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Government should start again

“Mission accomplished” was what John Howard said in reference to his tax reform and the impending GST at the recent Liberal party state conference.

This, however, is not the view of one senior business leader who believes the government has failed in its implementation of key reforms, including tax reform.

The Australian Institute of Company Directors chief executive officer, Ian Dunlop, in the Institutes’ Company Director magazine wrote: “Tax reform is essential, but the last-minute compromise with the Democrats makes a mockery of the extended consultative process on tax which has been in train for the last two years.

“The new system promises to be a shambles which will take years to resolve. While the Federal government is to be commended for persevering in almost untenable circumstances, in reality a major opportunity has been lost.

“It might have been better to abandon the current agreements and start again,” Mr Dunlop writes.

Mr Dunlop believes the political parties should work together on issues of fundamental importance such as tax reform, which will have an impact for years to come.

“We can no longer afford second-best or lowest common denominator solutions as these are the reforms on which our future prosperity will be based.

“Instead of politicians automatically dismissing every proposal their opponents put forward, it would be refreshing to see a preparedness to agree on common points.

“We need statesmen and woman who recognise that genuine vision and maturity will be essential for prosperity in the 21st century.

“The current government structure may not be appropriate if we are to remain competitive, Mr Dunlop believes.

“The time has come for a major review of our political process and structures which goes far beyond reforming the Senate, to focus on the governance of government in its entirety in this country,” he wrote.

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