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Thursday, 12 December 1996
Page: 7285

Senator MARGETTS(11.17 a.m.) —When the debate was interrupted, I was nearing the end of my presentation. I would like to say that, in relation to the ALP second reading amendment, we have supported a number of the ALP second reading amendments. Paragraphs (a) and (b) seem okay, but I would find it difficult to support the rest of the amendment. On this occasion, I will not be voting with the ALP on its second reading amendment.

Our second reading amendment effectively changes the dividend imputation from 100 per cent to 50 per cent. I seek leave to table table 1.6 of the report Funding options for employment, industry and regional development by Phillip Raskall of the Social Policy Research Centre dated February 1994. This table makes clear the implications of—

The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT (Senator Murphy) —Senator Margetts, did you mean table or do you want to have it incorporated?

Senator MARGETTS —I am suggesting that it be tabled. I have circulated it to the various parties.

The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT —I am getting an indication from the minister that he has not seen it.

Senator MARGETTS —I gave one to each party. I am afraid that if the Whip did not pass it on there is not a lot I can do.

The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT — Maybe you might just clarify for the minister what it is.

Senator MARGETTS —That is what I was about to do. The table makes clear the implications of dividend imputation and also makes clear the kind of manipulation possible by the rich. It was table 1.6 of a published report called Funding options for employment, industry and regional development . It is by Phillip Raskall of the Social Policy Research Centre and is dated February 1994. There is another copy here. I am happy for you to see it. I will continue because I have only two minutes. I am happy to pass that on for you to have a look at in the meantime.

It shows that for those making over $500,000 per year, dividend income increased by nearly 11 times in the year dividend imputation was introduced and increased another five times the next year to a level 54 times that pre-imputation. This was at a time when company tax was paid at 49c. Average tax paid per person in this category dropped by 70 per cent—and this was because dividend income was effectively tax-free income. We believe that dividend imputation—

The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT — Senator Margetts, your time has expired. Is leave granted for the tabling?

Leave granted.