As I mentioned in my last newsletter, the debate about changing Australia’s tax system is getting plenty of press, but I think Prime Minister Turnbull has got a very tough task ahead of him if he believes he can radically change our tax system. As ex-head of Treasury John Stone pointed out in the Financial Review last Wednesday, most of the proposals are simply “a tax increase by stealth”, and voters are not going to cop it. Last week in the Australian, Judith Sloan wrote about the difficulty of replacing stamp duty with land tax, and self-funded retirees are well aware that the government will not be able to compensate them for a rise in the GST because they are not receiving any government benefits.
In any event, we are still awaiting the latest tax White Paper, and the Retirement Incomes Paper. In my view there’ll be plenty of talk but not much action.
This week the ASFA (Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia) annual conference is being held in Brisbane. I will be attending, and am keen to hear the various debates about any potential changes to superannuation. You can be certain I will keep you fully informed.