Committee for Sydney responds to Federal Financial Relations Review

Responding to today’s publication of the Federal Financial Relations Review, Committee for Sydney CEO, Gabriel Metcalf said:

“Australia is going to have a hard time recovering from the COVID recession unless it is willing to do the hard work of tax reform.”

“The current tax structure will not generate enough money for Government to what it needs to be done; and even worse, the current tax structure relies too heavily on damaging taxes. This is why today’s release of the NSW Federal Financial Relations Review is so important. Its 15 recommendations, if enacted, would create the right enabling conditions for a recovery and a long-term return to economic growth.”

“We welcome replacing Stamp Duty with a broad-based Land Tax. The current system discourages property changing hands – meaning it discourages households from optimising where they live and businesses from optimising their facilities. A gradual transition to a land tax will provide a stable base of funding while minimising negative impacts on real estate decisions”.

“We also welcome broadening the base of the GST, one of the most efficient taxes in the current system. We should use the GST as the workhorse tax, so that we can do away with more damaging taxes like payroll tax and niche consumption taxes”.

“Introducing a road pricing system and congestion cordon for the Sydney CBD are solid ideas. As transport electrifies, income from fuel excise will dissipate, meaning the general tax base will have to subsidise the maintenance of roads more. A road pricing scheme offers a smart option to continue to raise revenue while also managing congestion.”

“This is a moment for political courage. The Committee for Sydney asks Government to take bold action on these reforms and asks the voters of NSW to support changes, even in instances where they are not going to personally benefit from them. Today’s report is a major step forward in creating a modern, efficient and fair system.”

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