Monday, February 8, 2010
Australia’s Assistant Treasurer, Nick Sherry, has made a statement to parliament confirming that the government has no intention of releasing the report of the Henry tax review at this stage.
The government received the report on Australia’s future tax system at the end of last year. Australia’s Treasurer, Wayne Swan, has previously announced that the report will lay the foundations for a long-term plan for reform of Australia’s tax and transfer systems.
Wayne Swan has also explained that he expected the report to provide a 10-year plan for reform. Consequently, the government has been saying for some time that it will consider the review and release it in early 2010, along with an initial response.
The opposition parties in the Senate, where they hold a majority, passed a motion on February 3, ordering the government to produce the report by no later than 9.30am on February 4.
However, Sherry has refused the request, confirming that the government is still considering the detailed document having only received it six weeks previously, and that it was preparing its initial response which, he repeated, will be published at some time early this year.
The Assistant Treasurer argued that a release of the review at this point, without the government’s initial response, would cause widespread uncertainty.
Already, there has been speculation on recommendations in the review to increase taxation in the mining industry, and it has been said that superannuation, company taxes and annual returns are areas in which the report also makes specific recommendations.