With this week's swearing-in of the new Abbott Ministry, the new Government's Treasury portfolio consists of: the Hon Joe Hockey MP as Treasurer, Senator the Hon Arthur Sinodinos AO as Assistant Treasurer, the Hon Steven Ciobo MP as Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer and the Hon Bruce Billson MP as Minister for Small Business. The Opposition is expected to appoint the Hon Chris Bowen MP as Shadow Treasurer, but confirmation of this and other shadow portfolios will not be known until after the Labor Party elects an Opposition Leader in October.
In particular, the appointment of Senator the Hon Arthur Sinodinos AO as Assistant Treasurer is a welcome move. The Senator's long-standing interest in policy development provides him a strong platform from which to tackle the multiple tax policy challenges that lie ahead, including the much needed tax reform white paper. We look forward to the Minister's commitment to a meaningful and mature debate on tax reform, including providing greater clarity in relation to the more than 100 announced tax law measures that are yet to be legislated.
All Ministers are now poring over their departmental briefings from the Treasury, ATO and other relevant agencies ahead of the resumption of Parliament, which is expected in late October.
The Tax Institute's engagement with the Government on the key issues of concern to members has recommenced and we very much look forward to further building our relationships with the new Ministerial and Shadow Ministerial representatives.
Robert Jeremenko CTA is Senior Tax Counsel of The Tax Institute.
The Tax Institute is Australia’s leading professional association in tax. Its 13,000 members include tax agents, accountants and lawyers as well as tax practitioners in corporations, government and academia.