FEDS IN HIDING ON PROPOSED CUTS TO REMOTE TAX REBATES

The Morrison Government is in hiding over major Productivity Commission recommendations to cut tax rebates for Australians in remote areas.

Last week, the Productivity Commission released its Remote Area Tax Concessions and Payments Draft Report. The report recommends major changes that would see people living in Northern Australia and other remote communities paying more in taxes.

It has been over five days since these major changes were flagged, yet we have heard nothing from the relevant Melbourne-based Ministers, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and Assistant Treasurer Michael Sukkar.

The only Minister to make comment is Northern Australia Minister and former Productivity Commission economist, Matt Canavan, who has also questioned the merits of the current tax rebates.

In the 2016-17 financial year, around 480,000 Australians benefitted from the Zone Tax Offset, with the majority of claimants living in Queensland and the Northern Territory.

Labor understands that Australians living in regional and remote communities face very real additional costs and hardships.

The Morrison Government’s silence on this issue comes on top of other failures in Northern Australia, best seen in the NAIF, better known as the No Actual Infrastructure Fund.

It’s time the Morrison Government came out of hiding and let regional and remote Australians know where they stand.