Call to cut company tax rate

The boss of WA's biggest company believes businesses are paying a tax rate that is too high compared with other developed economies.

Wesfarmers managing director Richard Goyder said an effective tax rate of 30 per cent for big companies in Australia contrasted with an OECD average of 25 per cent.

"There does need to be a lower corporate tax in Australia in due course," Mr Goyder yesterday told a _WestBusiness _Leadership Matters lunch marking Wesfarmers' centenary.

He said the British Government had brought its corporate rate down to the low 20s at a time when its economy was under pressure.

"Why? To encourage businesses to invest and through that create wealth and create jobs," Mr Goyder said.

"Businesses are the wealth creators, large and small.

"Wesfarmers is a classic example of a small business that's become a large business and created wealth for shareholders, for the employees and the communities in which we operate through that process."

As well as leading Wesfarmers, Mr Goyder heads a group of Australian business people advising the Government in preparation for Australia hosting the meeting of the Group of 20 leading economies this year.

Although the corporate tax rate has been cut from 30 per cent to 28 per cent, big companies such as Wesfarmers will be hit with a 2 per cent surcharge to fund the Abbott Government's paid parental leave scheme.

Mr Goyder said businesses wanted governments that promoted stability and consistency, and did not impose unnecessary taxes and regulations.

"I want governments of any persuasion to let business get on with what business is really good at and have an environment that encourages that," he said.

"We want an environment that encourages risk-taking and investment and then let us get on with things."

The West Australian

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