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Wednesday, 31 July 1946

Mr BRYSON (Bourke) .- We have listened to some extraordinary speeches during this discussion and the preceding debate on the income tax measure. I do not know whether honorable gentlemen opposite are attempting deliberately to mislead the committee, or whether they are making statements through utter stupidity, or whether they have been telling bare-faced lies ; but the honorable member for Richmond (Mr. Anthony) certainly excelled himself, and went a good deal farther than most of his colleagues in making wild and ridiculous statements concerning the contribution proposed to be levied for social services. He said that a man with an income of£125 a year would be called upon to pay 5s. a week in social services contribution. The official statement issued to honorable members by the Treasurer indicated that a man with an income of £125 a year and no dependants would have to pay only £3 4s. a year, which is a great deal less than 5s. a week. I do not know whether the honorable member . can be excused on the ground that his arithmetic was at fault, but he went on to refer to , a man with a wife and two children whose income was £385 a year. He attempted to prove that the social services contribution payable by that man is out of proportion to the benefit that he will receive from the social services fund. His income tax of £27 17s. 6d. a year, he claimed, is most unfair. Buthe conveniently forgot to mention that the wife of such a man receives from the National Welfare Fund £19 10s. a year by way of child endowment. In deliberately omitting to mention that, he merely followed the lead that had been set by previous Opposition speakers, who attempted to misrepresent the position in regard to tax reductions. Almost without exception, honorable members opposite have claimed that the tax reductions proposed by the Government are insufficient, and that a much greater reduction should be made over the whole of the income tax field. The honorable member for Warringah (Mr. Spender) not only wanted the income tax to be reduced, but also demanded a big reductionof the company tax.

Mr Spender - I demanded some reduction.

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