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Tuesday, 2 May 1961


Mr KILLEN (Moreton) .- I ask the Treasurer (Mr. Harold Holt) whether he can give the committee an assurance that the full consequences of the element of retrospectivity which resides within clause 6 have been considered. If I may, I would without impertinence direct the right honorable gentleman's attention to the circumstance in which some life offices find themselves regarding the date of 1st March, which is in the bill in a number of places. The fact of the matter is that, in order to qualify for the maximum concessional allowance, some major life offices have remarkably little room for manoeuvre.

The percentages that I have are for the year 1959. They may have chanced last year, but I do not think they would have changed very much. An examination of the percentages shows a distinct contrast relatively between one life office and another. I cite in particular the Temperance and Genera] Mutual Life Assurance Society Limited. In 1959. it held 15.5 ner cent, of its assets in government securities and 33 per cent, of its assets in semi-government securities. Going to the other extreme, in a sense, the City Mutual Life Assurance Society Limited held 32.3 per cent, of its assets in government securities and 2.8 per cent, in semi-government securities. I am sure the Treasurer will appreciate the point. To qualify for the maximum benefit, the Temperance and General Mutual Life Assurance Society Limited must, as it were, hug the percentage of its funds that it held as at 1st March and must build up the 15.5 per cent, in government securities to 20 per cent. That 4.5 per cent, overall may not be very much, but in relation to its existing portfolio distribution, it means a great deal and the company has very little room in which to manoeuvre.

I simply ask the right honorable gentleman whether he can give the committee an assurance that this aspect has been considered. If it has not been considered in all its ramifications, I would ask the right honorable gentleman whether the Government would consider the ramifications of this element of retrospectivity before the bill reaches another place.







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