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Wednesday, 20 May 1936

Senator J V MACDONALD (QUEENSLAND) . - I mentioned the subjectmatter of this clause during my secondreading speech, and I should like the Minister to clear up several points, because I understood him to say, when moving the second reading of the bill, that this is a new concession which the Commonwealth is granting. The Minister also said that an attempt had been made to make the Commonwealth and State acts uniform. Under this clause the Commonwealth allows a deduction of £50 in respect of the spouse of a taxpayer which, I understand, is the same as that, provided previously. I have taken considerable interest in this subject, because it affects those who have the responsibility of rearing families. From time to time the imposition of a tax on bachelors, and spinsters has been mentioned, but those suggesting such a tax have received little support. It appears to be comparatively easy to impose indirect taxes in the shape of customs duties, sales tax and relief tax, but it would be more reasonable to grant further deductions of this Mature and in that way assist those who are bringing up families. I am pleased to find that this provision has been included in the bill, but I should like the amount to bc increased to £72. The amount provided in the clause is small, but some benefit will be conferred upon those who are carrying a fairly heavy burden, and have to contend with many hardships.

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