Increased investment in offshore regions such as Asia by Australians could pose a high risk for Australian businesses and Australian jobs, Treasurer Joe Hockey has warned practitioners.
At a Sydney event hosted jointly by the Tax Institute and Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, Mr Hockey said that as Australia increasingly becomes integrated into the Asia-Pacific region, more and more Australians will have the opportunity to participate in the wider Asian economy.
“This could not only result in Australians physically moving offshore, but making investments in assets and capital moving from Australia to our Asian competitors, while they remain in Australia.
“This scenario poses a high risk not just for tax revenue, but for Australian business profits and Australian jobs.”
Mr Hockey also spoke about the need to lower income taxes over time and criticised proposals by Labor for tax reform in areas such as superannuation.
“What is clear is that only a government that is serious about budget repair can deliver lower taxes over time,” said Mr Hockey.
“A government that cannot contain expenditure inevitably falls into the trap of searching for new sources of revenue – as our political opponents are now with new taxes on superannuation, electricity and jobs.”
This, he said, “hurts growth, which reduces tax revenue – creating a vicious cycle”.
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