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Tuesday, 12 November 1974
Page: 2234

Senator MISSEN (Victoria) -This afternoon a number of speakers have referred to the major problems which face Australia. They have referred to the tremendous problem of unemployment and the tremendous problem of inflation. I wish to deal with another aspect which, though not as major, is I think perhaps in many ways more despicable in relation to the way in which the Government is conducting itself at the present time and the way in which it has conducted itself in the last two years. Not only has there been the rising problem of unemployment and the rising problem of inflation for the business community but also there have been the delusions under which the Government has suffered and the illusions which it has endeavoured to foist on the Australian people in the course of the suffering which they have had to endure particularly in recent months. I wish to bring before the Senate 3 examples of the type of delusion and the type of illusion perpetrated on the people and which are in the range of Government activity which I have described.

This morning I asked a question of the Minister for Agriculture (Senator Wriedt) in his capacity as the Minister in this chamber representing the Treasurer (Mr Crean) and he gave me an answer. The question related to what I understand is something well understood in the community, that is that there is a possibility of the income tax deductibility on donations to charitable organisations being abolished. This morning I received an answer which suggested that it was a false rumour, that there was nothing in the thing at all. The Minister was indignant at the thought that this should be suggested. I am sure that I did not base the question I asked this morning nor am I basing the remarks I am now making on any sort of false conjecture at all. In fact, there has been- perhaps there is not now, I do not know- a very real threat to the donations which each year were and are given by thousands of people in their own charitable desire to help and to take an interest in a great number of organisations in this community that are doing charitable work.

Senator McAuliffe - Your Government would not allow ambulance expenses to be a deduction.

Senator MISSEN - It may not have done so.

Senator McAuliffe - Your Government refused it.

Senator MISSEN -Of course, that would be no excuse for Senator McAuliffe 's Government to take away the income tax deductibility on these donations, would it? A suggestion that we may have refused deductibility for some very useful expenditure is no reason for the present Government to consider taking away the income tax deductibility on all charitable bequests, and that has been the allegation made in the community for some months. I am not putting this forward just as my suggestion, because part of the basis of my question this morning was the circular from the Brotherhood of St Laurence. It is not a party political organisation; it is a fine charitable organisation in the State of Victoria. I think that honourable senators opposite must agree that it is an organisation which deserves support.

Senator Poyser - My wife gave 30 years of her life to it.

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