OPINION: Sure, fix tax, but leave super, neg gearing alone

GOVERNMENTS of all persuasions should steer clear of tinkering too much with superannuation and negative gearing.

Too many ordinary Australians have money tied up in both investment streams and it would be a brave political party which would propose radical changes to either.

Put simply, it is a vote changer.

If you are in a government worried about saving its own skin, better off not tinkering with either of those.

I get a little weary when politicians come out and say we have an urgent need for 'tax reform' and then do nothing about it.

We have hundreds of taxes, charges and levies in Australia and could do with a simpler way of collecting revenue.

Existing revenue streams are also disappearing at a rapid rate because we live in a global market and can buy practically anything we want over the internet and have it shipped to our door.

Introducing a new tax is fraught with difficulty as it is simply too hard to sell to the general public.

John Howard did it with the GST and Hawke and Keating before him with the fringe benefits tax.

But we saw the mining tax and carbon tax repealed by the Abbott Government and everyone now seems frightened of introducing any other 'Great Big New Tax'.

It's best that we simply increase the ones we have. Either broaden the GST to include absolutely everything or lift the rate to 12 or 15%.

And, if we want to fund our health system properly, lifting the Medicare levy also seems like a no brainer.