Last chance for States to 'step up'
THE good news for Policy & Resources? Some islanders – even some of their political colleagues – are increasingly coming around to a goods and services tax. The bad news? Those who are ‘weakening’ are not doing so just yet.
Acceptance of the financial position of the States is equally growing, but equally the P&R maths, and language, are not wholly agreed. In fact, those who have done their research are now concerned that P&R has failed to properly do its homework.
Notably, the deputies behind the self-branded ‘Fairer Alternative’ bemoan government’s failure to ‘step up to the plate’ and demonstrate the opportunities, and indeed a will, to reduce public sector spending.
There is no doubt that the 18 months wasted between the publication of the first Tax Review report, with its thin menu of GST alongside a clearly-flagged ‘uncompetitive’ income tax hike, would have been better spent looking at the kind of government overhaul now being suggested, instead of engineering a workable solution for GST.
The ‘Fairer Alternative’ proposal concludes: ‘Whether or not GST is inevitable, it is not necessary now and should not be introduced before the community is satisfied that government is getting its house in order or that the burden of taxation is considered fair.’
That is one position in the debate that many will feel they can get behind.