De­layed tax sum­mit comes un­der fire

Townsville Bulletin - - National Snapshot -

THE Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment is again fend­ing off ac­cu­sa­tions of bro­ken prom­ises af­ter de­lay­ing a pro­posed tax sum­mit un­til Oc­to­ber.

The broad-rang­ing tax fo­rum was meant to have taken place be­fore June 30 un­der the agree­ment made with cross bench MPs Tony Wind­sor and Rob Oakeshott last year.

But Trea­surer Wayne Swan yes­ter­day opened his new Twit­ter ac­count ( un­der the name of ‘ ‘ Swan­nyDPM’’) with a bang, an­nounc­ing that the fo­rum will be held on Oc­to­ber 4 and 5.

It im­me­di­ately prompted claims from the Op­po­si­tion that the Gov­ern­ment is try­ing to shield its con­tro­ver­sial min­ing and car­bon taxes from scrutiny.

Mr Swan de­fended the three-month de­lay and blamed what has been a busy year.

‘‘ It is ba­si­cally to give peo­ple the time to get or­gan­ised,’’ he said.

‘‘ If I was walk­ing out here and say­ing to­day that we were hold­ing it by the end of June, peo­ple would be scream­ing and yelling and s ay­ing t hey didn’t have enough time.’’

Nat­u­ral dis­as­ters have also taken their toll, he said.

‘‘ You’d all un­der­stand the way this year has evolved, par­tic­u­larly with nat­u­ral dis­as­ters and the rest of it, and other is­sues the gov­ern­ment has been pro­gress­ing, peo­ple would like a bit more time,’’ Mr Swan said.

The Trea­surer added that the de­ci­sion had been made with the agree­ment of Mr Wind­sor and Mr Oakeshott.

Op­po­si­tion trea­sury spokesman Joe Hockey ac­cused the Gov­ern­ment of de­lib­er­ately de­lay­ing the sum­mit to al­low its car­bon and min­ing t axes t o be passed by par­lia­ment.

‘‘( The gov­ern­ment is) not in­ter­ested in open de­bates,’’ Mr Hockey said.

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