Chris Bowen | Australia IFSA
Australia's Assistant Treasurer Chris Bowen spoke to a large audience at an IFSA lunch today. The key to his speech was a desire by the government to remove any impediments to Australia becoming a financial services hub - to create a level playing field. This is a very encouraging development for the Australian financial services industry.
Financial services represents just 3% of Australia's exports. Twenty years from now he sees no reason why financial services cannot generate more export income than the resources sector. But impediments will need to be removed and the Government to step out of the way.
In particular, he foreshadowed a review of Div6C of the Tax Act by The Board of Taxation chaired by Dick Warburton. The review will look for revenue neutral changes and is required to be complete by mid-2009. In the meantime, the Government will consider interim changes. A consultation paper will be released and comments sought over the next 3 weeks. Australia's IFSA will be making a submission.
No mention was made about any changes to superannuation. This will await the budget on 9 May 2008.
By Rick Steele