The Federal Opposition claims the Government is in hiding over recommendations to cut tax rebates for Australians in remote areas.
In the 2016-17 financial year, around 480,000 Australians benefitted from the Zone Tax Offset, with the majority of claimants living in the Northern Territory and Queensland.
Katherine is classed as being in Zone A of the offset scheme.
A Productivity Commission report into Remote Area Tax Concessions and Payments draft report recommends major changes which would see people living in Northern Australia and other remote communities paying more in taxes.
Simply, it wants the scheme scrapped.
Labor MPs Stephen Jones and Murray Watt said Australians living in regional and remote communities face very real additional costs and hardships.
The Federal Government is reviewing its remote area tax concession zones, that includes in the Northern Territory.
The Productivity Commission has been asked to review the tax concessions and this week produced a draft report saying: "Tax concessions and payments for residents and businesses in remote Australia are outdated, inequitable and poorly designed."
The commission said the zone tax offset should be abolished.
It said some eligible areas, like Darwin, Cairns and Townsville are no longer remote.
The Commission has called for an overhaul of remote area tax concessions and payments so they are better targeted and fairer.
The Government tasked the Commission to assess the zone tax offset (ZTO), the remote area allowance (RAA) and the fringe benefits tax (FBT) remote area concessions.
In a statement to the Katherine Times, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the Government welcomed the release by the Productivity Commission of its draft report.
He said the government looks forward to receiving the Productivity Commission's final report, scheduled to be delivered in February 2020.
"As part of the Coalition's commitment to Regional Development and Northern Australia, the Government asked the Productivity Commission to undertake this study to ensure that remote area tax assistance remains fair and contemporary," he said.
"The Productivity Commission has already engaged widely with stakeholders, including in a number of regional areas and the Government encourages interested stakeholders, particularly those in regional Australia, to remain engaged in this further consultation process."
You can find the draft report at www.pc.gov.au/remote-tax and provide feedback by using the submission or brief comments links.
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