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Tuesday, 25 November 1986
Page: 2728

(Question No. 802)


Senator Mason asked the Minister representing the Treasurer, upon notice, on 11 February 1986:

(1) What percentage of the annual Australian inflation rate of 8.2 per cent as contained in the recently released Consumer Price Index figures, is the result of increased Federal and State Government charges in each State and Territory.

(2) What were the main components of the increased Federal Government charges for the past year.


Senator Walsh —The Treasurer has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(1) It is not possible to isolate precisely the effects of government taxes and charges on the Consumer Price Index (CPI). While the Statistician's index of selected State and local government charges (a special grouping of selected items from the CPI regimen) provides some information on the effect of State taxes and charges, it does not pick up indirect effects or include the effects of Commonwealth charges. Moreover, in some cases, the effects on consumer prices of particular taxes or charges cannot be isolated from other influences. An approximation of the contribution of taxes and charges to the CPI can be compiled, however, using a combination of the Statistician's index and Treasury estimates of the effect of certain Commonwealth indirect taxes and charges.

This approximation suggests these items contributed about 20 per cent (ie 1.6 percentage points) of the 8.2 per cent increase in the CPI over the year to the December quarter 1985.

(2) Of Commonwealth Government indirect taxes and charges, the major item was the crude oil levy, which is estimated to have contributed 0.7 percentage points to the CPI increase of 8.2 per cent. Other Commonwealth indirect taxes (changes in sales tax and excise duty rates) are estimated to have contributed 0.3 percentage points, while postal and telephone charges contributed 0.1 percentage points.