Tasmania does not need the return of death duties, it needs governments to stop wasting money, a self-funded retiree says.
It was one of three tax reform suggestions Mr Eslake made in a report commissioned by the left-leaning Australia Institute Tasmania.
Mr Eslake said the suggestions were not aimed at increasing the state government’s tax take, but changing the tax mix to make it fairer and more efficient.
Mr Webb said: “It’s the same old problem … the fact we have governments who are just wasting more money.”
“Now they are racing around looking for ways to take more money from the general public and everybody else.
“It’s all right for all these economists and that to come up with all the figures.
“Governments are living beyond their means.”
The East Devonport man said many people in his age group had worked hard to accumulate what they had, and part of the reason for that was to leave something for their children, which death duties went against.
“It’s wrong,” he said.
“Again, you’re hammering the people who are putting in the work and effort to become self-sufficient and not be a burden on the government in any way.
” … so much of our tax money is being spent on things that don’t produce income, but it produces votes for the next election.”
Mr Webb recalled business mogul Kerry Packer’s famous words to a parliamentary committee in 1991.
Mr Packer said: “Of course I am minimising my tax.”
“And if anybody in this country doesn’t minimise their tax, they want their heads read because, as a government, I can tell you you’re not spending it that well that we should be donating extra.”
The state government and state Labor appear to have little appetite for tax reform.
“We are not currently considering any tax reforms,” a government spokesperson said.
“We understand that the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted economies right across Australia, and Tasmania has not been immune.
“We will continue to work with other states and territories on a range of matters associated with the recovery from the pandemic and will always put the interests of Tasmanians first.”
Shadow Treasurer David O’Byrne said: “We have no plans for changes to Tasmania’s tax system, but we welcome any contribution to public debate.”
“There is a national debate occurring around taxation, led by the treasurers of New South Wales and Victoria.
“Tasmania does not have a voice in that debate and it’s irresponsible for the Treasurer (Premier Peter Gutwein) not to be present in the debate and advocating for Tasmania’s best interests.
“This government can’t be trusted on tax.
“They promised Tasmanians no new taxes, but have introduced two new taxes in the past 18 months alone.”