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GST hike can't pay for everything: Bowen

Opposition treasury spokesman Chris Bowen says it is unrealistic to consider lifting the GST as the linchpin of widespread tax reform as it won't be enough to pay for measures to boost Australia's sluggish economy.

Mr Bowen says increasing GST revenue has been touted as a way of paying states' health costs, cutting personal income tax, abolishing stamp duty, reducing corporate tax or improving the federal budget bottom line.

But speaking at a tax reform summit on Tuesday, Mr Bowen said the GST had failed to meet its primary objective of eliminating inefficient state taxes and warned that there was no way an increase could do everything suggested by the coalition, NSW Premier Mike Baird and business groups.

"It's like when you get a raise in your salary and you think of five things you'd love to do with the extra money, but deep down you know you can only do one," Mr Bowen said.