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Thursday, 28 November 1935

Senator COLLINGS (Queensland) . - Having looked -through this measure I am impressed with the fact that once again the Government proposes to distribute largesse, not to that section of the community which pre-eminently deserves it, first, because it is the least wealthy and, secondly, because it is the most valuable, but to people who ought to be made to carry the full burden of taxation because they can well afford to do so. The remissions of taxes which have been made during the last two or three years by this Government to the wealthy sections of the community are equivalent to an annual distribution of approximately £5,000,000. This distribution is proposed at a time when the Government is haggling with the pensioners over the restoration of their meague pension to £1 a week. It is true that the Government contemplates doing something for the soldiers, and that the Opposition will have an opportunity to support that measure ; but public servants have not yet had their salaries restored in full, nor are members of this Parliament being paid at the contract rate agreed upon for their services - a rate which at best is low enough. The Opposition could move amendments to this bill; but no notice would be taken of them because this is a money measure. It could also protest against the proposed distribution of surplus revenue, but it knows that the Government's proposals will be carried. Although the Opposition will not oppose the measure, it believes that the people of this country should know that there is a great difference between the policy of the Labour party, both in this Parliament and elsewhere, and the policy of the present Commonwealth Government in regard to taxation.

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