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Friday, 15 May 1942

Mr SCULLIN (Yarra) .- I agree with the honorable member for Bourke (Mr. Blackburn) that all the uniform taxation measures should he debated together, but the only way in which to accomplish that purpose is to introduce them separately. The Treasurer (Mr. Chifley) has taken that course. Each measure is contingent upon the other. The bill in respect of which this motion has been made is complementary to the Income Tax (War-time Arrangements) Bill, the debate on the second reading of which was adjourned. I submit to the honorable member for Barker (Mr. Archie Cameron) that, if the Income (War-time Arrangements) Bill had been proceeded with to a conclusion without this motion having been made for the purpose of introducing the proposed States Grants (Income Tax Reimbursement) Bill, he would have been the first to complain that no provision was being made to compensate the States. This motion, and the bill which will follow it, prove the bona fides of the Government much more strongly than would the mere statement of the Treasurer that the States were to be compensated. Not only does the Treasurer announce that the States will be compensated for the forfeiture of their taxing rights, but also he has taken the initial step to bring down a bill which will set out the amounts of compensation. It is true, as the honorable member for Bourke has said, that none of the measures declare that a State shall not continue to levy income tax. It is laid down, however, that, on a State agreeing to vacate the income tax field, it will be compensated according to the amounts set out. in the schedule to the States Grants (Income Tax Reimbursement) Bill. The four measures needed to bring about uniform taxation ought to be debated almost simultaneously and it is intended that they shall be. After this motion has been agreed to and after the States Grants (Income Tax Reimbursement) Bill has been presented and taken to the stage at which the Treasurer has made his second-reading speech and the debate has been adjourned, further complementary bills to amend the Income Tax Assessment Act and the Income Tax Act, the latter imposing uniform rates of taxation, will be introduced. Rut all have to be introduced separately.

Mr Guy - In order to conform to the Standing Orders.

Mr SCULLIN - Yes. They have to be introduced separately in conformity with the Standing Orders, but they will be debated conjointly. It would not be fair for the first measure, the Income Tax (War-time Arrangements) Bill, to be carried on its own. because it would be possible then for the complementary legislation not to be introduced, and for the States to be left high and dry. In the interest of the States as well as of the Commonwealth, that procedure ought to be followed.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Resolution reported.

Standing Orders suspended ; resolution adopted.

Ordered -

That Mr. Chifley and Mr. Holloway do prepare and bring in a bill to carry out the foregoing resolution.

Bill presented by Mr. Chifley, and read a first time.

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