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Tuesday, 23 October 1984
Page: 2203


Senator ARCHER —I ask a question of the Leader of the Government in the Senate. Am I to gather from the comments made by the Leader of the Government that he agrees that the Australian taxation system provides an advantage to the self- employed person who can split his or her income to the disadvantage of the pay as you earn taxpayer who cannot? Does he agree that this is unfair and inequitable? Does he agree with the Prime Minister's description of the Opposition's proposal to correct this anomaly as a fizzer?


Senator BUTTON —First of all, Senator Archer cannot take it, as he put it, that I said anything of the sort. What I did, in answer to a question, was to draw attention to the inequity of the tax splitting proposals which the Liberal Opposition is apparently advancing and, more importantly, to the problems which are associated with the Liberals' statement; namely, how they are going to pay for the proposals, the enormous cost involved in the exercise, the fact that it does not help single taxpayers without dependants at all, enormous inequities associated with it and the very real problems in paying for it in terms of the prescription offered by the Opposition spokesmen. Those are the things which have to be addressed in the context of the overall debate. Whether Mr Hawke described the policy as wimpish or wet or something like that I do not know; I did not see that statement. I certainly would not associate myself with any of those comments.