Monday, 1 December 2014

The Australian Parliament may be in recess by 5 December, but the Abbott Government will be coming after us all again in February 2015

There are only three more sitting days until the 44th Australian Parliament goes into recess until February 2015.

While we all may breathe a sigh of relief that the horrible fascination that is parliamentary question time is no longer occurring and The Speaker has gone to that dank, dark place biased and confused speaker’s go in recess, now is not the time to be idle.

Because it is almost inevitable that the Abbott Government will return in the first quarter determined to force the states into 'voluntarily' requesting increases in the Goods & Services Tax (GST).

It is highly likely that a call will come from Liberal and National party sock puppets to both increase and widen this consumption tax.

The argument for a tax increase will probably be along the lines of; any increase can be kept down to a reasonable level if it is accompanied by a widening of the tax base.

There are no prizes for guessing that taxing goods under $1,000 purchased overseas via the Internet will be mentioned, as this has been a favourite with local business for some time.

However, using the Abbott Government’s past performance as a guide, perhaps we all should be preparing to hear these puppets raise the possibility that educational course material purchased as a prerequisite of participation, along with certain health services and off-the-shelf medications, should all now attract the GST.

By the same token it is highly likely that all cooked or processed meats and some fish will be on any new taxed food wish list; such as BBQ chickens, ham on the bone, whole salamis etc. and smoked fish.

As of 23 October 2014 food in the groups listed below currently attract the GST according to the latest legislative compilation:

Prepared Food
Quiches, sandwiches (using any type of bread or roll), pizzas, pizza subs, pizza pockets and similar, food marketed as a prepared meal, but not including soup, platters etc. of cheese, cold cuts, fruit or vegetables and other arrangements of food, hamburgers, chicken burgers and similar, hot dogs.

Confectionery, food marketed as confectionery, food marketed as ingredients for confectionery or food consisting principally of confectionery, popcorn, confectionery novelties, muesli bars or health food bars, and similar foodstuffs, crystallised fruit, glace fruit and drained fruit, crystallised ginger and preserved ginger, edible cake decorations.

Savoury snacks
Potato crisps, sticks or straws, corn crisps or chips, bacon or pork crackling or prawn chips, seeds or nuts that have been processed or treated by salting, spicing, smoking or roasting, or in any other similar way, caviar and similar fish roe, other snack foods.

Bakery products
Cakes, slices, cheesecakes, pancakes, waffles, crepes, muffins and puddings, pavlova and meringues, pies (meat, vegetable or fruit), pasties and sausage rolls, tarts and pastries, doughnuts and croissants, pastizzi, calzoni and brioche, scones and scrolls, bread (including buns) with a sweet filling or coating.

Ice-cream food
Ice-cream, ice-cream cakes, ice-creams and ice-cream substitutes, frozen confectionery, frozen yoghurt and frozen fruit products (but not frozen whole fruit), flavoured iceblocks (whether or not marketed in a frozen state), any similar food.

Biscuit goods
Food that is, or consists principally of, biscuits, cookies, crackers, pretzels, cones or wafers.

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