Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Full Day's HansardDownload Full Day's Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Wednesday, 8 March 1961

Mr HAROLD HOLT - The Government did give careful consideration to the problem mentioned by the honorable gentleman. After weighing the technical problems and the advice received from the Commissioner oi* Taxation as to how comparable matters have been dealt with in the past, not only by this Government but by governments of which honorable gentlemen opposite were members, it decided that there should be no change in the normal practice which has continued since sales tax was first introduced in 1930. On any occasion on which sales tax is adjusted, whether upward or downward, some people who are close to the point of actual adjustment will feel that they have been disadvantaged or advantaged. However, the consistent practice has been to make no refunds in cases of this sort and I think the practical good sense of honorable members will quickly demonstrate to them the reasons why this well-established practice should be continued.

Mr Bryant - The additional tax was imposed for only 98 days.

Mr HAROLD HOLT - If the honorable gentleman is complaining because a tax has been reduced, that is another matter. It is rather a novelty to be criticized because a tax is removed; usually the criticism runs the other way.

While the matter of revenue to which the honorable gentleman has referred was not a dominant factor in the Government's consideration, it may be of interest to the House to have the facts on this point. If a total refund of the additional tax were to be made, the loss of revenue, on the advice received by me, would be £3,800,000. However, the number oi' sales of motor vehicles was well down during the relevant period and despite the increased rate of tax revenue collections were actually lower than the Budget estimate for that period. So, if there were to be a complete refund, the total loss of revenue would not be £3,800,000, but £5,300,000. However, the decision was based primarily not upon the revenue aspect but upon these overriding considerations of taxation principle and practice.

Suggest corrections