Media Release: A Citizen Jury to Assist in Identifying Options for Tax Reform?
The Co-Chair of the recently formed Canberra Alliance for Participatory Democracy (CAPaD), Ms Beth Slatyer, today welcomed the recent statement by the Treasurer, Scott Morrison, that the Commonwealth government is open to new thinking in the community about tax reform and new ways it can be introduced and discussed in the community.
Ms Slatyer said “This is a subject which lends itself perfectly to a deliberative democracy approach, such as a citizen jury. A properly constituted citizen jury could throw important light on a range of difficult questions now facing the government. Its findings could be of considerable value to the community in the coming months and to all political parties as they consider the propositions that they will be making to their constituents.”
There is now considerable experience in Australia in the conduct of citizen juries and professional expertise in ensuring that a representative panel of Australian citizens has the opportunity over several days to hear from experts and advocates for differing approaches to the problem.
“It will be important to present the right question to the jury and several come to mind” Ms Slatyer said. “The question should be agreed by both the Government and the Opposition, but here is an example for consideration: How can Australia most fairly, efficiently and effectively raise the additional revenue it requires to address Australian needs in the coming decade?”
Ms Slatyer urged the government to consult with the New Democracy Foundation about holding a citizen jury on this matter in the coming weeks. She said that The Foundation has successfully managed a number of juries in various parts of Australia in recent years and would be well placed to ensure the various elements of jury selection, briefing of the jury, expert witnesses, and time spent hearing submissions and formulating responses are rigorously managed.
Ms Slatyer added that it such an event were held over several days in Canberra, the Canberra Alliance would be pleased to offer volunteer support for the event.
Ms Beth Slatyer Tel 0409 995 850
Em Prof Bob Douglas Tel 0409 233 138