The Prime Minister has indicated that his upcoming meeting with premiers and chief ministers will be centred on changes to the tax system and federation reforms, which he briefly flagged in Tuesday’s National Press Club speech.
Speaking to the Seven Network on Wednesday morning, PM Scott Morrison said that “everything is back on the table” as a result of the “changed economy”.
“The national cabinet is meeting on Friday again this week and we have already started talking about some of the federation reforms that are potentially possible and we’re working together on those,” the PM said.
He indicated that early tax reform discussion will explore ways to better the tax system so it underpins investment and job growth.
“There is a budget in October, there is time to work through a range of issues, and we are putting everything back on the table here and looking at it from previous reviews, because you have got to look at it with fresh eyes in this new context we’re in and this new economy, which is under incredible pressure,” the PM noted.
Confirming that the crisis is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make structural changes across the board, Mr Morrison said that the time has come to take federation and tax reform out of the “too-hard basket”.
“If we’re going to come out of this stronger, which I believe we can, then these are the things that many have put in the too-hard basket for a long time,” he said.
“We have to take this opportunity where people can focus actually on the bigger picture, on the national interest and not just on their own specific interest, and be able to put those things aside, and agree to some things to really get the country moving again, because we need to do it. If we don’t do it, then we won’t see those jobs come.”
Mr Morrison also noted that another “critical part of the economy” is easing access to finance for small businesses.
Acknowledging the sheer size of the JobMaker agenda, the PM reiterated that the “opportunity” must be taken.
“It is a broad agenda, we have got to take the opportunity of this time because, otherwise, people are going to find this hardship go on for longer than it needs to, and we have got to stop people from losing jobs and we have got to get people back into them.”