Rethink self-education tax deduction cap for a smarter Australia

Further to Mr John Colvin's letter ("Scrap cap on self-education tax deductions", 4 July 2013), the Institute of Public Accountants has continued to voice similar concerns over the short-sightedness of this policy measure set to come into play in July 2014.

For the accounting profession the need to keep up to date is paramount and is amongst the highest of all professions.

There is also a need for some of our members to update their qualifications to meet eligibility requirements for the new financial services limited licensing regime or the commercial law requirement for Tax Agent Registration.

In addition, what is happening to the philosophy of a smarter Australia, where we encourage the pursuit of excellence?  This cap translates to a mentality of being satisfied with mediocrity rather than advancement and competitiveness.

Australia must look at its capacity to compete within the broader region.  As the mobility of professionals increases within Asia, our young people are having to compete with their counterparts from China in staggering numbers. It is reported that China is producing more than 20 million university graduates every year. Let's hope that common sense prevails and Mr Rudd acts swiftly to avoid a significant long term economic problem.

Andrew Conway FIPA Chief Executive Officer Institute of Public Accountants