Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand has lodged its pre-budget submission, calling upon the government to convey to the Australian people the long term threats to our nation’s continued prosperity and the key policies needed to address those challenges.
Rob Ward, Head of Leadership & Advocacy, said policy thinking based on forward estimates of only four years would no longer pass muster with Australians, who can see looming challenges for government in key spending areas as well as global economic uncertainty.
“The community deserves a frank picture of the difficulties our country will face over the next 10 years, and rightly expects major political parties to use the budget sitting to present policies on how these challenges will be addressed."
Mr Ward continues, "What we don’t need is negative politics which misleads Australians into thinking there’s always ‘someone else’ who can pay extra taxes, ‘someone else’ who can do without a government service.”
Mr Ward said any hoped-for return to surplus needed to be explained on Budget night by something more plausible than bracket-creep and a lift in tax revenue from mining. He said tax reform remains unfinished business for our political leaders, and GST reform needs to be part of that agenda.
One challenge likely to be taken up in the budget is the Black Economy, with a government taskforce likely to recommend a range of new tax and importantly, non-tax sanctions for those who evade taxes.
On other aspects of the submission, Mr Ward said:
- “We think it’s time for the Treasurer to reconsider his position on the 50% CGT discount.”
- “Our out of date PAYG instalment system should be revisited with a view to getting more businesses paying their tax on time and in full provided the government also embraces a national code of conduct for prompt payment of small business invoices and an improved education strategy around managing cash flow.”
- “Get some talented people in a room and simplify FBT and work-related deductions.”
- “We support the provision of government services online, but let’s bring people along with us by providing access to a friendly, helpful voice to those who find technology difficult”.
- “Last year’s budget damaged superannuation in the eyes of many. This budget should focus on building confidence and engagement with superannuation, with renewed efforts to make the system simpler, more efficient and cost effective.