An Australian Coalition government may need to retain fiscal measures that it does not like, Liberal leader Tony Abbott has admitted.
Abbott was quizzed on his stance on the recent tobacco excise hike at a press conference this week. An audience member, pointing to newspaper reports that a Coalition government would to go ahead with Labor's plans for a phased rise of 12.5 percent, asked Abbott if he could confirm the allegations.
Abbott responded by saying that the Coalition would indeed make its position on the initiative "absolutely crystal clear." He said that with the "budgetary position haemorrhaging to the tune of AUD3bn (USD2.7bn) a week," the Coalition would "be very reluctant to reject measures, even measures such as this which we don't like.
"Fielding questions on his broader tax policy, Abbott claimed that his pledge to reduce the company tax rate from 30 percent to 28.5 percent "is unambiguously good news," and that abolishing the carbon and mining taxes would "do a lot of very good things for the people and the economy of Western Australia." He also denied that plans for a review of the federal tax system would result in increases to the goods and services tax (GST) rate. Labor has made much of the accusation that a lower company tax rate could only be funded through a higher GST. To this, Abbot said: "the GST is not going to change, full stop, end of story."
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