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Wednesday, 16 September 1942

Mr JOLLY (Lilley) .- In commending the Government for introducing a. uniform tax on entertainments as a war measure, I suggest that the principle should be extended in order to cover all forms of taxation now levied by the Commonwealth and State Governments.

Mr Calwell - What is the honorable member's objection to allowing the Commonwealth Government to impose the entertainments tax indefinitely?

Mr JOLLY - I have my own views on that proposal. When the uniform income tax proposals were under consideration by Parliament, I pointed out that the plan would not be complete or equitable as between States until the Government applied the principle of uniformity to all Commonwealth and State taxes. Therefore, I am gratified to learn that the Government has taken the first step to give effect to my suggestion. Under the present proposal to impose a uniform entertainments tax, Queensland will not receive an allocation from the revenue derived, because it did not levy such a tax. I have no objection to the non-participation of Queensland in the distribution of this revenue, provided the same policy is adopted when the principle is extended to cover other taxes. For instance, New South Wales, which receives practically one-half of the Allocation under the uniform income tax plan, does not levy land tax, and several States do not levy gift taxes, whilst a marked variation is noticeable as between States in estate duties, stamp duties, and liquor taxes. In the past, State governments have raised a substantial part of their revenues from taxes other than income tax. These include entertainments tax, probate duties, gift tax, liquor tax, motor car registration fees, and land tax. The normal revenues of the States were madeup as follows : -


Honorable members will see from those figures that approximately one-third of the revenues derived by New South Wales, Queensland, and Western Australia were raised from taxes other than income tax, but one-half of the revenues of Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania was raised from other taxes.

Sir George Bell - In Tasmania, more than one-half of the revenue was raised from other taxes.

Mr JOLLY - That is so. Under the uniform income tax proposals, States which in the past relied to a greater degree upon taxes other than income tax, have been penalized, because their allocations have been reduced accordingly. In other words, taxpayers in those States are required to pay the uniform tax on incomes, and to make a. higher contribution by way of the other taxes. Apart from that, the introduction of a uniform land tax, estate duty, stamp duty, gift tax, liquor tax, and motor tax throughout the Commonwealth is most desirable.

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