Document Type

Journal Article


This paper provides a summary overview of the personal income tax–transfer reform debate in Australia. It attempts to employ a balanced approach to examine the main issues and arguments put forward by various schools of thought with regard to tax reform. First, it explores in depth the meaning of tax reform and reaffirms that tax cuts are not necessarily tax reform. Secondly, it presents a brief diagnosis of Australia’s current personal income tax–transfer system. Thirdly, it surveys the tax theoretical literature as a guide to tax policy. Fourthly and finally, it discusses a variety of constraints and options for tax reform in Australia. It also outlines the three-stage approach (micro-simulation, Delphi study and surveying) to be adopted by the authors in their future tax reform studies.