Senator FIFIELD (Victoria) (Deputy Manager of Opposition Business in the Senate) (1:37 PM) -I rise to speak on the Tax Laws Amendment (2010 GST Administration Measures No. 1) Bill 2010. The coalition will be supporting this bill, which seeks to implement some of the recommendations made by the Board of Taxation in its recent review of GST administration. This bill deals with two schedules. The first is to implement recommendation 6 of the board’s report to entitle taxpayers to a decreasing adjustment for third party payments. The second deals with rules that attribute input tax credits to specific periods.
Specifically, the first schedule seeks to ensure the correct amount of GST is paid to the Australian tax office by taxpayers who provide third party payments to end customers by taking into account the third party payments. In other words, where an entity makes a payment to a third party consumer, both entities will be able to apply adjustments to reflect the actual amount received and paid. The second schedule implements recommendation 10 of the board’s report. Specifically, it seeks to clarify the law regarding the attribution of input tax credits for tax purposes.
As I indicated when Senator Forshaw was in the chair, while we all respect the fact that this period in the diary of the Senate is an opportunity to facilitate the passage of non-controversial legislation speedily and without controversy, it is also a time to take a look at legislation in a historical perspective. I thank Senator Stephens for taking part in that endeavour in the debate on the previous piece of legislation. But, I must respond to Senator Stephens saying that the former member for Bennelong once said ‘never, ever’ in relation to introducing a GST. He did, however, take that to an election, which he subsequently won. That is very different indeed from the Labor Party having said that they would roll back the GST only to get into government and fail to do that-I know the member for Griffith is, on occasion, a disappointment to those opposite.
But in closing: I was watching Q and A the other night and Mr Burke was on-Mr Burke who hails from Senator Stephens’s home state, of which he is a former party president. I must say, I think he is a bit of a dark horse in terms of future leadership prospects for a Labor government. I know everyone talks of Julia Gillard, but I think Mr Burke could be coming up behind.
Senator Brandis -The ghost of the DLP lives on, on both sides.
Senator FIFIELD -Indeed. He was quite impressive. I acknowledge I am digressing. I indicate that the opposition will be supporting this bill.