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Wednesday, 26 November 1941

Senator GIBSON (Victoria) .- The Minister in his second-reading speech said that 75 per cent, of the land tax is paid in respect of city lands; but f point out that it will not be paid by the owners of land on which big city emporiums and the like are erected but by the men and women who purchase goods sold, by them. This is but another tax on people who cannot afford to pay. There are many other ways of raising the necessary revenues besides imposing a land tax which inevitably must he passed on. The owners of big city establishments will undoubtedly pass it on to the public, despite any attempts made by the Prices Commissioner to prevent them from doing so.

Senator Cameron - If prices are pegged surely the tax cannot he passed on ?

Senator GIBSON - Those who own big city properties will not pay the tax; someone else will have to pay it for them. The primary producers in Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia and, to a. lesser extent, those in Queensland, where the leasehold system largely prevails, will 'be called upon to bear the unjust hurden of this tax. It will hit hardest those who hold big properties, particularly pastoral companies regardless of what bad seasons may come their way or what mortgages they have on their properties. This bill proposes to impose a direct tax on the primary producers' capital. It will not affect the holders of large properties in the cities.

Senator Fraser - How would large insurance companies pass on the tax?

Senator GIBSON - Just as do the big business emporiums. Whilst I do not intend to vote against the bill, the Government is unwise in -bringing in legislation of this kind which will affect only certain sections of the community.

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