Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Current HansardDownload Current Hansard   

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Tuesday, 17 February 1987
Page: 99

(Question No. 4951)


Mr Sinclair asked the Prime Minister, upon notice, on 26 November 1985:

(1) Did he, following his Address to the Nation on 11 June 1986 calling for restraint on income claims, write to the Royal Australian Institute of Architects seeking its support to urge its members to exercise restraint in the fees they charge, and state that the Government would be monitoring developments in this area as part of its prices and incomes policy.

(2) Has the Government subsequently repealed the sales tax exemption for plans and plan printing materials used for construction.

(3) What estimated increase in revenue is this action expected to produce in (a) 1986-87 and (b) 1987-88.

(4) How is the monitoring of architects' fees referred to in his letter being undertaken.

(5) Has the authority which is undertaking the monitoring of architects' fees been instructed to take account of increases in architects' fees arising from the decision to repeal the sales tax exemption; if not, why not.


Mr Hawke —The answer to the right honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) Yes.

(2) No. The sales tax exemption for plans and plan printing materials used for construction was formerly contained in Item 113F of the First Schedule to the Sales Tax (Exemptions and Classifications) Act. The First Schedule sets out sales tax exemptions. The previous Government removed Item 113F from the First Schedule with effect from 1 January 1983 and at the same time inserted the goods concerned into Item 7 of the Third Schedule to the Sales Tax (Exemptions and Classifications) Act. This resulted in such plans and plan printing materials being taxable at 7.5 per cent. Subsequently the Third Schedule 7.5 per cent sales tax rate was increased generally to 10 per cent as a result of this Government's tax reform package. In the 1986 Budget, Item 7 of the Third Schedule to the Act was repealed, resulting in the applicable tax rate being increased from the Third Schedule 10 per cent rate to the general rate of 20 per cent.

(3) See answer to (2) above. It may be noted that separate revenue estimates do not generally exist for goods which are only a small part of one item in a sales tax classification schedule.

(4) The Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations reports regularly to the Advisory Committee on Prices and Incomes. As part of this process and in response to the national Economic Summit Communique a series of independent reviews have been conducted into professional fee setting procedures in Australia. A report on the review conducted by Mr Deputy President Isaacs of the Australian Conciliation and Arbitration Commission into the procedures used by the Royal Australian Institute of Architects was released on 5 March 1985.

(5) No. There is currently no detailed review relating to architects' fees being undertaken.