Min­is­ter an­noyed as ATO con­sults

Big Rigs - - NEWS -

THE Min­is­ter for Fi­nan­cial Ser­vices Kelly O’Dwyer has ex­pressed her dis­plea­sure and dis­tance from the on­go­ing saga be­tween the Aus­tralian Tax Of­fice and the truck­ing in­dus­try, over a con­tro­ver­sial al­lowance de­ci­sion.

“This is not a de­ci­sion of the Aus­tralian Gov­ern­ment. It is a de­ci­sion of the ATO,” a spokesman for the Min­is­ter said.

“The Min­is­ter was dis­ap­pointed to about this sit­u­a­tion.

“How­ever, the Min­is­ter is pleased the ATO have lis­tened to stake­hold­ers and are cur­rently ar­rang­ing meet­ings with rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the truck driv­ing in­dus­try to dis­cuss this mat­ter fur­ther.”

The first for­mal dis­cus­sions with the tax of­fice on the mat­ter took place mid-Au­gust,with in­dus­try as­so­ci­a­tions pre­sent­ing as a united front to call for a re­ver­sal of the travel ex­pense de­ter­mi­na­tion.

NatRoad, the ATA, ARTIO, a num­ber of state-based em­ployer as­so­ci­a­tions and the TWU were among those present.

NatRoad has de­scribed the meet­ing as “a ro­bust ex­change of views for close to two hours”.

A QTA news­let­ter on the mat­ter had sim­i­larly de­tailed the meet­ing, ac­knowl­edg­ing it was seen as a “fair hear­ing” by those that at­tended.

The ATO told par­tic­i­pants it would be able to pro­vide an up­date on Mon­day, Au­gust 21.

The gov­ern­ment department first came un­der fire in July, due to its lack of con­sul­ta­tion on its de­ci­sion to slash the amount a truck driver can claim as a rea­son­able travel ex­pense by 43%.

Pre­vi­ously driv­ers could claim up to $97.40 with­out re­ceipts for food and drink each night they were away.

As of July 1, the price was re­duced to $55.30.

Iron­i­cally, the meet­ing to re­verse the de­ci­sion took place the same week the travel al­lowance for Fed­eral MPs rose from $276 a night to $285 a night when they stay in Can­berra to at­tend par­lia­ment, only a month af­ter they re­ceived a 2% pay rise.

ALDI’S TURN: The TWU protests out the front of Adelaide Aldi, a sim­i­lar scene took place in Perth ear­lier this year.

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