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A PROPOSED increase to the GST has received mixed reactions from Townsville community leaders, who want to see what tax relief would be delivered.
The Federal Government has flagged an increase of 5 per cent to the 10 per cent GST introduced by the Howard Government in 2000.
Malcolm Turnbull’s Government is considering the rise in exchange for tax cuts to middle-income earners.
President of the Townsville Chamber of Commerce and principal of Moore Stephens accountants Troy Popham said he had wanted an increase for years.
“I’ve been screaming it from the rooftops for a very long time,” Mr Popham said.
“A rate increase to 15 per cent is consistent with other developed countries around the world.”
He called for income tax relief if the rise went ahead.
“The balance in all of this is spreading the base where you get the revenue through the GST, but then you need to deliver tax relief into household budgets to be able to afford an increase,” Mr Popham said.
“The negative is your household costs will go up, but the positive is you are going to be given more income into your home – until the Government releases what that income amount is, you can’t compare it.”
Mayor Jenny Hill said she wanted a clear indication of what would be affected by the GST bump and what exchanges the Government would deliver for the increase.
“At the moment, there is no GST chargeable on rates, that needs to be factored in if they are going to cast a wider net,” Cr Hill said.
“The devil is going to be in detail, it is all very well for those people who are earning an income and paying, but what about those on pensions, any increase in government services and GST charged to them could really impact on them.”
Herbert MP Ewen Jones said he was open to the debate, although he thought the conversation should turn to how the country economy can kick on.
“It’s more about the economy, how do we get it pumping so we can find a true reflection on where the discussion starts,” Mr Jones said.
“I want to see governments taking care of where they are spending the money, simply throwing more money at education and health is not the answer.”
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