Treasury Too Busy Preparing Budget to Download Information From Internet

Peter Costello has asked two prominent businessmen to prepare a table setting out how Australia’s tax rates compare with other countries. According to the Age:

Mr Costello said it was important to internationally benchmark the Australian tax system to show where it sat on the scale between high-tax and low-tax countries.

"As it turns out, nearly all of the figures show Australia as one of the lowest taxed countries in the OECD," Mr Costello said.

"But what we need to do is to get the full-rounded picture on the table.

"Some people compare Australian tax rates to US federal tax rates, but the US has state income tax, city income tax.

"Some people compare Australian tax rates to European tax rates, but Europe has what’s called social security contributions which is a tax by another name.

"You’ve got to get all of these on the table to get some kind of international comparison.

Writing the report shouldn’t tax Messrs Warburton and Hendy too much. After all, the information is all on the OECD website.

Update, 28/2: I had a little further to say on the topic in today’s Age.

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4 Responses to Treasury Too Busy Preparing Budget to Download Information From Internet

  1. Pingback: Larvatus Prodeo

  2. Bring Back EP at LP says:

    I wouldn’t mind betting ( oops that is sinful) that Trwasury has already prepared the report.

    If they haven’t they are incompetent. Treasury is not incompetent!

  3. Guy says:

    Of course it takes a good five weeks to filter out all the information that doesn’t support the barrow you want to push, moving towards an election year.

  4. Christine says:

    I’m pretty sure everyone at Treasury is quite well aware of the OECD fiscal tables – when I worked there, we even used some OECD numbers in the budget papers.

    I agree with Guy: is the OECD not finding Australian taxes are high enough that they should be reduced substantially? Or is it that they find taxes are quite high now relative to, say, the early 90s?

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