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Thursday, 9 December 1999
Page: 13273

Mr SWAN —My question without notice is to the Prime Minister. Following your previous answer to the Leader of the Opposition, isn't there a shocking admission in the finance department's GST manual that says:

The risk is that grossing up a grant . . . places the cash flow problem on the agency, namely once the grant is paid there is a time lag before the input tax credit is received.

Prime Minister, won't agencies be paying the GST up front without proper adjustment of their grant and without immediate access to input tax credits, leaving them significantly out of pocket? How can you argue that you would be the last person in Australia who wants to damage charities, when that is exactly what you are doing?

Mr HOWARD (Prime Minister) —In relation to the last part of the honourable member's question, I have already indicated that the Treasurer will be making a statement about this matter later today and I do not therefore propose to add to that.

Mr Crean —Is this a statement in the House?

Mr SPEAKER —The Deputy Leader of the Opposition knows that question time gives him the opportunity to ask questions when called.

Mr Swan —Mr Speaker, I rise on a point of order: could the Prime Minister inform us where the statement will be made?

Mr SPEAKER —The member for Lilley will resume his seat. That is not a valid point of order.