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Thursday, 12 August 1926

Senator THOMPSON (Queensland) (1:17 AM) . - Having regard to the way in which salaries generally are soaring, and the responsibilities resting upon the Commissioner and Assistant Commissioner of Taxation, I do not think the amounts provided are out of the way. But there are . two features of the proposal that I do not favour. One is that it is retro1spective. It proposes to pay the increases as from the 1st July, 1925. The Minister may be able to advance very good reasons for this course, but up to the present he has not given them. It may be that the Government gave a promise to the officers concerned. I hope that is the explanation, otherwise I shall not be in agreement with the proposal. My second point of disagreement is that a bill of this nature might very well have been brought down months ago, instead of at the eleventh hour. Then there is the issue raised by Senator McLachlan, that if the Commonwealth Government vacates the field of direct taxation in a few years' time the work of the Taxation Department may slacken off, and these salary increases will involve the question of increased compensation. I do not however, regard that as very important, because, as I said before, judging by the responsible nature of the duties required of the officers concerned, I do not think they are being overpaid.

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