Professor John Piggott, from the Australian School of Business, has been appointed to the panel charged with reviewing the national tax system.

The 18 month review was announced at the weekend by federal Treasurer Wayne Swan in the lead up to the release of the federal budget.

Professor Piggott says he welcomes the opportunity to serve on the panel. He sees the review as a way of ensuring the taxation system keeps pace with the evolving nature of society and the economy.

"It's now been a considerable time since Australia has committed itself to a thorough review of its taxation arrangements and the review is therefore timely," he says.

"The economy and our social institutions have evolved substantially since the last review. For example, we now confront a steady ageing of the population and an increasing concern with environmental issues. Well planned public policy needs to take account of this."

Professor Piggott sees the present political alignment across the Commonwealth and states as providing an unusual opportunity to constructively examine taxation arrangements at both these levels of government, in an integrated manner.

With a background in the economics of public finance and taxation, Professor Piggott has a long standing interest in public policy, including pensions and superannuation.

Heading the taxation review will be Treasury Secretary Ken Henry. Also appointed to the panel were Heather Ridout, the head of the Australian Industry Group, Greg Smith, former tax official and Jeff Harmer, Head of the Department of Family and Community Services.