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Nationals back lower wool tax

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Federal Leader of the National Party, Tim Fischer MP says Federal Primary Industries Minister, Simon Crean must lower the wool tax.

Speaking during a week long visit to Western and Far North Queensland, Mr Fischer said Simon Crean's apprbach of maintaining wool taxes to facilitate cash payments to woolgrowers is crazy.

"As Federal National Party Deputy Leader and Shadow Minister for Primary Industry, Bruce Lloyd points out Simon Crean is involving wool growers in unnecessary, expensive administration with his determination to collect more wool tax' than is needed and then

refund it at the end of the year.

"The Government had initially tried to impose one the industry with a 15% wool tax, but this was resisted by the Coalition which sought a 10% tax. The Government with the help of the Democrats went only part of the way settling on a 12% tax.

"The fact is that too much tax is being collected and this will have to be refunded. Now growers will have to pay for the cost of collecting the tax and then refunding it. Surely it would be simpler and cheaper to reduce the tax?

Mr Fischer said the Nationals and the Liberals in Coalition had resisted high taxes for the wool industry from the very outset.

"It is at least some comfort that we did get some reduction down to 12%. It must now be dropped to 10% and even lower as the reason for having the tax (the activities of the Wool Realisation Commission) winds down,” Mr Fischer concluded.

Ends March 1992

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