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Wednesday, 22 August 1984
Page: 126


Senator CHANEY —Can the Leader of the Government in the Senate confirm that the figures on Budget receipts in Budget Paper No. 1 show that under the Budget brought down last night the Hawke Government is now taking more in tax from every dollar earned in Australia than any government in the country's history?


Senator BUTTON —I cannot confirm that in the way in which the Leader of the Opposition has put the question. Certainly there has been a substantial rise in tax receipts as a result of increased employment following the Government's policies in that area. There has also been increased tax receipts as a result of improved company profits and improved professional incomes. It is true to say that in all those areas there are substantial increases which maybe put the situation in the terms which Senator Chaney asked his question. But I cannot confirm it beyond that.


Senator CHANEY —Mr President, I ask a supplementary question. I refer the Minister to the table on page 364 of Budget Statement No. 1, which shows that the Government expects receipts in 1984-85-that is, its total taxes-to equal 27. 9 per cent of the gross domestic product. Does he agree that that is the highest figure attained in the history of Australia?


Senator Peter Rae —This Government does not know what it is on about.


Senator BUTTON —Senator Rae says that this Government just does not know. I am referred to a table on a particular page of the Budget statements and I am asked how it compares with the figures for every other year since Federation. Probably the implications in Senator Chaney's question are correct but in answering the question earlier I went to some length to explain why, and I will do it again. In terms of improvement in employment, in terms of improvement in company profits--


Senator Chaney —This is gross domestic product.


Senator BUTTON —I understand that. In terms of all those factors the total tax receipts are substantially up.