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Monday, 8 October 1984
Page: 1434


Senator MESSNER(10.19) —Mr Temporary Chairman, on a point of procedure I indicate that I want to remove the further reference of this matter concerning the reversal of onus of proof just before the question is put that the Bill be read a third time. I take it we will be taking the Bill through those individual stages later?


The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN (Senator Sibraa) —We will deal with that later when the time comes.

Bill, as amended, agreed to.

INCOME TAX ASSESSMENT AMENDMENT BILL (No. 4) 1984

Clause 1 agreed to.

Clause 2 (Commencement).


Senator JACK EVANS —by leave-I move:

Page 1, sub-clause 2 (1), leave out 'sub-section (2)', insert 'sub-sections (2) and (3)'.

Page 1, after sub-clause 2 (2), add the following new sub-clause:

''(3) Paragraph 9 (1) (b), insofar as it inserts paragraph 78 (1) (ad) into the Principal Act, shall be deemed to have come into operation on 1 July 1982.''.

The purpose of these amendments is to make the provision applicable from the tax year ended 30 June 1983. The amendments are on similar lines to the provisions of a Bill introduced by Senator Chipp in 1983. They are also similar to an amendment that is to be moved by the Liberal Party. The Democrats believe that the date needs to be made retroactive because there were disasters in the year in question, including the Ash Wednesday disaster, which should be embraced by this Bill. We understood that the Government, and the Prime Minister (Mr Hawke) in particular, had already accepted the principle that the tragedies to which I have referred should be covered retrospectively by this Bill. Therefore, it was disappointing that the measure was not made retroactive to that year.

The provision will give tax deductibility to the donors of products to victims of a national tragedy. The principle is accepted by all parties that it is unjust that if those products were converted into cash and donated to the victims they would be tax deductible. In fact, under the old legislation, which is still in force, these gifts are taxed to the full. It is a considerable disincentive to individuals who wish to give produce and products to those who desperately need them. Indeed, those concerned may need those very products rather than cash, which they then use to spend on identical produce or products at retail prices. I believe that principle is accepted by all of us. Although the Bill is mildly retrospective, I know that it has the support of all senators on this side of the Committee.