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Government speaks on GST plans

After a flurry of speculation about changes to the GST being on the horizon, senior members of the Liberal party have laid out the government's plans. 

According to Finance Minister Mathias Cormann, the government is not currently considering changes to the GST base.

This follows national reports by Nine which said the ATO was prompting the government to reconsider its GST treatment of certain food items.

“If we had such a plan we would have taken it to the Australian people before the election,” Senator Cormann said at a media gathering.

The ATO said the report was based off an internal working brief that never got progressed to Treasury or the government.

“The ATO’s role is to administer the tax and super systems, and not to advise on policy. In this case an internal working brief was initiated within the ATO to consider options for an alternative way to identify foods that are exempt from GST,” said an ATO spokesperson.

“The ATO routinely prepares a range of internal working briefs to consider administrative options, many of which do not progress to Treasury or to government.”

The GST, currently set at 10 per cent, is a broad-base tax on most goods and services sold or consumed in Australia.

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