Teals seek ‘brave’ conversation on tax reform

This story by Lois Maskiell first appeared in The Australian Financial Review on 30th January 2023.

Independent MPs Zoe Daniel and Kate Chaney are calling on the Albanese government “to put everything on the table” in a sweeping review of the tax regime to reduce its overreliance on personal income tax.

The teal MPs from Melbourne and Perth say Labor should take a braver and longer-term approach to tax reform that goes beyond providing Australians with income tax cuts.

“We really need

“We really need broad-based tax reform and that requires some bravery from government rather than tinkering around the edges,” Ms Daniel said on ABC’s RN Breakfast.

The Goldstein MP said the debate over Labor’s plans to change the stage three tax cuts underscored the nation’s dependence on income tax, which disincentivised people from earning more.

“We want people in those higher income brackets to be ambitious and to be striving,” she said.

Ms Daniel said the introduction of GST by former Liberal prime minister John Howard was an example of good tax reform that benefited the country and did not prevent the Coalition from winning at the 1998 election.

“Broad-based tax reform, big structural changes, that is the kind of thing that you would take to an election, and given where we are in the electoral cycle now, it is the kind of structural policy shift that the government could build and take to the election,” she said.

“It will have to happen eventually. It is inevitable.”

Ms Daniel said she would finalise her position on the tax cuts following surveys of her community, which, she said, broadly supported the planned changes. Just less than 9 per cent of people in her electorate earn more than $190,000.

“Even in one of the wealthiest communities in the country, something like 70 per cent of my community would stand to directly benefit from the government’s change.”

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