North Queensland LNP Senator Ian Macdonald has pre-emptively written to the Treasurer indicating that speculation regarding the increase of the GST to 15% should remain just that.
Senator Macdonald said he is one of the few parliamentarians left in the parliament who actually campaigned for the introduction of the 10% GST more than 15 years ago.
“At the time I remember, commentators, journalists and the general public who were opposed to the introduction of the GST, claiming that the GST would be increased by future governments,” Senator Macdonald said.
“From the Prime Minister down at the time, we all swore there would never be any increase beyond 10%, and that is a promise that I intend to fulfil.
“I have often said that I would have no objection of going back to the original GST proposal which we took to the electorate and which it endorsed by our success at that election, that the 10% should be a broad-based GST on everything.
“Subsequently to get the bill through the Senate, a compromise was made with the then Democrats Party to remove the GST from fresh food, health and education.
“This was a pragmatic decision made at the time to get through the major financial reform, but it has meant less money to the states for health and education, and it has also increased the complexity and red tape for small business people filing their business activity statements (BAS).
“I have long advocated a return to the original scheme proposed and I do so now.
“For those in the lower socio-economic group, there can be compensations introduced which make it a win-win situation across the board.
“This is what happened with the GST was first introduced and a scheme that takes this into account can be devised again.
“But I have advised Mr Morrison that I, for one, would not be supporting any increase in the GST to 15 %.”