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Thursday, 28 May 1942

Mr CHIFLEY (Macquarie) (Treasurer) (9:55 AM) . - The Government cannot accept the proposed amendment, chiefly because a readjustment to give effect to it would probably cost millions of pounds. The scale has been prepared on the principle of rebates.

Mr Fadden - Will the Government's proposals increase the revenue by millions of pounds?

Mr CHIFLEY - No; but I am informed that a reversion to the system of deductions, instead of allowing for rebates, would have a serious effect upon the revenue- probably to the amount of £750,000.

Mr Fadden - The honorable gentleman said that it would probably cost millions of pounds.

Mr CHIFLEY - The loss of revenue may exceed £750,000. In this matter, I agree with the remark of the right honorable member for Yarra (Mr. Scullin). The Government's proposals have been studied by a special committee, one member of which - I refer to the honorable member for Robertson (Mr. Spooner) - has a complete knowledge of the technical side of taxation as well as experience in the administration of taxation laws. A proposal which has been described as a simple mathematical proposal has been received from an association of taxpayers, but when it is examined it is found to be not so simple after all. Indeed, it is rather complex. However, the Government is prepared to examine any proposal seriously put forward. If any honorable member has a suggestion which he thinks will meet the situation; in a better -way than by a system of rebates, the Government is prepared to consider it; but I point out that the Government must, to a great degree, rely on the judgment of those persons - members of this House and others - who have had experience of the rebate system and have compared it with a system which allows for deductions. For the moment, the Government must rely on the opinions of these experienced men until a better method can be found.

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