'Richard Eccleston's book, Taxing Reforms, is commendable both because it makes an important contribution to our substantive knowledge about the politics of consumption taxes and also because it is one of the rare attempts to systematically compare an important policy arena across four distinct democracies. Thus we learn both about the politics of consumption taxation and about how four different democracies address some of the most difficult policy choices any country can face. The book will be of great interest to students of comparative politics and public policy alike.' - Sven Steinmo, European University Institute (EUI), Italy Proposals to introduce broad based consumption taxes have prompted considerable political controversy and conflict in recent decades. This book explores the politics of consumption tax reform in the four countries where the political resistance to such policies has been most acute: Australia, Canada, Japan and the United States. Using an institutional approach, the analysis in this book is animated by contemporary theoretical debates. These concern the dynamics of institutional and policy change and the roles of economic forces, policy ideas and political actors in this process. The author provides an overview of existing approaches to tax policy analysis, as well as a synopsis of existing debates within institutional theory. Taxing Reforms will appeal to academics in the fields of public policy, political economy and public finance, as well as graduate and undergraduate students in policy analysis and public finance. The book will also be of interest to tax policy analysts both in government and non-government organisations and think tanks with an interest in tax policy.
Ideas, institutions and the politics of taxation reform -- The rise and proliferation of VATs -- The 30 year problem : the Australian GST -- Mulroney's lament : the politics of the Canadian GST -- The reform limits of the developmental state : the politics of the consumption tax in Japan -- Consumption taxes and U.S. fiscal exceptionalism.