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Government won't change GST: Bradbury


Assistant Treasurer David Bradbury has again rejected changing the goods and services tax (GST) following calls from key independent MPs to review the tax.

Federal independents Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott have called on the government for an inquiry to review the GST to help pay for future social programs and also reform benefits to business and the middle class, Fairfax Media reported on Thursday.

Mr Bradbury said the government had been very clear on the GST.

"We do not support an increase in the rate and we do not support a broadening in the base," Mr Bradbury told Sky News on Thursday.

Several analysts have called for the GST rate to be lifted from 10 per cent and for the tax's base to be broadened.

The tax covers about 60 per cent of consumption, but it does not apply to areas such as health, education and fresh food.

Mr Oakeshott said the GST had to become more efficient to cover important spending.

Since the global financial crisis the GST's share of overall tax revenue has declined.

"Consumption has not continued at the rates we have seen in the past," Mr Bradbury said.

Opposition assistant treasury spokesman Mathias Cormann said a coalition government would not consider a change to the GST.

"Under the coalition there definitely will not be," Senator Cormann said.

Mr Windsor has called for middle-class welfare such as the baby bonus to be investigated as funds for social polices such as the Gonski education reforms.

"People want spending on health and education, not on hamburgers and milkshakes," Mr Windsor told Fairfax Media.

The Labor government commissioned in 2008 a 'root-and-branch' review of the tax system but the GST was excluded from the investigation.