NSW Premier Mike Baird has proposed that Australia lift its Goods & Services Tax (GST) from 10 to 15 per cent, which could see Aussies pay even more for music, movie and other digital downloads thanks to the government’s planned ‘Netflix tax’ on digital content.
The so-called ‘Netflix tax’, if passed, will see the GST extended to cover media downloads from overseas companies, making some services more expensive for Aussie consumers. The tax, which was part of the 2015 Budget, is slated to come into effect on 1st July 2017.
Further to this, Mr Baird has suggested that raising the GST to 15 per cent will provide state governments with enough revenue to fund the national health system.
If Mr Baird’s proposal goes ahead, and if the ‘Netflix tax’ comes into effect, Aussies will pay 15 per cent more for their music downloads, including those provided by streaming services.
In a video (below) posted to social media, Mr Baird says:
“As I look at it, it’s quite clear — the best way of dealing with this is to increase the GST. I know that’s not going to be popular, but ultimately, if we do that, we put all the dollars raised into health, into the challenge we face, and you importantly look after those families who need support.”
NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley says, “Rather than accepting an increase to the GST, the states should agree on some national uniformity around state taxes – to eliminate competition that decreases revenue for all states.”
Mr Baird will put his GST proposal to a tax summit and leader’s retreat attended by Prime Minister Tony Abbott and state and territory leaders on Wednesday.
The Federal Opposition has accused Baird and the New South Wales Government for playing into the Prime Minister’s hands, with shadow treasurer Chris Bowen saying the states had been forced to find alternative revenue sources after the federal government stripped billions from future health and education spending.
The plans behind the ‘Netflix tax’ were revealed in April this year, and a bill for the tax extension has been drafted.
Reaction to Mike Baird’s proposal may be divided, but his Twitter game is still on point: