A campaign against a controversial plan by the tax office to apply the Goods and Services Tax (GST) to moveable home estates, which will affect thousands of mostly pensioners across the north coast, is picking up steam.
National Party MP for Page MP Kevin Hogan has now joined Labor’s Richmond MP Justine Elliot in lobbying to stop the move, after expresseing his concerns to the Australian Tax Office (ATO).
Last week in parliament, Mrs Elliot asked prime minister Tony Abbott about the plan but said she was given an answer which ‘insulted’ the many people affected by the ‘cruel’ plan.
‘Before the election the prime minister said that there would be no change to the GST,’ she told Echonetdaily.
‘What the prime minister has now admitted is that he fully intends to slug mobile home residents with the GST on their site rentals.
‘The prime minister has obviously lied to the people given he has now admitted that his Liberal National Party government will be imposing GST on the site rental for those people who live in a mobile home.
‘Locals now have every right to question what other changes to the GST will Tony Abbott’s government consider,’ Mrs Elliot said.
Mr Hogan said he has asked the ATO not to apply the GST to moveable home estates after many of his constituents contacted him expressing concern over it.
He said he had also written to assistant treasurer, Senator Arthur Sinodinos, expressing his concerns about the ATO’s draft ruling that the full rate of the GST should be imposed on moveable home estates when they lease a vacant site to a resident.
‘We have a large number of people living in moveable homes in my electorate simply because they cannot afford any other forms of housing and this will simply add to the cost of living of those people who can less afford it,’ Mr Hogan said.
He said it was important to note that at this stage, it was only a draft ruling which had been released for public comment.
He urged anyone concerned about the issue to make a submission to the ATO.
Public consultation on the draft ruling closes on December 20.
The ATO’s final ruling, which does not apply to caravan parks, is expected to be released before May next year.