Tax cut push continues
The Federal Government says it is willing to make corporate tax cuts an election issue.
The Prime Minister said this week that if it fails to gain Senate approval in coming months, it would make the next election a referendum on company tax.
Labor has ramped up its opposition to tax relief for big business, accusing the government of handing $65 billion to the big end of town while doing nothing to boost wages growth.
After several days of parliamentary sessions focused almost solely on the tax plan, Malcolm Turnbull renewed his determination to prevail.
“The honourable member wants to fight us on tax cuts for business, and fight us on jobs,” Mr Turnbull said in question time.
“We will fight him here, and we will fight him at the next election on a platform that supports Australian business, Australian investment, Australian exports, and Australian jobs, the jobs that he has abandoned.”
The issue appears increasingly likely to still be around by election time, as opposition in the Senate is growing.
Meanwhile Orica chief Alberto Calderon has become the latest business figure to call for a discussion about taxation reform.
“We need a tax environment that is conducive to growth and is competitive relative to the countries against which we compete for capital,” he said on Thursday in a speech to the Melbourne Mining Club.
“Doing nothing will in time - maybe not next year but certainly in the near future - without a doubt, lead to very low levels of growth,” he said.
Mr Calderon said Australia should not simply “blindly follow the United States in its tax strategy”.
He says needs to be able to talk about the optimal taxation environment “to create the greatest benefits for society, and the largest impact on growth”.
“Companies invest to expand their operations, build new plants and factories, buy equipment and develop new technology to boost productivity. It would seem to me that introducing targeted incentives in areas such as these can directly increase activity in Australia, in a way that provides lasting benefits.
“This could be achieved by improving the Australian research and development incentive, introducing better capital allowances either directly or through accelerated depreciation, or targeted reductions in tax rates for capital intensive or high technology manufacturing.
“A tax environment that incentivises investment will benefit all Australians through job creation, increased wages and improved living standards in the long term,” he said.