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Wednesday, 12 September 1984
Page: 890


Senator COLEMAN —My question is directed to the Minister representing the Treasurer. It relates to Bills introduced by the Hawke Government to recover revenue lost through tax avoidance schemes and which were defeated in the Senate . I ask: Can the Minister say what the consequences of the defeat of those Bills has been to the tax liability of ordinary taxpayers in Australia?


Senator WALSH —The consequences of the defeat of those various Bills could be viewed in a number of different ways but the maximum cost to Commonwealth revenue as a result of their defeat is around $570m, which would have been enough to finance a tax cut of nearly $87 a year for every taxpayer in Australia . Confined to taxpayers receiving the announced $6.60 tax cut, their yearly tax bill could have been reduced by another $160, bringing the total tax cut to about $10.65 a week. The tax avoidance Bills were defeated in the Senate by the Opposition with support from some of the Australian Democrats and Senator Harradine. One wonders whether those same honourable senators will again combine to defeat the anti-evasion legislation imposing higher penalties which is to be introduced into Parliament soon. As I mentioned yesterday, one of the most notorious architects of the tax avoidance schemes was Christo T. Moll. I have here copies of a number of cheques, which I now table, which may shed some light on the matter, because they are drawn on a well-known Moll company. Of course it would be entirely improper of me to speculate about whether there is any relationship between these copies and votes which have been cast in the Senate.