Working paper

In 1995, John Howard, the newly elected leader of the Opposition, reflecting on the Coalition’s loss of the 1993 federal election on the back of the Labor government’s goods and services tax (GST) scare campaign, said ‘never ever’ for a GST. However, a year later, when the Coalition was in government, the case for reform was compelling, with Australia’s indirect tax regime at both the Commonwealth and state levels in poor shape. Tax reform would once again feature in the early years of a long-term government. This paper starts with a discussion of the early 1990s battle of the plans between John Hewson’s Fightback! and Paul Keating’s One Nation but then focuses on the Howard–Costello government’s tax reform plan, in particular 1998’s A New Tax System (ANTS), with its centrepiece GST, and the related Ralph Review of Business Taxation.

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TTPI Working Paper 14/2021