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Wednesday, 3 June 1942

Senator ASHLEY (New South WalesPostmasterGeneral) . - I am surprised to find so many honorable senators opposite in favour of unification and uniform taxation. I listened very attentively to those honorable senators who have spoken, but I did not hear one of them advance any formula designed to improve the proposals now before the Senate. The Government is now attempting to implement what has been promised for a long time, namely, a uniform tax scheme. The anomalies apparent in these proposals are attributable to the varying systems of taxation in the different States. Listening to the remarks of honorable senators opposite, one would think that there were only three States in the Commonwealth, namely, Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria. The point at issue is not the amount of revenue collected by the States during the financial years which have been taken as a basis for the calculation of the amounts to be paid to them under this scheme. The real issue is what the States have provided with that revenue. I say frankly that the standard of social services in New South Wales is much higher than those in Victoria. The amount of £15,356,000 to be paid to that State merely represents the value of the services which New South Wales has provided in the past for the people in that State. The cost of social services in New South Wales is three times greater than the cost in Victoria.

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