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Wednesday, 1 April 1987
Page: 1607

Senator MESSNER —by leave-During Question Time Senator Walsh, in answering a dorothy dix question from his own side with regard to a statement put out by the Leader of the Opposition (Mr Howard) yesterday on the commitments which the Opposition has given in relation to tax measures, mentioned a rather long list which is clearly erroneous. I just want to point out very quickly that the statement issued by the Leader yesterday read as follows:

The truth is that the only quantifiable commitments of the Opposition on revenue or expenditure are as follows: scrapping the fringe benefits tax . . . scrapping the capital gains tax . . . scrapping Labor's lump sum superannuation tax . . . scrapping the assets test . . .

That is all. Later on-and this part was not mentioned by the Minister at all-the statement says:

I have repeatedly stated the principles of our taxation policy.

When final details of that and our other policies are released, prior to the next election, the financing of our commitments will be explained.

I want to point out that that statement adequately deals with the questions of income splitting and child care rebates which were raised by the Minister as being additional commitments on top of that. What we are doing, of course, is looking into the question of a total taxation policy for Australians, and that will be explained in detail at a later stage. Meanwhile, those other commitments remain as our only commitments.

Finally, I want to say that the Minister is totally wrong, incorrect, dishonest and in every other way misrepresenting the position of the Liberal and National parties by saying that we intend to introduce a value added tax. We have absolutely no proposal to introduce a value added tax of any kind, whether it be 8 per cent or any other rate.