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Wednesday, 10 April 1946

Mr ANTHONY (Richmond) .- I am glad to have the assurance of the Minister assisting the Treasurer (Mr.

Lazzarini) that he will carefully consider the matter that I raised in my second-reading speech, but, as an earnest of what I believe to be the rights of country people, I propose to do more than merely talk. I intend to put on record what I regard as the amendment that ought to be made, because I believe that a really serious injustice is being inflicted on all country people. There can be no justification for the levying of sales tax as a super tax on freight. If a retailer in acountry town ran a motor lorry to the city to pick up goods instead of transporting them on an organized transport system requiring the payment of freight, he would not have to pay a penny of sales tax on freight, but, if he uses the railways, or any other form of public transport, he has to pay sales tax ranging from 71/2 per cent, to 10 per cent., according to the classification of the goods, as a super charge onevery penny of freight paid. That is indefensible. I therefore intend to move my amendment, not that I think that the Minister assisting the Treasurer, in view of what he has said, will accept it at this juncture, but to demonstrate that we believe that something ought to be done. It should bo put on record in order that it may not be forgotten; and I sincerely hope that, after the bill leaves this chamber and before it is finally dealt with, the Government will examine the point and endeavour to make an appropriate adjustment. I move -

That the following sub-clause be added: - " (2.) No sales tax shall be chargeable on any freight paid on the transport of goods from wholesaler to retailer or between city and country.".

It may be that the Parliamentary Draftsman could achieve my purpose in better phraseology, but that will convey to the Government what I hope will be adopted by it before this bill is finally passed. There is a strong feeling throughout the country amongst retailers and all classes of businessmen against this unwarranted super charge. If the Government meets the wishes of country residents in this matter, it will not only be appreciated, but also recognized as just.

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