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Wednesday, 23 May 1973
Page: 2473


Mr FOX (HENTY, VICTORIA) - My question is directed to the Treasurer and I preface it by reminding him that at present when an employee retires income tax is levied on 5 per cent of any lump sum he receives as a retiring allowance or superannuation payment. Is the Treasurer aware that there are very strong rumours that the amount on which income tax is levied on such lump sums is to be substantially increased? I have heard figures as high as 25 per cent of the amount mentioned. I further ask the Treasurer, while not expecting him to express an opinion as to whether there is any substance in these rumours, whether he will say to the House in an unequivocal manner that should any such legislation be introduced it will not be made retrospective in its application. In other words, any higher amount of tax would not be levied on an amount which was paid prior to any such relevant legislation passing both Houses of the Parliament.


Mr CREAN (MELBOURNE PORTS, VICTORIA) (Treasurer) - I thank the honourable member for asking that question because it gives me the opportunity to deny certain rumours that seem to be circulating in this area. I am pilloried at times for things I have said, but one certainly does not deserve to be abused for something that has not been said. There is no intention to alter the existing provisions about payments of lump sums on retirement. As far as I know, ever since income tax has been in existence there has been provision that with lump sum payments, 5 per cent only is regarded as subject to income tax in the first year. The presumption is that thereafter the recipient would sensibly and prudently invest the lump sum and it would return an income of its own. There is no intention to alter that provision of the Act and I resent the fact that some mischievious people seem to be circulating a proposition that there is an intent to increase the proportion on which tax is payable from 5 per cent to 25 per cent. I give an unqualified assurance that there is no such intention.







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