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Wednesday, 17 December 1941

Senator McLEAY (South Australia) (Leader of the Opposition) . - I ask the Minister for Trade and Customs (Senator Keane) to inform me whether the Government has yet given effect to its promise to appoint a special committee to examine taxation anomalies and the incidence of taxation, particularly as affecting private companies. If the committee has not yet been appointed, will the Minister be in a position to announce the personnel before this sitting concludes?

The proposed increase of company tax by 331/3 per cent., and the other impositions that we discussed a few weeks ago. will place many private companies in a hopeless position. The amending legislation which was passed in November contained an extraordinary provision that fixed the " ceiling " of combined Federal and State taxes at 18s. in the £1. The example which the Minister cited on that occasion was that if federal tax were 14?. in the £1 and State tax 7s. in the £1, the Commonwealth would forgo 2s. and hope and pray that the States would refund1s. to the taxpayer. I ask the Minister whether the States have been approached to agree to that proposal. If they have not, does the Government propose to discuss the subject at the conference of Commonwealth and State Ministers next Friday? I warn the Government that this legislation will compel many private companies to go out of business.

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