Australia’s greatest ever sales pitch? Robert Simeon

Australia’s greatest ever sales pitch? Robert Simeon
Australia’s greatest ever sales pitch? Robert Simeon

Get ready Australia. The Prime Minister announced this week his road map for tax reforms that he proposes to take to the next election.

No need to guess what the centrepiece will be – look no further than a 5% increase to the GST. This will be very hard to achieve given when the GST was introduced in 2000 the states and territories immediately reneged on their agreement to abolish duty taxes, so we can rightly expect that they will never renege again.

The problem facing Malcolm Turnbull is that the states and territories want more money and the federal government can’t fund this through their tax receipts. For years I have argued that (in the case of NSW for example) the state government is the biggest dead weight on the NSW economy.

Stamp duties, insurance duties, pay roll tax... the list goes on. For well over the past decade we have read tax paper after tax paper recommending the removal of these taxes although (until now) this has been ignored by federal politicians.

A report released this week by the National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling identified that the current 10% GST consumes 13.4% of disposable income for those in the bottom fifth of households, so a further rise in the GST would see this figure jump to 20%. Households in the top 20% would experience a much softer impact where this currently sits at 5.9% and after an increase the new figure would come in at around 8.8%.

For obvious reasons this analysis is going to make the sales pitch for an increase in GST all the much harder when Australians go to the polls around this time next year. Banking economist Saul Eslake announced this week that “Australia’s home ownership rate is actually the lowest it’s been since 1954.” So to fix this, negative gearing will come under much greater scrutiny as established home prices continue to rise. Let’s face it – Australia’s entire tax system is a mess, broken and in urgent need of major surgery.

The Turnbull government will need to also look at the benefits of allowing 100% of new developments to be sold off shore – up until December 2008, the previous restriction was 50%. Two of the big ticket items in the “rivers of gold” are Stamp Duty on residential housing and payroll tax – where we are now seeing clear evidence of what impact these duty/taxes are having on the economy.

If you look at the Mosman house market in 2011/12/13 there were on a weekly basis 75 occasions where there were more than 100 houses on the market. In 2014 the 100 barrier was broken on 14 occasions and in 2015 the market is yet to break 100 where we can all but guarantee Mosman will not break 100 in 2015.

NSW is currently drowning in wage stagnation which highlights why voters will be hard pressed to approve a 5 per cent increase to the GST. Pay roll tax for decades has been referred to as the most insidious tax – so by abolishing pay roll tax employers can then pay their respective staff more which then improves wage stagnation.

No doubt there will be many other opinions as to what is required to finally correct Australia’s taxing imbalances. We can rest assured that over the next twelve months we will be thrown many fascinating and troublesome alternatives for deliberation.

The Turnbull government should also be looking at the overall effect of simply removing the middle – tier of government given the duplication of departments that exist in both state and territories and Canberra. Maybe the time has arrived to simply remove the state and territory governments and thus broaden the responsibilities of the local governments.

Maybe the NSW government has identified that it’s vulnerable so it is moving quickly to amalgamate the councils and then alleviate any such scrutiny?

Whatever happens the next twelve months will unveil debates that we Australians have never before witnessed given the magnitude of this long overdue assignment.

Australia’s Prime Minister is more than capable of handling the task ahead – the people aren’t the problem it’s the politicians who have created this. The time has arrived to set an example once and for all – Australia’s road map for tax reforms has finally been given a new engine and a set of wheels.

Just don’t crash it PM.

MOSMAN – 2088

• Number of houses on the market this time last year – 105

• Number of houses on the market last week – 64

• Number of houses on the market this week – 75

• Number of apartments on the market this time last year – 76

• Number of apartments on the market last week – 63

• Number of apartments on the market this week – 60

CREMORNE – 2090

• Number of houses on the market this time last year – 17

• Number of houses on the market last week – 14

• Number of houses on the market this week – 12

• Number of apartments on the market this time last year – 41

• Number of apartments on the market last week – 16

• Number of apartments on the market this week – 17

NEUTRAL BAY – 2089

• Number of houses on the market this time last year – 10

• Number of houses on the market last week – 8

•Number of houses on the market this week – 6

• Number of apartments on the market this time last year– 42

• Number of apartments on the market last week – 31

*Number of apartments on the market this week – 30

 ROBERT SIMEON is a director of Richardson Wrench Mosman and Neutral Bay and has been selling residential real estate in Sydney since 1985. 
He has also been writing real estate blog 
Virtual Realty News since 2000. 

Robert Simeon

Robert Simeon

Robert Simeon is a director of Richardson Wrench Mosman and Neutral Bay and has been selling residential real estate in Sydney since 1985. He has also been writing real estate blog Virtual Realty News since 2000.

Tags: 
Stamp Duty Tax Reform

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