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Australia Launches Pre-Budget Consultations

Australia's 2016-17 Budget "will continue the Government's commitment to restrain expenditure responsibly, while supporting economic growth to lift revenue," Alex Hawke, the Assistant Minister to the Treasurer, has said.

Hawke launched the Government's pre-Budget consultation, which will run until February 5, 2016. He said the Government "places considerable importance on receiving community views in developing its budget strategy and policies."

Hawke said of the Government's plans: "We are continuing to roll out our national plan for growth and jobs that is backing Australians by opening up trade, boosting innovation, building new infrastructure, modernizing the way we deliver products and services, working to deliver a more growth friendly tax system, and strengthening the economy."

Earlier this month, Australia's federal, state, and territory governments met to discuss options for tax reform. Federal Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said that governments would continue to investigate a full range of tax and revenue-sharing options, and that the states had agreed that their taxes and tax bases "will be part of the discussion."

The Council of Australian Governments is next due to meet in March 2016. When asked at a press conference whether the federal Government would put its own preferred tax plan to the meeting, Turnbull said that "March is not very long before the federal Budget so whatever plans we take to the Budget you would imagine would be highly, would be well advanced by March."

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