The head of South Australia’s Economic Development Board has backed the need for a debate on taxation, including the rate and scope of the GST.
Businessman Raymond Spencer says federal budget measures and state of the South Australian economy mean the need for a taxation debate is now obvious.
The board is the latest arm of government to feel Premier Jay Weatherill’s push for renewal, as the 12-member body has six new faces.
They include former Liberal premier Rob Kerin and Don Russell, a former adviser to a Labor prime minister.
Developer Michael Hickinbotham, who helped fundraising efforts for the Liberal Party during the SA election campaign is one of six faces which have gone.
“I’ve spoken to him today and he’ll continue to be a contributor in his role as heading up the population institute, I think it is,” Mr Weatherill said.
New committee to offer advice
As chairman Mr Spencer, and his deputy Rob Chapman, will have expanded roles, serving on a new committee of State Cabinet.
Opposition Leader Steven Marshall says he would like to see tax reform tackled as a priority and Mr Spencer also is backing the need for a tax debate in the wake of billions of dollars of federal budget cuts.
“Clearly that has just become an obvious need. I want to reserve for the work of our board the thinking through of that,” he said.
“I think any discussion of the GST is part of an overall discussion of tax reform.”
Mr Marshall is not in agreement when it comes to changing the GST.
“We don’t support any changes to that arrangement whatsoever,” he said.
Nor is Mr Weatherill: “Really right at the moment I’m focused on resisting these cuts.”
The Economic Development Board’s discussions and its advice to government are confidential.