Addressing the 2015 Economic and Social Outlook Conference, Mr Shorten stated that he does not consider “jacking up” the GST to 15 per cent to be innovative, agile or creative.
“Increasing the GST is not the answer, and neither is broadening the base to include more essential goods and services,” Mr Shorten said.
“The government’s fixation with increasing the GST proves that when all you’ve got is a hammer, everything looks like a nail."
Mr Shorten accused the current government of labelling an increase to the GST as the solution to a problem that the government itself cannot identify, and stressed that opposing a GST increase is not indicative of a Labor refusal to participate in tax reform.
‘We will not support increasing a regressive GST that inflicts the heaviest punishment upon those least able to afford it,” he said, adding that any increase to the tax is not a quick fix or a “magic pudding”.
“NATSEM modelling shows that even if an increase in the GST was paired with a 5 per cent reduction in every tax rate, this would actually make our tax system more regressive than a simple increase in the GST,” Mr Shorten said.
“This scenario would see almost two thirds of households worse off."
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