A PRODUCTIVITY Commission that has found industry levies to be ‘an increasingly complex and inefficient tax system that risks limiting productivity growth’ has singled out concerns for the Federal Government’s proposed biosecurity levy.
“Without anyone noticing, these micro-taxes have compounded into a bureaucratic ‘Levyathan’. Limiting their growth in favour of more efficient taxes is a simple, actionable reform that could make a material difference to productivity growth,” said Deputy Chair Dr Alex Robson.
It must be noted that the report said agricultural levies had been more successful than other industries.
“This might reflect the fact that agricultural levies have been around for nearly a century and that levy payers, who are entitled to vote on the existence of the levies, often seek evidence of the value that the levy provides,” the report said.’
However, it highlighted some concerns about the Federal Government’s proposed biosecurity levy, gathering information through public statements and news reports, to see if it was an efficient way of funding biosecurity measures.
National Farmers’ Federation president David Jochinke said the report highlighted a lot of the concerns industry has been raising.
“The report highlights significant issues with the design, including equitability, accountability, efficiency and a lack of clear links to outcomes valued by industry,” Mr Jochinke said.
“Importantly, the report shows that concerns raised by the NFF and much of the industry were not us simply playing politics or looking to avoid contributing more to the biosecurity system.
“The NFF has been very consistent in its approach to this issue. This is about the policy construct, not us wanting to avoid paying more.”
Mr Jochinke said it was now up to the Federal Government to show the design of the levy.
“This report supports our concerns and it’s on the Government now to explain how it will address these issues prior to introducing legislation.
“In particular policies that may have an impact on the levy system is something we take incredibly seriously. You botch this and confidence in the whole system goes down.”
- Sheep Central understands Agriculture Minister Murray Watt has penned a response and we will update this article when it come through. To read the full report click here