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Tuesday, 16 September 2003
Page: 15318

Senator COONAN (Minister for Revenue and Assistant Treasurer) (6:40 PM) —Thank you, Senator Sherry, for a number of observations. I hope I gleaned the questions from your last contribution. Like Senator Sherry, I also claim to be somebody who tries to provide to the best of my ability information to the Senate that is appropriate to be asked. I have indicated throughout the time that the committee has been sitting this evening which information can be got and which information cannot be got. I have indicated why some information is not available and, where I have information, I am bringing it forward. The level of contributions at specific income ranges is information that Senator Sherry would wish to hear. From the 1999-2000 data file, average surchargeable contributions were in the $94,000 to $114,000 income range. There are surchargeable contributions of $14,300. In the $114,000-plus income range, the contribution is $25,000. That provides some information on average surchargeable contributions within income ranges.

The other thing I can say, and this is an estimate that Senator Sherry has asked for, is that the benefit for most parliamentarians will be in the order of 2.5 per cent of their surchargeable contributions per year after three years. One of the reasons why Treasury does not have information relating to all groups and all contributors, as Senator Sherry would know, is that Treasury and actuaries often work from samples and not from all contributors. Senator Sherry has my assurance that where the information is available or reasonably available it will be brought forward. In his last contribution Senator Sherry got onto compliance cost impact and delay in commencement. My advice is that there are no compliance costs associated with the surcharge.