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Friday, 23 November 1979

Senator CARRICK -I did not see the article but if it said what Senator Sibraa said, it does not bear any resemblance to an accurate picture of what happened in the Budgets. If Senator Sibraa is interested in this subject, total expenditure for this year is up by 1 1.9 per cent in Tasmania, 13.8 per cent in Victoria, 1 1.6 per cent in Queensland, and 12.1 per cent in Western Australia. That gives the lie to the substance of the article. One of the things that must be kept in mind is that expenditure has gone up against the background that, one by one, the States have cut taxes and have given tax relief.

Let us look at the suggestion that this is a plot to increase State taxation. In New South Wales the road maintenance tax was abolished in early 1979 and no replacement has yet been determined. Payroll tax exemption levels have been raised. In Tasmania, land tax scales have been reduced to take account of inflation. This involved the little matter of $3. lm relief. As from 1 January next no probate duty will be payable on estates passing to a spouse or children. In Victoria the payroll tax exemption level has been raised by 27 per cent, to give $8m relief in a full year. The gift duty exemption duty level has been raised by 50 per cent. The land tax exemption level has been raised for a principal residence. There is a complete exemption from probate duty for estates which pass from grandparent to grandchild.

In Queensland payroll taxation exemption levels have been raised; land tax exemption levels have been raised in respect of agricultural land; stamp duty has been reduced on purchase of a principal residence; and the exemption level in respect of duty on mortgages has been raised.

In Western Australia death duties have been abolished as from 1 January. The payroll taxation exemption level has been raised, to give relief totalling $2. 2m. In South Australia succession duty has been abolished from 1 January, to give $2m saving. Gift duty has been abolished from that date. Stamp duty on the purchase of a first home has been abolished. Payroll tax exemption levels have been raised and there has been land tax relief.

Opposition senators interjecting-

Senator CARRICK - Those dollies went down rather fast, did they not?

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