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Government's tax plan threatens our defence force



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Federal Office: Unit 4A, 47 Colbee Court Phillip ACT 2606

Postal Address: PO Box 424 Mawson ACT 2607

Telephone: Fax: Email:

02-6260 5100 02-6260 5238 arffa@cdc.net.au

NEWS

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23 June 1999

GOVERNMENT’S TAX PLAN THREATENS OUR DEFENCE FORCE

The Armed Forces Federation of Australia has assessed an element of the

Government’s Tax Reform Program as a serious threat to the strength of our Defence

Force.

The Federation’s Industrial Officer, Graham Howatt, said:

“The proposal to include the cost o f employer provided benefits that attract Fringe

Benefits Tax on the group certificates o f ADF personnel will create severe financial

hardship fo r a significant number o f members. ”

“For example, all ADF non-custodial parents making child support payments (around

10% o f the permanent force) and ADF families in receipt o f Government assistance

through Centrelink (probably close to half the permanent strength) will be the hardest

“Non-custodial ADF parents provided with accommodation assistance alone, are

likely to see their child support payment doubled if special consideration is not

accorded them and ADF families in receipt o f Government assistance through

Centrelink, could have payments substantially reduced or eliminated altogether. ”

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While the two categories cited are the worst affected, the Federation feels very few in

the ADF will escape the claws of the Government’s financial henchmen.

The Federation has been contacted by quite a number of personnel who have done

their calculations and will walk out the door rather than remain in the ADF.

When questioned why Defence personnel should be treated differently to other

employment groups, Mr Howatt went on to say:

“ADF personnel are unique and should not be treated generically. Let us not forget

that the Industrial Relations Commission (IRC) determined in 1996 that Defence

personnel are not employees. Consequently, they are prevented from enjoying the

rights and entitlements associated with employee status o f the general community. It

seems the Government is able to overlook this when the accumulation o f funds comes

to the fore and targets those who can do little about it. ”

“The IRC decision justifies the application o f special conditions, including tax related

matters, for the dedicated men and women o f the ADF who are defenceless against an

assault from the Government they serve. ’’

The Federation fears if someone doesn’t act quickly, both morale and numbers will

drop to an unproductive, if not dangerously low level.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT Graham Howatt, Industrial Officer 02-62605100 or 0418 678058.