Post-war tax reviews and the Asprey Blueprint, TTPI Working Paper 15/2020

By Paul Tilley (TTPI Visiting Fellow)

After World War II, international attention turned to economic reconstruction and the transition back to peace-time. As Australia settled into the 1950s and 1960s ‘golden years’ there wasn’t an obvious imperative to tackle basic economic reform and tax design issues. Underlying structural problems were building, though, that would ultimately call for an economic reform agenda and tax would be part of that. This paper tracks these developments, looking at some limited tax reviews along the way but the main focus will be on the 1975 Asprey review which provided a blueprint for reform of the Australian tax system. Its recommendations for a capital gains tax, a fringe benefits tax, a foreign tax credit system, dividend imputation and a value added tax would take 25 years to implement.

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Other related works

TTPI Working Paper: Early federation reviews and 1942 income tax unification (September 2020)

Blog post: Can Australian Treasury Regain Its Economic Policy Influence? (12 September 2019)

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