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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 2 Hansard (6 March) . . Page.. 651 ..

MR QUINLAN (continuing):

I ask leave to make a short statement.

Leave granted.

MR QUINLAN: I table the national tax equivalents regime memorandum of understanding and manual. The national tax equivalents regime formally came into existence through a memorandum of understanding which was signed in 2001 by all state and territory and Commonwealth under-treasurers. It probably should have been tabled a bit earlier.

The regime is guided by national competition policy. Under the principle of competitive neutrality, government business entities are subject to the same taxes and regulatory regimes as their private sector competitors. In the 1990s each state and territory government established its own tax equivalent regimes, including an income tax equivalent regime. The tax equivalent regimes only apply to government-owned business entities.

The regime was established to replace state-based income tax regimes with a coordinated Australia-wide regime. The Australian Tax Office administers the NTER.

The memorandum put into effect the decision of the intergovernmental agreement on the reform of Commonwealth/state financial relations of 1999, which covers various aspects of taxation, including the intention to set up a national tax equivalent regime. That agreement is a schedule to the Financial Relations Agreement Act 2000 in the ACT.

The manual which I am also tabling here today was developed to lay down the procedures for administration of the NTER scheme, including the procedures for changing the list of nominated government businesses subject to the regime. The manual is a working document of state and territory treasuries. It is subject to change over time to improve the administration of the scheme and is revised to take into account changes to the schedules.

I am tabling these documents in preparation for debate of the Taxation (Government Business Enterprises) Bill 2002, which I have developed to consolidate the application of tax equivalents (both income and territory taxes) to ACT government business entities and which is due for debate next week.

Subordinate legislation


Mr Wood presented the following papers:

Legislation Act, pursuant to section 64 -

Building Act -

Building (Bushfire Emergency) Regulations 2003 - Subordinate Law SL2003-5 (LR, 7 February 2003).

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