The Launceston Chamber of Commerce surveyed its members and 68% of those that responded to the survey were in favour of the Commonwealth Government increasing national taxes such as GST and income taxes to fund a reduction or removal of some or all of the State taxes.

A total of 25% didn’t support the increases in Commonwealth taxes and 7% weren’t sure. This is a similar result to the same question asked in 2010 when 69% responded in favour. In the most recent survey, those in favour of increases in Commonwealth taxes 59% wanted to see an increase in the GST rate for example from the current 10% to 12.5%. 52% of respondents wanted to see the removal of current GST exemptions on items such as food, health and education.

Some members indicated they would support either option (thus the response over 100%). In regard to the most popular State taxes to abolish or reduce - Payroll Tax was the most popular followed by Land Tax. The Executive Officer of the Launceston Chamber of Commerce, Maree Tetlow advised that “of those that didn’t want to see an increase of Commonwealth taxes, the specific comments were around lack of trust that the decreases would occur at the State level if promised. We have had feedback that the GST was originally implemented on the basis it was to abolish many of the State taxes and that is what our members would like to see happen.”

”There was also feedback that there is a perception that governments are not prudent with taxpayers money, and if there was more careful spending of government funds they could deliver increased productivity and employment. ” she said. Note: The survey was constructed so that only one response per member was permitted. Each member was asked to reflect the position of their organisation. A total of 95 members responded to the survey and included a cross section of industries and business sizes.