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Friday, 27 November 1959

Mr HAROLD) HOLT (HIGGINS, VICTORIA) (Treasurer) - It. would take a very- long, reply to. cover' adequately this important subject. I remind the honorable gentleman, however, that the payroll tax was orginally introduced as an alternative to an increase in the general level of wages. Undoubtedly, had the payroll tax not been introduced at that time, in association with the scheme of child endowment, there would have been an allround increase of the basic wage, which would have formed part of the wage structure at the present time. I remind him further that, during the period of office of this Government, we have greatly widened the field of exemption from the tax and that the number of taxpayers has been reduced to a fraction of those who were formerly subject to it. For fairly obvious reasons, we maintain the present system with regard to the State Governments, but the circumstances are not parallel to those of other taxpayers.

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