Goods and Services Tax (Australia)

Goods And Services Tax (Australia)

Goods and Services Tax (Australia)

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The GST (Goods and Services Tax) is a broad sales tax of 10% on most goods and services transactions in Australia. It is a value added tax, not a sales tax, in that it is refunded to all parties in the chain of production other than the final consumer.

It was introduced by the Howard Government on 1 July 2000, replacing the previous Federal wholesale sales tax system and designed to phase out a number of various State and Territory Government taxes, duties and levies such as banking taxes and stamp duty.

Introduction of the GST

1980s

The idea for a broad-based consumption tax was first proposed by then federal treasurer Paul Keating at the 1985 Tax Summit but was dropped at the behest of then Labor Prime Minister Bob Hawke after pressure from the ACTU, welfare groups and business, which did not like its association with proposals for capital gains and fringe benefits taxes.

1990s

The idea was refloated in 1991 by the opposition Liberal-National Coalition, and was the centrepiece of the opposition's "Fightback!" platform at the 1993 election, when Keating was Prime Minister. The opposition had difficulty explaining the policy, as illustrated in leader Dr John Hewson's Birthday Cake Interview, and Keating's campaign exploited public distrust of the GST. The GST was to varying degrees considered a factor in the opposition's surprise election loss of the 'unloseable election' in 1993. In 1994 The Liberals decided to discard the remnants of Fightback and Alexander......
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