Doug Shave

Doug Shave

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Hendy Cowan

Hendy Cowan

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    Unveiling of legislation paving way for implementation of GST package in WA

    23/09/1999 12:35 PM
     
    23/9/99
      The State Government has today unveiled legislation paving the way for the implementation of the Federal Government’s Goods and Services Tax (GST) reform package in Western Australia.

      Acting Premier Hendy Cowan and Fair Trading Minister Doug Shave introduced to Parliament four separate bills which abolish financial institutions duty and stamp duty on listed shares and ensure there are laws in place to prevent profiteering from the introduction of a Federal GST in July.

      Mr Cowan said the legislative changes reflected the Intergovernmental Agreement on the Reform of Commonwealth-State Financial Relations signed by Commonwealth, State and Territory leaders in June and were part of extensive preparations being made to allow the smooth transition to a new tax system in WA from July next year.

      “This is an important step forward in the implementation of the Commonwealth’s GST package which will significantly benefit Western Australia in the long term,” the Acting Premier said.

      “Western Australians will also personally benefit from the Commonwealth’s package which includes $12 billion in personal income tax cuts, pension and social security changes and other compensation for those affected by price increases.

      “The GST and removal of State taxes will reduce costs for businesses in WA. The GST-free treatment of exports is a further significant bonus to our export-oriented State.”

      Mr Cowan said the abolition of financial institutions duty and stamp duty on the transfer of listed shares from July 1, 2001 would represent a combined saving to taxpayers of around $160 million a year.

      The legislation introduced by the State Government also outlined a number of other changes, including:
        • the abolition of State diesel subsidies from July 1, 2000, as they will be largely replaced by new Commonwealth arrangements, involving lower fuel excise, an expanded Commonwealth diesel fuel rebate scheme, and GST input credits on fuel for business users;
        • clarifies the situation in relation to stamp duties which will continue to be levied on prices that are inclusive of indirect taxes, and specifies that State payroll tax will not be levied on GST paid on labour costs;
        • ensures that the GST is fully applied in the public sector; and -
        • the implementation of price monitoring.

      Fair Trading Minister Doug Shave said the price monitoring legislation included important safeguards for consumers in WA.

      “The legislation ensures that the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has full powers in WA to protect consumers from price exploitation during the implementation of tax reform,” Mr Shave said.

      “This will mean that consumers receive the full savings from the Commonwealth’s sales tax reductions and that prices will be kept in check during the introduction of the GST.

      “The Ministry for Fair Trading in WA will be working with the ACCC to ensure consumers in this State get the best deal.”

      Media contacts: Bronwyn Hillman - Premier’s office - 9222 9475
      John Clune - Minister Shave’s office - 9213 6500