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Tuesday, 6 June 2000
Page: 17076


Mr CREAN (2:18 PM) —My question again is to the Minister for Financial Services and Regulation. Minister, do you stand by your government's claim, as set out in the original GST package, that the price of clothing will increase by only 6.8 per cent as a result of the GST? Isn't it a fact that Allan Fels's GST shopping list estimates a much higher increase of between eight per cent and 9.8 per cent for clothing? How then do you explain the dual tag of this girl's cardigan—


Mr SPEAKER —Deputy Leader of the Opposition.


Mr CREAN —purchased yesterday in Brisbane—


Mr SPEAKER —Deputy Leader of the Opposition.


Mr CREAN —reaffirming a price rise for clothing of the full 10 per cent—the full 10 per cent? Minister, isn't this another breach of your government's unequivocal guarantee—


Mr SPEAKER —The Deputy Leader of the Opposition will return to his question or resume his seat.


Mr CREAN —Resume my seat for what?


Mr SPEAKER —The Deputy Leader of the Opposition is invited—


Mr CREAN —For what?

Opposition members interjecting—


Mr SPEAKER —At no stage has the chair required the Deputy Leader of the Opposition to resume his seat. The chair in fact specifically asked the Deputy Leader of the Opposition to return to his question or resume his seat.


Mr CREAN —I ask the minister: isn't this another breach of your government's unequivocal guarantee that the price increase is never 10 per cent?


Mr HOCKEY (Minister for Financial Services and Regulation) —I think everyone should take for granted what the member for Hotham is talking about. On this occasion, we take for granted the fact that he chooses pink as his colour and that he chooses women's clothes when he goes shopping. The member for Hotham has proclivities in relation to this matter that we would rather not know about on this side of the House.

That is all I will take for granted in relation to the member for Hotham's question, because the member for Hotham has conveniently overlooked the fact that the estimates put in the A New Tax System document originally were based on the full package that went to the people, as the Treasurer enunciated the other day, which the people of Australia voted for. That included the abolition of financial institutions duty on 1 July, the abolition of bank account debits tax on 1 July and a range of other initiatives which were not accepted by the Senate when the legislation went to the Senate. It is also the case that the estimates provided in that document were very different from the estimates and the methodology adopted by the ACCC. The ACCC's estimates are based on a six-month period after 1 July, which is a different pricing model from that adopted in the A New Tax System document.

So, when the member for Hotham comes into this House and waves around women's clothing, you can only assume that there must be some motivation other than the best interests of the people of Australia. I say to the member for Hotham that, if he is going to make allegations and wave women's clothing around in this place, he had better have his facts right, he had better have his assertions right and he should go back and check the modelling.


Mr Crean —Mr Speaker, I will respond to the minister's call. I seek leave to table the tag attached to the cardigan which shows the full 10 per cent price rise.


Mr SPEAKER —The Deputy Leader of the Opposition has made his point.


Mr Crean —I seek leave. The minister invited me.


Mr SPEAKER —The Deputy Leader of the Opposition will resume his seat.

Leave not granted.