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Wednesday, 22 August 1979

Mr SPEAKER -Order! The honourable member for Chifley will remain silent. It is perfectly acceptable for any Minister to answer the question.

Mr HOWARD - In all fairness to the honourable member for Newcastle, I will have the allegations contained in his question analysed and I will provide him with an answer. But having told the honourable member for Newcastle that I will do that, if the honourable member is thinking of arithmetical movements during the period that a government has been in office, I take the opportunity of reminding the House of what happened to personal income tax collections while the Australian Labor Party was in power. During the period of over two years that the present Leader of the Opposition was the Treasurer personal income tax collections increased by 89 per cent. Of course we all remember what the rate of inflation was during that period. If the honourable member for Newcastle wants to get into a comparative arithmetical argument about what has happened to economic indicators during the term of office of the Fraser Government and what happened to them during the term of office of the previous Government, I would be very happy to ask the Leader of the House to provide time for a debate on it because everybody on this side of the House would be more than delighted to have an arithmetical comparison made of the situation under the Labor Government and under the Fraser Government.

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