The majority of Australians would embrace a rise in GST if it meant that stamp duty would be abolished, a new survey reveals.
A comprehensive report from Newgate Research titled Community attitudes towards tax reform
, commissioned by the Property Council of Australia, found that nine out of ten Australians surveyed supported tax reform which made the system simpler and fairer.
Of most concern, according to the survey, was tax reform to support housing affordability. Eighty-six per cent of those surveyed claimed they were concerned about housing affordability to some degree. Nearly two thirds (63%) were either “extremely concerned” or “very concerned” about it, and even more (70%) believe it is “extremely” or “very important” for the government to take action on this issue.
Three-quarters of Australians also agree that it is stamp duty that is driving up house prices and making it unaffordable for young people to own their own home. Interestingly, over two thirds (70%) of people supported the abolition of stamp duty with the concept of reforming the GST to pay for stamp duty abolition also receiving strong support.
Almost half (47%) of Australians support abolishing stamp duty in exchange for removing current GST exemptions, while 46% support abolishing stamp duty in exchange for keeping GST exemptions in place and increasing the GST to 12.5%.
Property Council of Australia chief executive Ken Morrison says the research shows changes to the GST need to be taken out of the “too-hard basket”.
“Broadening or increasing the rate of GST has long been considered political poison, but that no longer reflects the attitude of the community,” he said.
“Our research shows that Australians would support an increase in the rate of GST in return for doing away with other unfair, punitive taxes like stamp duty.
“Governments know stamp duty distorts the economy, hurts housing affordability and is a rollercoaster source of revenue.
“National tax reform needs to replace our most distortionary taxes with more efficient revenue sources.”