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Wednesday, 11 August 1926

Senator NEEDHAM (Western Australia.) . - I desire to say a few words as to the manner in which, in my opinion, the money should be raised. It has been said that the Treasurer cannot meet, out of the general revenue, the proposed expenditure on main roads.. because of the Government's commitments in regard to interest on our war debts, old-age pensions, and other statutory obligations. It is proposed to provide £2,000,000 a year for ten years for roadmaking purposes. In my opinion, the money should be raised by a super-tax on the wealthier sections of the community. Many years ago Great Britain imposed a super-tax on all persons whose incomes exceeded £2,000, the rate ranging from1s. 6d. in the £1 on incomes of from £2,000 to £2,500 a year to 6s. in the £l on incomes of over £30,000 a year. In addition, there was an income tax of 4s. 6d. in the £1 on all payers of the super-tax. Iunderstand that recently the British income tax has been reduced by 6d. in the £1, and the super-tax by from 9d. to 6d., in respect of all incomes below £15,000. The Prime Minister of Great Britain stated recently that in three years the national debt had been reduced by £40,000,000, and that the floating debt had been reduced from £1,500,000,000 to £800,000,000.

Senator Crawford - Is the honorable senator discussing the budget?

Senator NEEDHAM - No ; I am suggesting another method for raising the money required for the construction and maintenance of main roads.

The CHAIRMAN (Senator Plain).The honorable senator's argument has nothing whatever to do with the clause before the committee.

Senator NEEDHAM - I have ho 'desire to contest your ruling, Mr. Chairman, but I contend that I am in order in discussing the means whereby the necessary money for road-making should be raised.

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