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Wednesday, 8 December 1976


Mr LYNCH -I thank the honourable gentleman for raising this question. I am very much aware, as indeed are all members of the Government, of the service contributed by voluntary firemen in the honourable gentleman's electorate and elsewhere in Australia. I know that they, together with other members of the community, are concerned about the levels of taxation which now prevail. The Government is very much concerned about those high levels of taxation. As the Prime Minister and I have consistently emphasised, the Government is committed to reducing the level of personal taxation as soon as we responsibly can.

The deduction of taxation at the rate of 35c in the dollar from the earnings of auxiliary firemen reflects the fact that under current tax scales that rate, or even a higher rate, is usually the rate that applies when the additional income is included in the person's end of the year tax assessment Deductions at the rate of 35c in the dollar help to avoid the situation in which people have to face a very large tax bill at the end of the year. The earnings of auxiliary firemen, like the pay and additional earnings of other people giving service to the community, have long been taxable. So in that sense this is not a new principle. The question raised by the honourable gentleman will certainly be given careful consideration. I am grateful that he has mentioned it in the House! That consideration will be given to it by the Government in the general context of the review of the personal income tax system.







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