Australia Gov't Committed to Corporate Tax Cuts

Ken Copeland
April 7, 2017

Economic growth, disciplined spending and tackling housing affordability will be the cornerstones of next month's budget, Treasurer Scott Morrison says.

COSBOA chief executive Peter Strong warned Opposition Leader Bill Shorten he was "in danger of morphing into Tony Abbott" by opposing so much of government policy and that "you can't sit there and say whatever the government does, you will undo it - it removes any certainty for business". "Tax cuts will not do that", she said.

He told Sky News the opposition has held a consistent position on company tax cuts right through from the last budget which would limit any reduction to small firms with a $2 million turnover.

On Tuesday, Fairfax Media revealed that the government's tax cuts to businesses earning up to $50 million a year would be worth just 0.2 per cent to the economy by the time they are fully implemented in 2025.

The Business Council of Australia has hit back at Treasurer Scott Morrison's criticism that the big end of town isn't lifting its weight in winning public support for tax cuts.

Andrew Leigh, a lawmaker from the opposition Labor Party who speaks on Treasury matters, told Sky News that while "in a flawless world you would bring down the company tax rate", the federal government has seen its debt burden increase over recent years.

"Large business needs to apply itself collectively and urgently to this task of communicating their value, not about necessa- rily even advocating particular measures, and not for the sake of the Government, not for any partisan interest, but to do so in the interests of the Australian economy". "We hope this will build the momentum to get the whole package through".

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The Treasurer said this year's budget would continue its "unapologetic focus on jobs and growth", while also endorsing the crackdown by the Australian Prudential and Regulation Authority on bank lending for home investors in the wake criticism from Reserve Bank Governor Phillip Lowe.

But Mr Morrison disagrees, saying Australian businesses want to grow. "If the Senate is in the position to look at this before the next election, then we would be more than happy to bring those things forward".

Global miner Rio Tinto RIO.AX RIO.L said on Wednesday the ATO had issued amended tax assessments for the calendar years 2010 to 2013, requiring the company to pay A$447 million including interest.

Westacott called for the full tax cuts to be passed, or else there would be a "two-tiered" tax system, with small and medium businesses enjoying a 25% tax rate compared with 30% for big business.

Turnbull's plan to cut the tax rate for all companies to 25 percent over the next decade remains in limbo.

Leigh told Sky that Labor's productivity plan was to invest in education, infrastructure and broadband.

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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