July 23, 1999

Australian universities face millions of dollars in additional costs as a result of the federal government's adoption of a goods and services tax. Legislation approving the new 10 per cent tax comes into effect from July 1, 2000. Critics dispute government claims that education will be "GST-free" by pointing to significant compliance costs (some estimates have put them as high as Aus$100 million - Pounds 43.5 million - in the first year) plus the fact that almost everything not directly linked to tuition will be liable for GST. The one comforting thought for academics is that income tax cuts worth $12 billion came in force on July 1.

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