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Wednesday, 17 December 1941

Senator FOLL (QUEENSLAND) .- It is not ray intention to delay the passage of this .bill ; but it is only reasonable that honorable senators on this side of the chamber should take this opportunity to draw the attention of the Government to the fact that the proposals contained in this measure are even more drastic than those made by the Fadden Government. Although honorable senators opposite condemned the provision in the Fadden budget for a sound scheme of compulsory savings, in the form of post-war credits, they support this measure which proposes to levy heavy taxation on those in the lowest ranges of income. No one knows better than I do the difficulties that, confront the Government in raising the necessary revenues with which to prosecute the war, and therefore I shall not oppose this measure; but the macro fact that it has become necessary so soon after the presentation of the budget to increase taxes to meet our ever expanding expenditure must bring home to the Government the force of the criticism which we levelled at the budget when it was presented during the last sittings of the Parliament. I remember on that occasion the Minister for Trade and Customs (Senator Keane) took me to task because of criticism which I had levelled at the Government's financial proposals. Instead of bringing in a measure such as this it would have been far better had the Government adopted the system of post-war credits advocated by its predecessor. Under that system the people were asked to accept as their contribution to the war effort a system of deferred payment of compulsory loans, on somewhat parallel lines to the system of deferred pay granted to men serving in the armed forces. It would have provided a nest egg for many people at a time when they would probably need it most. We recognize that expenditure cannot be continued on the present basis when conditions become normal. Therefore, the public's attention should be called to the fact that the financial policy of the Fadden and Menzies Governments is now being adopted by this Government, whose supporters previously criticized that policy so severely. This fact shows that the financial policy of those Governments was sound. I am wondering how Senator Darcey and other honorable senators opposite feel about this change. They said that once Labour assumed office they would show us how we could get money for nothing.

Senator Darcey - I did not mention money.

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