Advocate calls for tax reform to compensate poor

COMPENSATION for the poor must be considered under national tax reforms, a leading welfare advocate says.

Baptist Care Australia executive director Carolyn Kelshaw made the call today, revealing her organisation would "play an active role" in debate over Australian taxation changes.

A Federal Treasury discussion paper on tax released on March 31 pushes for a broader goods and services tax and lower income and company taxes.

"Compensation for low income earners, the marginalised and needy must be addressed before the tax reform debate goes too far," Ms Kelshaw said.

"Many groups will undoubtedly put forward their perspectives in the tax reform debate - some self-interested and some public interested.

"While we will not be the only ones, Baptist Care Australia sees its main role in the tax reform debate to advance the case of the poor, the marginalised and the needy.

"Compensation for low income earners, the marginalised and needy is not discussed in the government's tax reform white paper - not even mentioned.

"It needs to be a central part of the discussion from the start. Not something that is introduced as an afterthought.

"Thankfully, the white paper does repeatedly refer to the need for 'fairness' - and real fairness requires adequate compensation for the marginalised."