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With the recent public release of the Australian Government’s Tax Discussion Paper, the issue of tax reform has once again become a hot topic.

And so it should. Taxation impacts all Australians – whether directly via the hip pocket through income tax, the GST and other such levies, or indirectly through its impact on levels of government revenue (and thus governments’ willingness to fund social services) or broader economic flow-down effects, including jobs growth, the cost of goods and services and the cost of housing.

NCOSS is planning to participate and fully engage in the “open and constructive conversation” that the Australian Government has promised on the Paper. While Australian Government taxation reform might not ordinarily be something which NCOSS – as a state-based organisation – would actively or directly participate in, the Paper considers a number of issues which are of immense ongoing interest to the NSW sector. In particular, NCOSS intends to focus on:

  • Commonwealth-State financial relations and Vertical Fiscal Imbalance (VFI) – the seemingly perennial problem of state governments having large funding responsibilities (particularly in relation to essential social services such as public hospitals, schools and family and community services), but limited ability to raise revenue; and
  • Housing affordability – particularly the distorting effects that Capital Gains Tax (CGT) concessions (i.e., negative gearing) and stamp duty have on housing supply, which in turn inflates prices in both the purchasing and rental markets, thereby generating greater demand for state-based social housing services.

If you would like to make any suggestions regarding the NCOSS approach on this issue, please feel free to email Senior Policy and Advocacy Officer Mike Bailey at