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Thursday, 12 November 1964

Senator McKENNA (Tasmania) (Leader of the Opposition) . - I think the Minister made quite a valid point, at least in theory, when he said that the recipient of a British pension might have other income which was taxable at a high rate in the United Kingdom and that this Parliament would be paying the high tax on. the British pension. I would not think it likely that that would occur. We are dealing with Australian citizens, people who were resident here before the war and are still resident here. I do not think the proposition that the Minister advanced is likely to arise.

Senator Wright - It could be mct.

Senator McKENNA - It could very easily be met by providing that such taxation as is relevant to the British pension alone shall be disregarded. I would be very happy to accept that thought and to have it incorporated in anything that was done.

Quite frankly, I would like the Commissioner to be able to exercise a power to do what was just. To keep things on an even keel and to do what was just, he could look at a position such as the Minister has envisaged, in which there was a high rate of taxation on the British pension by reason of the high income that the pensioner draws from the United Kingdom. He could reduce the allowance in respect of that tax to what he would regard as a just proportion. We would not have to provide for the situation that the Minister has envisaged if the Commissioner were to apply himself in that way. However, I concede that it is better to be quite specific as to what he has to do. If we are to give him a discretion in that matter, we should make it specific. I am very much obliged to the Minister for the way in which he has approached the suggestion.

Bill agreed to.

Bill reported without amendment; report adopted.

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