Is GST set to increase to 15%?

Unfortunately, an increase in our goods and services taxes could be on the cards, if we’re to believe a recent press conference from Tony Abbott and NSW premier Mike Baird.

I have to say, I’m surprised at how little coverage this story has attracted.

When your Prime Minister suggests that hiking up the national GST rate to 15% could be on the cards, you’d expect a little media interest.


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Perhaps everyone is too busy reporting on Bronwyn Bishop’s latest spending spree? I don’t know.

What I do know is that Tony promised he wouldn’t touch the GST in his election campaign.

Back in 2013, he told AM radio personality Neil Mitchell, “We’re not going to cut health spending, we’re not going to cut education spending. We’re not going to reduce pensions, we’re not going to change the GST. All of the scares that Kevin Rudd has been hyperventilating over, over the last few weeks, is simple nonsense.”

Indeed.

As it turns out, Federal Government health spending has dropped to a record low. The Coalition opted in its 2014 budget to cut $80bn from projected health and education funding by 2024-25, and there was that move to deregulate university fees, which would have made tertiary education out of reach for thousands of ordinary Australians.

Plus, pensions did get a substantial overhaul.

Three out of four promises were broken – so we can’t honestly be surprised that he’s changed his mind on the GST as well, can we?

He’s back-flipped on so many election pledges – including his key policy to boost paid parental leave – that it’s easier to count the ones he’s kept. Not only did he shaft working parents by shelving that idea, but he also went one further by stripping entitlements from those who are lucky enough to have parental leave entitlements in their employment contracts.

Now, an increase to the GST is being flouted, as we apparently need to “do what’s necessary to make our country strong, not just for today but for tomorrow and for next year and the next decade.”

I’m not much of a gambler. But if I were prone to betting, I’d be placing my money in favour of a GST hike under Tony Abbott. And I’d be sincerely hoping to lose.

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