Mixed Fortunes

Paul Tilley

Mixed Fortunes
Melbourne University Press
12 March 2024

Mixed Fortunes

Paul Tilley

Shaping Australia's tax reform policymaking.

Australia's history is sprinkled with attempts at tax reform - some successful, some not. Mixed Fortunes explores these efforts at substantive change in our tax system. Paul Tilley takes us from the establishment of the Australian Constitution at Federation in 1901 and the 1942 unification of income tax, through the seminal Asprey review in 1975 that set up the major tax reforms of the 1980s and 1990s, and up to the lack of tax reform, at both the Commonwealth and state levels, this century.

Mixed Fortunes examines the roles of foundational reviews, which establish the case for reform, and determinative reviews, which implement reform. It assesses both the political economy issues of policymaking and the quality of the tax reforms that have been achieved in Australia.

The key questions it addresses include:
What makes a reform exercise work - or not?
How do we assess the quality of Australia's tax reforms?
And what lessons can be drawn from these experiences to help shape future tax reform exercises?

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