Businesses favour tax switch

ALMOST 70 per cent of surveyed Launceston Chamber of Commerce members are in favour of increasing national taxes, such as the GST and income taxes, to fund a reduction or removal of some of, or all off, the state taxes.

The Launceston Chamber of Commerce surveyed its members about increasing Commonwealth government taxes early this year and 68 per cent of respondents were in favour, while 25 per cent weren't and 7 per cent were unsure.

Almost 60 per cent of those in favour wanted to see an increase in the GST rate; for example, from the current 10 per cent to 12.5 per cent.

More than 50 per cent wanted to see the removal of  GST exemptions on items such as food, health and education

The most popular state tax to abolish or reduce was the payroll tax, followed by land tax.

Launceston Chamber of Commerce chief executive Maree Tetlow said those who didn't want to see an increase of Commonwealth taxes  mainly had  a lack of trust that the decreases at a state level would occur. 

``We have had feedback that the GST was originally implemented on the basis it was to abolish many of the state taxes, and that is what our members would like to see happen,'' Ms Tetlow said.

``There was also feedback that there is a perception that governments are not prudent with taxpayers' money, and if there was more careful spending of government funds they could deliver increased productivity and employment.''

All 227 members of the Launceston Chamber of Commerce were sent the survey and 95 responded.

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