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Monday, 6 December 1976
Page: 3294

Mr LUCOCK (LYNE, NEW SOUTH WALES) - My question is directed to the Treasurer. He will no doubt recall my correspondence with him in March this year in which I suggested that there should be a restructuring of the taxation arrangements and action taken in regard to sales tax. In the light of the comments in the newspapers today by Mr Hawke and Mr Polites, the Executive Director of the Australian Council of Employers' Federations, I ask the Treasurer whether he will have a conference with those 2 gentlemen, the Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations and others concerned in the industrial and economic scene in order to give further consideration to these economic matters and with a view to moving towards further action in slowing down the inflationary spiral confronting the Government.

Mr LYNCH (FLINDERS, VICTORIA) (Treasurer) - Since its election last December the Government has been committed to a continuous process of tax reform. I remind the House- not that honourable gentlemen need reminding- of the indexation of personal income tax at a cost to revenue of about $ 1,000m. I also remind the honourable gentleman of statements made by the Prime Minister and by me which clearly recognise that the tax burden which the general community is suffering at the present time is both inequitable and a disincentive to work. I know that that feeling is mirrored by all members of the Liberal and National Country Parties. The question of resources has to be considered, as both the Prime Minister and I have made very clear. I re-affirm what I have said before, that we have a commitment to tax reform but we must consider the resources which are necessary to enable that tax reform to take place so that such tax reform will not add to the burden of inflation at the present time. The need for reform is there and it is recognised. The areas of tax reform and the timing of such tax reforms as the Government and the honourable gentleman may have in mind are matters for further discussion and decision by Ministers at an appropriate time.

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