A win for artists in the battle to overcome the inequities of the new business tax measures was a step closer but a commitment on the specifics is needed, Greens Senator Bob Brown said today.
"I am delighted that both the ALP and the Democrats have expressed an inclination to move or support similar amendments to those that the Greens proposed last week," Senator Brown said.
"However I believe that a simple amendment that exempts professional arts practitioners from the legislation is the best way to go. Furthermore any move that caps the non-artistic income level below which deductions can be claimed must be indexed to inflation.
"The New Business Tax (Integrity Measures) Bill 2000 is designed to cut down on tax avoidance but will remove current tax deductibility status for artists earning income from other sources unless they earn more than $20 000 from their arts activities or meet other harsh criteria.
"However the estimated mean income of artists is only $11 800. As it stands Costello's Ralph Business Tax legislation would put at risk the livelihood of many of the 45 000 professional artistic creators in Australia.
"This Government business tax bill would hit Tasmania particularly hard as the state has a disproportionately large number of artists, Senator Brown said.
Travelling on the Tasman Peninsula today, Senator Brown said he had been asked about the issue from many concerned arts practitioners in Tasmania.
Further information: Ben Oquist 02 62773170 or 0419704095