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EDITORIAL: GST is everyone’s business

GST - Goods and Services Tax - is one of those things that can turn a conversation feisty.

Thanks to the politicking and the mis-matched policy debate which we remember from when the original GST was brought in, there is a lot to talk about.

Related story: Increase to GST could be taxing to everyday people

The price of a cake, the rate at which a box of tampons is taxed, GST rebates, business software - there was already enough conjecture around it ... but add the potential for a 5% increase and kaboom!

The cost to business - especially small to medium-sized enterprises which have plenty of their own challenges in this region already - has the potential to be considerable. Yet, on the flipside of the debate is the economic reality: a GST, while it could initially slow spending and create an administrative nightmare, it could also have a longer-term stabilising effect on the economy as a whole.

We will see the usual rhetoric, arguments and political chestnuts dragged out and dusted off - in fact, we already have, with the famous Paul Keating versus John Hewson parliamentary stoushes being dragged out of the news archives and replayed across all platforms of media this past week.

We are also likely to see a double-dissolution Federal election scheduled.

But what we need to see are the alternatives. Not necessarily to quash the idea. But to prove this is, in fact, our best option - not just the only option.


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