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Thursday, 17 February 2000
Page: 13727


Mr SLIPPER (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Finance and Administration) (9:52 AM) —I move:

That the bill be now read a second time.

This bill amends the Medicare Levy Act 1986 and the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936to introduce a temporary levy in order to partially offset the costs of Australia's defence expenditure in East Timor.

With the East Timor crisis the government faced little choice but to act to avert a humanitarian tragedy. This involved significant costs—costs that were unforeseen at the time the budget and the final A New Tax System tax reform package were put together. The temporary Defence-East Timor levy is an appropriate response to a significant spending pressure that was both urgent and unforeseen.

The levy will apply only for the 2000-01 year of income.

The gain to the revenue from the bill is estimated to be $900 million in 2000-01.

Full details of the measures in this bill are contained in the explanatory memorandum.

I commend the bill and present the explanatory memorandum.

Debate (on motion by Mr Swan) adjourned.