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Friday, 12 July 1946

Mr CHIFLEY (Macquarie) (Prime Minister and Treasurer) . - by leave - It would" not be practicable to prepare and bring down a budget with detailed estimates and papers before the end of August. The Government therefore does not intend to bring down a budget for 1946-47 to this Parliament. It does, however, intend to bring down immediately two important financial proposals. One of these will provide for a reduction of taxation to apply as from the 1st July this year and the other for a liberalization of the eligibility for invalid and old-age and widow's pensions. The main purpose of this statement is to give particulars of these proposals, to inform the House of the financial results for last year, and to give some indication of the financial outlook for the current year.

When I presented the budget last September less than a month had passed since the end of the war with Japan. Fighting had ceased, but the whole task of reconstruction lay ahead. It was evident that though we might push forward in this task with all possible speed, the process would take time. In an economic sense, the burden of war would continue and be diminished only gradually, ' and this had to be recognized in our financial plans.

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