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Wednesday, 14 October 1931
Page: 720

Mr CUNNINGHAM (Gwydir) (Assistant Minister) . - We cannot discriminate between the public servants in Queensland, and those in any other State.

Constitutionally it would be impossible to exempt the federal public servants in Queensland.

Mr Riordan - But we could increase their salaries by -3d. in the £1.

Mr CUNNINGHAM - That also would be unconstitutional discrimination. It is because Commonwealth servants in some States suffer disabilities that this bill to afford relief to them is proposed. In Victoria the unemployment relief tax is slightly over 6d. in the £1; in Queensland slightly under 6d. ; and in Tasmania a little less. Western Australia imposes no unemployment relief tax, but collects a hospital fund tax, which this legislation will take into account. In South Australia the unemployment relief contribution is included in the State income tax, which is very high; unfortunately, wo cannot ascertain the exact proportion allotted for the relief of unemployment. In New South Wales the unemployment tax is ls. in the £1 in addition to the income tax. One of the defects of the federal system. is that six State parliaments are giving effect to varying ideas of government and taxation, and legislation such as the Government, is proposing is needed to rectify some of the anomalies thus created. At one stage the Government of New South Wales proposed a. tax of 5s. in the £1.

Mr Thompson - That was actually passed by the Legislative Assembly.

Mr CUNNINGHAM - That is so. Such an impost would have been an unfair, burden upon the federal public servants resident in New South Wales.

Mr Mackay - And other people also.

Mr CUNNINGHAM - Those who are perm'anent citizens of a State have to put up with their lot, but to make a federal public servant, who, perhaps, had been transferred from some other State, subject to Commonwealth economy and also the full brunt of State taxation, would be a tremendous hardship.

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