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Wednesday, 26 September 1973
Page: 1598

Dr Klugman asked the Treasurer, upon notice:

(1)   Is there any method of comparing taxation in Australia, Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States of America at different income levels, taking into account both direct and indirect taxation at all levels of government.

(2)   If so, will he provide such a comparison.

Mr Hayden - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   and (2) Before indirect taxation could be broken up by level of income it would be necessary to have detailed statistics of expenditure at various levels of income. Official data of that kind are not available in Australia at the present time, although the Commonwealth Statistician is to carry out a survey on household expenditure next year. Apart from that there are a number of serious conceptual difficulties involved in international comparisons of tax levels at particular levels of income. These relate, for example, to the determination of equivalent incomes in different countries and resolutions of differences between definitions of income for income tax purposes in different countries. Even if more statistical data were available, any comparisons which could be made would therefore have to be hedged about with a number of assumptions and qualifications.

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