Federal Independent for Page Fiona Leviny.
Federal Independent for Page Fiona Leviny. Rachel Vercoe

Regional tax cut heart of campaign

THE billboards spruiking a 20 per cent tax cut may be fresh, but discussions over regional tax rates is not new.

Independent candidate Fiona Leviny has made tax concessions for the regions a central feature of her campaign, saying there were inequalities in the tax system which ensured regional people were disadvantaged.

"We have a Medicare levy that is not fair to rural and regional people," he said.

"We do not have the same services and have to travel further but have to pay the same levy.

"Until we have the same services as the cities we should not have to pay the same."

United Australia candidate John Mudge explained his party was committed to ensuring each taxpayer in areas more than 200km from a major city would get a rebate worth 20 per cent of each year.

However, Professor John Quiggan from the University of Queensland said policies such as zonal tax rebates were outdated, as society and connectivity had advanced the needs of those in the regions had changed.

"The time when living in regional areas made a fundamental difference to your life is long gone," he said.

"No one would complain about lower taxes but there has to be a coherent strategy to accompany it."

Nationals' candidate Kevin Hogan said it was an issue that deserved attention and the Government had directed the Productivity Commission to review remote taxes, including the zone tax rebate.

"The review is in response to concerns raised that the current remote tax assistance has failed to keep pace with a changing Australia," he said.

And of the 20 per cent tax rebate fore the regions, Mr Hogan said it was "viable" and should be looked into.

"The contention will be where the cut off is, to be included in the zonal tax rate, but I support the proposal." he said.

But Labor candidate Patrick Deegan said Clive Palmer was trying to "buy a seat in Parliament."

"He will do anything to avoid his record and policies being scrutinised and he just cannot be trusted," he said.



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