Parties playing politics, ignoring tax recommendations

THE head of a national accounting firm has slammed both sides of politics for their minimalist approach to tax reform.

As the Coalition and Labor battle it out over negative gearing and superannuation tax issues, the wider recommendations of numerous inquiries have gone by the wayside.

Governments of both stripes have not acted on many recommendations for structural tax reform from both the Henry tax review and the Murray financial system inquiry.

The head of Pitcher Partners, Mark Harrison, said yesterday that in the past two months the government had backed away "from every major tax policy position they've held".

"The government seems to have confused tax reform with a politically motivated, politically safe strategy aimed at fending off criticism from the Opposition," he said.

"Neither the government nor the Opposition have told us how they plan to address Australia's stalled economy, promote growth, combat the growing deficit due to revenue problems, and are instead locked in a race to the bottom on the politicisation of tax reform."

Mr Harrison said "middle market" businesses were calling out for reforms to reduce red tape and payroll tax.