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Thursday, 6 December 1973
Page: 4369


Mr COLLARD (KALGOORLIE, WESTERN AUSTRALIA) - My question is addressed to the Treasurer. Is sales tax applied in a way to ensure that no matter where the article is purchased it attracts only the same amount of tax or does it operate to attract additional tax in areas where freight and handling charges cause an increase in the wholesale price of the article? If the latter applies, will the Treasurer examine the situation with a view to rectifying the tax injustice which the previous Government was pleased to impose upon the people in country areas?


Mr CREAN (MELBOURNE PORTS, VICTORIA) (Treasurer) - As I think every member of this House knows, in general, sales tax is applied at what is called the level of the last wholesaler. But the wholesale prices of goods of the same kind may differ from vendor to vendor and according to where the goods are sold, so that it is a fact that goods of the same kind do not always attract the same amount of tax, no matter where they may happen to be purchased. While freight, handling and other charges are not subject to tax, they can attract tax where they form part of the actual selling price of goods. This is a matter that has received consideration under the previous Government. A great number of technicalities are associated with it. It has been examined with the possibility of eliminating the imposition of tax on the freight element and I have arranged for the matter to be further looked at to see whether anything can be done to remove what I believe is in many respects an unfair anomaly.







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