Senate debates

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Australia’S Future Tax System


10:15 am

Photo of Stephen ParryStephen Parry (Tasmania, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

At the request of Senator Abetz, I move:

That there be laid on the table by the Minister representing the Treasurer, no later than noon on Thursday, 13 May 2010, all modelling, costings, consultancy statements and other relevant documents used by the Government to inform its response to the ‘Henry Review’ (Australia’s Future Tax System report).

Photo of Nick SherryNick Sherry (Tasmania, Australian Labor Party, Assistant Treasurer) Share this | | Hansard source

I seek leave to make a short statement.

Photo of John HoggJohn Hogg (President) Share this | | Hansard source

Leave is granted for two minutes.

Photo of Nick SherryNick Sherry (Tasmania, Australian Labor Party, Assistant Treasurer) Share this | | Hansard source

The government believes the motion is not appropriate. Key documents relating to Australia’s future tax system are already public. The government released the final report of the panel on 2 May 2010. On 2 May it also released its long-term tax plan entitled Stronger, Fairer, Simpler: Tax Plan for our Future. This is the first instalment of the government’s response. The package includes numerous informative fact sheets that may be of assistance to Senator Abetz. The second instalment was delivered in the 2010-11 budget, when we announced further substantial tax reforms, standard deductions, a reduction in interest withholding tax and new incentives to encourage personal saving. It is important to note that Treasury then released relevant policy parameters provided to KPMG Econtech, which then independently modelled their economic effects.

A summary modelling report and the full report is available on the KPMG website. I know that websites are not particularly popular with Senator Abetz, but I suggest he go to the KPMG website. He does not need to go via any other pathway to Treasury officials—it is there on the KPMG website. The development of the recommendations of the independent review panel was undertaken against a background of massive community engagement. On 6 August 2008 the panel released its architecture of Australia’s tax and transfer system. On 10 December three more papers were released and public meetings were held. The panel also conducted focus groups in April 2009 to further explore some of the issues raised in the public arena. Senator Abetz can freely access all these documents at and, should he need the government to supply hard copies, that can also be arranged. The government opposes the motion.

Photo of Bob BrownBob Brown (Tasmania, Australian Greens) Share this | | Hansard source

Mr President, can I recommend that Senator Abetz be sent a copy of the Hansard with respect to that statement so that he does receive the information.

Photo of John HoggJohn Hogg (President) Share this | | Hansard source

Senator Brown, that is not necessary.

Question agreed to.

10:18 am

Photo of Kerry O'BrienKerry O'Brien (Tasmania, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

Mr President, the government opposes the motion. We will not call a division; we recognise that it has a majority in the chamber.