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Filter by January, 2015

Who exempts what from consumption taxes?

At the time the Goods and Services Tax was introduced, health, education and financial services and some food items (mainly fresh food), amongst other areas, were exempted from its reach.  Recently, several Coalition members and senators, as well as some economists, have called for the GST to be extended to some of these areas.   Read more...

Would Broadening the GST Necessarily be Regressive?

In his recent Sir Henry Parkes Commemorative Dinner speech the Prime Minister called for a review of Commonwealth/State financial relations in the context of either raising the States’ revenue base or passing some of their responsibilities to the Commonwealth.  Changing the Goods and Services Tax (GST) is one of the options being considered by a Commonwealth/State officials group considering this matter. A number of Coalition members and senators are taking public stances in support of changing current GST arrangements.  Read more...

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Developments in refugee law and policy: 2014 in review

On a global level, 2014 may well be remembered as the year the number of refugees, asylum-seekers and internally displaced people exceeded 50 million people for the first time in the post-World War II era. However, in Australia 2014 will most likely be remembered as the year the boats stopped. That is not to say that boats carrying asylum seekers stopped attempting to reach Australia—rather, there were considerably fewer attempts made and those that did, were all (except one) redirected elsewhere. The Government’s contentious decision in June to return a boat carrying 157 Sri Lankan asylum seekers to India resulted in a High Court challenge (yet to be finalised), significant amen... Read more...

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