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STANDING COMMITTEE ON ECONOMICS - 16/02/2011 - Income Tax Rates Amendment (Temporary Flood Reconstruction Levy) Bill 2011; Tax Laws Amendment (Temporary Flood Reconstruction Levy) Bill 2011
STANDING COMMITTEE ON ECONOMICS
House of Representatives committee
Wednesday, 16 February 2011
Income Tax Rates Amendment (Temporary Flood Reconstruction Levy) Bill 2011; Tax Laws Amendment (Temporary Flood Reconstruction Levy) Bill 2011
Final

CHAIR (Mr Craig Thomson) —I declare open this public hearing of the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics. I welcome witnesses, members of the public and the media. The recent disasters in Australia have led to a tragic loss of life and have inflicted significant physical damage to both urban and regional areas. Many people acted heroically to save the lives of others and many people have since acted selflessly in assisting the clean-up and reconstruction. As with any large-scale disaster, governments at all levels are also involved. At the national level, the defence forces have given much needed assistance on the ground to residents and businesses. Agencies such as Centrelink and the tax office have also played their part.

The Commonwealth government has indicated the wish to provide financial support to flood affected areas. The damage and financial cost is of such a scale that the Commonwealth is changing spending priorities and taking other action to meet the costs of these new commitments. One of these changes is to introduce a temporary flood reconstruction levy on individual taxpayers for the 2011-12 financial year, which is designed to collect $1.8 billion dollars in revenue. Under the new arrangements in this parliament, the bills that implement the levy have been referred to this committee for consideration and report. We are holding this public hearing today with key stakeholders and agencies to discuss the levy and any implementation issues that are relevant to it.

Before we start and get to the witnesses, we have some submissions that have arrived. Is it the wish of the committee that submissions 1 to 5 that have been circulated to this inquiry into the Tax Laws Amendment (Temporary Flood Reconstruction Levy) Bill 2011 and the Income Tax Rates Amendment (Temporary Flood Reconstruction Levy) Bill 2011 be received and authorised for publication? There being no objection, it is so ordered.

On behalf of the committee, I welcome witnesses. I remind you that, although the committee does not require you to give evidence under oath, these hearings are legal proceedings of the parliament and warrant the same respect as proceedings of the House or the Senate. The giving of false or misleading evidence is a serious matter and may be regarded as contempt of parliament.