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New SA senator open to broadening GST base

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Broadening the base of the goods and services tax could be one way for the Federal Government to win independent senator Tim Storer’s support for company tax cuts.

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The South Australian senator is refusing to back the corporate tax cut in parliament, because he says the benefit is too modest compared to the multi-billion dollar cost.

But he told ABC radio he wants to see deeper tax reform, including a potential broadening of the GST.

“I would look at that, absolutely … I would review it as I have done this tax bill,” Storer said.

He said he wanted to see measures from Ken Henry’s review of the tax system brought in to make sure the budget can return to surplus.

“There is doubt about the actual ability of the current taxation system to generate budget surpluses in the medium term,” Storer said.

“(But) I shouldn’t really be drawn on what specifically should be the first cab off the rank.”

The former Nick Xenophon Team candidate also ruled out joining Labor, despite joining and then quitting Labor as a branch member in 1996 and 2013.

Meanwhile, the Nick Xenophon Team’s only lower house MP, South Australian Rebekha Sharkie, was coy today when asked if the Liberals had approached her to join the party that she had once served as a staffer.

Under questioning on ABC Radio Adelaide about whether she had received such an approach, the Member for Mayo said “definitely not in those words”, adding that she had friends who were in the Liberal Party and she did have private conversations with them.

When pressed about whether she had contemplated joining the Liberal Party, she said: “No”.

Asked whether she would rule out joining the party before the next federal election, she said: “Yes”.

– with AAP

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