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Wednesday, 27 September 1972
Page: 1241


Senator WILKINSON (Western Australia) - The suggestion that the Senate should debate 4 Bills together was something which I intended to make. I do not propose to move that the debate on the Income Tax Bill be adjourned. I think that anyone who wishes to speak on this Bill has had ample opportunity, bearing in mind the interval between the introduction of the Bill and the resumption of the debate today, to prepare himself for it. These 4 Bills - as a matter of fact I think it might have been 5 Bills - were debated together in the other place. They were discussed only briefly because they are such that the Opposition has nothing but support for what they propose. The Opposition would wish that they had gone a little further. However, as far as they go no objection is raised by the Opposition.

I would like to mention briefly each of the Bills. The first is the Income Tax Bill 1972. It increases from $417 to $1,041 the point at which income tax becomes payable and we believe that this is a very desirable feature. We even think that the amount should have been greater than that. We think that the schedule should be looked at very closely. We feel that this is a temporary measure and ought to be taken further. Also, the additional tax of 5 per cent which was imposed in the previous year and subsequently reduced to 2i per cent has now been removed. We think that this is an excellent provision. The Income Tax Assessment Bill (No. 5) 1972 is something that we cannot help but approve because it will make much more liberal the allowable deductions in respect of the dependants of a taxpayer. It will also make opportunities for further deductions for education expenses.

The next Bill is the Sales Tax (Exemptions and Classifications) Bill (No. 2) 1972. Personally I can find little justification for bringing it forward because I could think of some other sales tax remissions that might be made or sales tax on certain items removed before considering an item such as imported works of art as deserving of a reduction of sales tax. However, we have no objection to this legislation and it will therefore go forward with our support.

The last piece of legislation - the Export Payments Insurance Corporation Bill 1972 - increases payments to that Corporation up to $8m. This is quite a desirable feature. The Opposition has seen the successful operations of the Corporation. It is obvious, from the requests that are being made for assistance from the Corporation, that it is worth while expanding its operations in the way that is proposed i:i this Bill.

I do not think there is any need for me to go further in this group of Bills. The Opposition feels that the legislation before the Senate is quite satisfactory. It might have been taken further, but at this stage we are prepared to give the Bills a speedy passage. 1 hope that the Senate generally will agree with the legislation.







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