the bill to the Standing Committee on Economics for inquiry and report. It is the view of the committee that, due to the urgency of the bill and the need to resume the second reading debate, there is insufficient time to undertake an inquiry.
In accordance with standing order 39(f) the report was made a parliamentary paper.
by leave—Coalition members put in a dissenting report to the committee's advisory report on the TLAB bill No. 2. We did so because coalition members were aggrieved at the fact that, despite schedule 1 alone representing an increase in tax revenues for this government of around $1 billion, the government has so poorly handled and scheduled the legislation for debate in this chamber, with over 100 bills still outstanding, that now on an initiative that will raise nearly $1 billion, the government deems that they do not have enough time for there to be an inquiry of the House of Representatives Economics Committee into the measures contained in the bill. One of the most fundamental aspects of the parliamentary committee process is to ensure scrutiny over executive government. We all remember the days when the Prime Minister stood up and heralded this being a new age of enlightenment: let the sunshine in, let there be transparency and scrutiny. Yet when it comes to a billion-dollar measure the government says, 'Sorry, we don't have enough time, there is not going to be any inquiry. Tough luck.' So coalition members issued a dissenting report because it is a travesty that there is not adequate parliamentary committee oversight of this executive government—100 per cent a consequence of nothing else other than this government's inability to direct and control its legislative agenda.