From Dr. Ken Henry's speech to the Australian Economic Forum on 19 August 2009 concerning the Rudd Government tax review now underway:
"So what does this mean for the panel’s deliberations? As a first step, the panel is considering taxes and transfers on their individual merits, how they sit within the overall architecture of the tax-transfer system, and how they will meet the opportunities and challenges of the future. Importantly, this assessment is being undertaken without regard to the level of government which currently administers that particular tax or transfer.
The Panel’s concern is to ensure that our tax-transfer system is calibrated to emerging challenges and opportunities that arise from things like population ageing, the re-emergence of China and India and continuing technological change.
As part of its enquiry, the panel is assessing how different taxes and transfers rate against the standard policy assessment criteria – fairness, efficiency, simplicity, sustainability and coherence. These criteria will enable us to identify taxes which should be levied, taxes that are so irredeemingly poor that they should be abolished, and taxes that are reformable – the good, the bad and the ugly."