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Wednesday, 14 October 1931
Page: 720

Mr RIORDAN (Kennedy) .- By imposing this unemployment tax on Commonwealth public servants, we appear to be compelling them to bear a sacrifice greater than that borne by the other sections of the community since the passing of the Financial Emergency Act. That legislation provided for a 20 per cent, reduction in wages, which Drought the basic wage down to £3 10s. per week. Now an additional tax of 3d. in the £1 is to be inflicted upon the lower-grade Commonwealth employees. In Queensland this is being made a sort of class tax. When the Financial Emergency Act was passed, it was understood that where taxation or additional taxation in regard to wages was levied by State Governments, the Commonwealth public servants in those States would be protected. In Queensland, State public servants are better paid than Commonwealth officers, yet the latter have to bear heavier taxation. I understand that recently Public Service organizations interviewed the Prime Minister and the Treasurer regarding this matter.

Mr Archdale Parkhill - That is the reason why the bill is introduced.

Mr Scullin - I receive deputations from all sections of the community.

Mr RIORDAN - Surely the workers' organizations have as much right to approach Ministers and members as have the Employers Federation and the Chambers of Commerce. After all, we are discussing taxation which produces the money by which government is financed, and it is our duty to ensure that the burden does not press unfairly on any section of the community. For that reason, I ask the Prime Minister to promise that if this taxation is found to {dace federal public servants in Queensand fit a disadvantage as compared with the State public servants, it will be amended.

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