Tuesday, 20 June 2023
Treasury Laws Amendment (2022 Measures No. 4) Bill 2022; In Committee
I move opposition amendment (1) on sheets 1858:
(1) Schedule 2, page 32 (line 1) to page 35 (line 23), to be opposed.
As I foreshadowed in my contribution to the second reading debate, this amendment excises the section which deals with the taxation treatment of digital currencies. It does that on the basis that there is a separate process underway through the Board of Taxation and this would introduce unnecessary regulatory risk in a very sensitive area. It will also do it on the basis that it won't be removing any consumer protections or, indeed, driving any new innovation.
Of course, the Treasury itself could not even explain whether there would be a quantifiable gain or loss to revenue. So I think it's a reasonable amendment for the Senate to consider in light of the evidence from industry that this is not a concept that they support at this point in time because it has been cherrypicked out of a broader reform agenda which should be, frankly, a higher priority for the government, because I think all of us want the government to be promoting new investment, new ideas and new competition, and we also want our governments to be protecting consumers as far as possible. So we think it's an appropriate and proportionate amendment to this bill, on the basis that we'll come back and provide a set of regulations and laws for digital assets as part of a comprehensive agenda rather than something that's being cherrypicked out of nowhere.