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Thursday, 1 July 1926

Senator CRAWFORD (QueenslandHonorary Minister) . - It is true that the Treasurer admitted in another place that there might be one or two hard cases, but Senator Elliott's amendment, designed to rectify those anomalies, proposes that every taxpayer who enlisted should be exempt from war-time profits tax. It is evident that this demand for an amendment comes, not from a number of men with comparatively small incomes, but from a few wealthy men, because the whole of this agitation has been conducted by paid agents. If a large number of returned soldiers were concerned in the movement, representations would have been made through the returned soldiers' organization. Senator Elliott is aware that, under the Income Tax Act, a man who enlisted is assessed foi- income from property; but under his amendment to this bill, all classes of income of returned soldiers will be exempt from taxation under the War-time Profits Tax Act. Surely there is greater justification for requiring people to pay taxation on war-time profits than taxation on ordinary income. The act exempts men who, prior to enlistment, took ari active part in the management of a business, the presumption being that their business interests would be prejudiced owing to their absence from Australia. The amendment is so drastic in its effect that the scope and purpose of the bill will be entirely altered. It will not have the limited effect which Senator Elliott believes it will have, and because of this and its retrospective character, I must ask the committee not to accept it. The Government desires to be fair to all returned soldiers, but it is too much to ask the committee to accept an amendment which will alter the effect of the principal act so substantially.

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