March 01, 2006

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Taxing jobs

Peter Gordon rants why a GST will bring doom and gloom to Hong Kong. Having lived in Australia when that country went through the introduction of a GST, these points are nothing new. Yet ask an Aussie now and you'll generally hear that the GST is one of the least bad taxes. Sure the form filling is painful for businesses (the tax office effectively outsources collection to busniess) but the lucky country has seen steady economic growth, record number of tourists and the sky didn't fall in. I've yet to see a Sydney beggar with a sign, "On the street thanks to GST". But maybe there's another reason. The (sub req'd) SMH reports that Australia's tax men and women are having a hard time of it:

THE Australian Taxation Office has no way of knowing if it's penetrating the underground economy because it will not estimate the extent of the problem, says the Auditor-General. However, tax officials are flushing out cash operators where they can find them, including the "dancing sector of the adult industry".

The Australian National Audit Office has revealed in its cash economy report that tax investigators contacted more than 50 pole dancing clubs "with a sample receiving unannounced visits". The Tax Office says Australia is home to about 2000 dancers at any one time.

An effective recruitment technique for any tax office.

posted by Simon on 03.01.06 at 01:31 PM in the Hong Kong economy category.


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