CONDUCT OF THE INQUIRY
On 25 November 1998, the Senate referred issues relating to the GST and
proposed new tax system to this Select Committee and three References Committees:
the Community Affairs References Committee; Employment, Workplace Relations, Small
Business and Education References Committee; and the Environment, Communications,
Information Technology and the Arts References Committee.
The Select Committee
was instructed to undertake its inquiries in two stages. The initial stage of
the inquiry has focused on a preliminary analysis of the economic modelling and
projections underpinning the Howard Government's tax reform package outlined in
the document Tax Reform: not a new tax, a new tax system.
stage of the inquiry will examine the broader economic effects of the Government's
taxation reform package with regard to the fairness of the tax system; the living
standards of Australian households, especially those on low incomes; the efficiency
of the economy; and future public revenues. This stage of the inquiry will draw
on the findings of the three related inquiries conducted by the Community Affairs
References Committee; Employment, Workplace Relations, Small Business and Education
References Committee; and the Environment, Communications, Information Technology
and the Arts References Committee. The three References Committee inquiries are
due to be completed by 31 March 1999, after which the final Select Committee report
will be presented by 19 April 1999.
The terms of reference for the Committee's
inquiry were advertised in the national press in December 1998 and submissions
called for by the end of January 1999. The Committee is continuing to accept submissions,
and to date has received over 1300.
To date, the Select Committee has conducted
nine public hearings, and intends to conduct a further twelve hearings over the
next month. A substantial number of public hearings also are being conducted by
the three References Committees as part of their separate inquiries. Details of
the Select Committee hearings appear in appendices II and III.