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Thursday, 5 December 1974
Page: 3248


Senator Townley asked the Minister representing the Minister for Labor and Immigration, upon notice:

(   1 ) Is it possible for the wife of a university professor, who is already in receipt of a sizeable private income, to apply for, and receive, a re-training grant; if so, what means test is applied in respect of such a person.

(2)   For how long is a recipient permitted to study under the re-training scheme.

(   3 ) Over what period of time can a grant be received.

(4)   Is a recipient of a re-training grant eligible to apply for another grant if he, or she, changes his or her mind on the completion of the original re-training period.

(5)   Are recipients of grants required to undertake any work in the field for which they were re-trained.


Senator Bishop - The Minister for Labor and Immigration has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(   1 ) NEAT is intended to assist persons unemployed for various reasons, those facing unemployment or other persons experiencing difficulties .I,:es in obtaining satisfactory employment. Persons a1 j/ed Ibr training under NEAT may be eligible for training allowances. As under the employment training schemes introduced by the previous Government and in accordance with the recommendation of the Tripartite Committee of Inquiry into Labour Market Training, training allowances are not subject to a means test. However, as previously announced, training allowances paid under NEAT arc liable for income tax.

(2)   Periods of training are determined according to the length of time needed for a trainee to attain the level of skills required to find suitable employment. Past experience has been that average periods of training are less than 12 months.

(3)   Training allowances are paid for the duration of the approved training period subject to the trainee making satisfactory progress.

(4)   No. Persons are not eligible for assistance in these circumstances.

(5)   Trainees are expected to enter employment on completion of training and the services of CES are made available to assist them find suitable employment. The great majority of trainees enter training related employment, but they cannot of course be compelled to do so.

Indian Ocean: Maritime Reconnaissance Squadrons


Senator Bishop -On 20 November 1974 Senator Drake-Brockman asked me, as Minister representing the Minister for Defence, a question without notice relating to patrols by maritime reconnaissance squadrons in the Indian Ocean.

The Minister for Defence has provided me with the following information:

Aerial surveillance patrols are conducted in the wider maritime spaces of the Indian Ocean. These patrols use as appropriate, Western Australian bases of Learmonth and Pearce, as well as others, for example Edinburgh in South Australia.

In addition to the long range maritime patrol sorties specifically tasked for ocean surveillance, some aircraft tasked for coastal surveillance search sufficiently far to seaward to provide additional maritime surveillance data.

The RAAF has increased its long range maritime patrol surveillance activity in the Indian Ocean over the past six months.

Devaluation: Price Increases


Senator Wriedt - On 25 September 1974 Senator Carrick asked me certain questions without notice on the devaluation of the Australian currency. The Treasurer has supplied the following information in answer to the second part of the honourable senator's questions:

As the honourable senator will be aware, the Prices Justification Act was recently amended in order to strengthen the Prices Justification Tribunal and extend its scope. The Tribunal's additional powers will enable it to make a large contribution in the fields of retail prices and prices of imported goods.

The honourable senator will also be aware that the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Prices appointed on 23 July 1 974 has the necessary power to inquire into and report upon complaints arising from prices charged by private industry.

Thus both the Tribunal and the Joint Committee are in a position to concern themselves with any abuses, in relation to prices charged for goods, which might arise out of the recent re-alignment of the Australian currency.

Overseas Revolving Credit


Senator Wriedt -On 3 1 October 1974 Senator Cotton asked me a question, without notice, concerning overseas revolving credit. The Treasurer has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

The Australian Government is not seeking to negotiate an overseas revolving credit of $ 1,000 million.

Taxation: Surcharge on Unearned Income


Senator Wriedt -On 24 September 1974 Senator Marriott asked me a question, without notice, concerning the surcharge on unearned income. The Treasurer has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

The 10 per cent surcharge on the tax payable on property income does not apply to persons whose taxable incomes do not exceed $5,000. In respect of those with incomes above $5,000 the surcharge will apply to any part of their income which is derived from interest but not to any pan of their income which comes in the form of superannuation.

Taxation: Surcharge on Unearned Income


Senator Wriedt -On 24 September 1974 Senator Sir Kenneth Anderson asked me a question, without notice, concerning the surcharge on unearned income. The Treasurer has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

The 10 per cent surcharge on the tax payable on property income of persons with taxable incomes in excess of $5,000 per annum does not discriminate between interest payments by different types of financial institutions and hence does not place building societies at a competitive disadvantage.

Taxation


Senator Wriedt -On 13 September 1974 the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate asked Senator Murphy a question, without notice, concerning capital gains tax and the surcharge on property income. Senator Murphy indicated that he would refer it for consideration to the Treasurer who has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(   1 ) No. The Government's decision to introduce a capital gains tax on realised capital gains accruing after 17 September 1974 is based on considerations of equity. Capital gains constitute an increase in ability to pay in much the same way as increases in income in the form of wages, salaries, interest, dividends and rents. It has therefore been unfair that income has borne full tax while capital gains have borne none. Further, taxpayers have been able to manipulate their transactions so as to substitute capital gains for income and thereby avoid taxation.

(2)   No. The Bill incorporating the surcharge on the tax payable on property income was introduced in the House of Representatives on 14 November 1974.

Financial Assistance to States


Senator Wriedt - On 14 November 1974 Senator Young asked Senator Murphy a question without notice concerning the granting of additional financial assistance to the States. The Treasurer has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

It is the case that the Premier of South Australia has stated that if his State were to receive certain amounts of additional financial assistance, in an appropriate form, from the Australian Government, it would not be necessary to impose certain proposed new forms of taxation. The Premier's request for additional financial assistance has been given full consideration.

The States have not been 'overlooked'. The Australian Government's 1974-75 Budget provided for an increase in the total of payments to the States and the States' Loan Council programs (which the Australian Government has undertaken to support) of 38.4 per cent. With the increase in funds for welfare housing which has subsequently been approved, the increase is over 40 per cent. General purpose funds (that is, funds to which no expenditure conditions arc attached) are presently estimated to increase by 26 per cent.

Land Tax


Senator Wriedt - On 14 November 1974 Senator Steele Hall asked Senator Murphy a question without notice concerning the taxation levied on land used for primary production in South Australia. The Treasurer has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

It is a matter for the State Government and Parliament of each State to decide on what basis land tax and other State taxes should be imposed in that State. Moreover, it in no way follows from the nature of the revenue assistance arrangements between the Australian and State Governments or from the operations of the Grants Commission that tax rates and bases of assessment should be uniform as between the States.







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