'Living up here is not easy': Scrapping of remote-area tax concessions ruled out
A proposal to abolish tax concessions for people living in remote areas has been shelved.The Federal Government has swiftly rejected recommendations from the Productivity Commission to axe the special tax concession for people living in remote parts of Australia. Key points: The Productivity Commission has recommended abolishing the Zone Tax Offset — a payment of approximately $300 a year to compensate for the higher cost of living in remote areas The commission argued it was"poorly targeted" and that it should be limited to only"very remote areas" The Federal Government immediately dismissed the recommendation A released this week said the concessions were outdated, inequitable and poorly-designed. But Assistant Treasurer Michael Sukkar quickly ruled out any changes and moved to calm fears. "Were they to be implemented, the Productivity Commission's recommendations would result in significant disruption to existing arrangements," Minister Sukkar said in a statement. "Given the challenges faced by regional Australia, including as a result of the impacts of the recent drought, bushfires and now Coronavirus, the Government will not be acting on the Productivity Commission's recommendations. "The most important thing we can do at this time is continue to provide certainty and confidence to those living in regional areas that the Government remains fully committed to supporting the growth of our regions and their continued success into the future." The report looked at the effects of the zone tax offset, remote area allowance and remote area concessions for fringe benefits tax on people and businesses in remote areas. It recommended abolishing the Zone Tax Offset (ZTO), a benefit of around $300 a year to help compensate for the higher cost of living in remote areas. The move would save the Federal Government about $150 million a year. The commission argued that the concession was"poorly targeted" with almost half the claimants living in large cities such as Townsville, Cairns, Darwin and Mackay. If it were to be kept, it recommended limiting it to only"very remote areas". It also wanted the government to review the Regional Area Allowance, a supplementary payment for income support recipients. But it was the proposed changes to Fringe Benefits Tax remote area concessions which generated the most angst in remote areas like the Pilbara in Western Australia. The Commission said the government was forgoing up to $390 million in tax revenue a year because employer-provided housing was exempt from Fringe Benefits Tax, and this should be reduced to only a 50 per cent concession. Read more: ABC News
Why you are feeling the pinch: Cost of living soarsHealthcare and education, insurance and childcare. These are just some of the mandatory cost-of-living expenses that have rocketed way above our wage and salary growth over the past two decades Well, what do you expect from an incompetent government? They haven’t a clue about good policy. They frame policy to reward vested interests. Time to ban all donations from all organisations , limit individual donations, timely disclosure. We are a third world country now with relentless population growth. Our youth are illiterate. We have replaced manufacturing with tourism, hospitality and other low productivity servile pseudo-industries. Do the maths. when you have a series of governments whose sole mandate is to be re elected so they can keep their snouts in the trough, short term outlook, the libs are all about themselves and the top 1%,you sell off everything you can and put that money into the private (1/4)
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