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Fightback! - setting the record straight tate wrong on GST and legal aid



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Peter Reith

Bulletin No. 37

FIGHTBACK! SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT

TATE WRONG ON GST AND LEGAL AID

The Minister for Justice and Consumer Affairs, Senator Michael Tate, is wrong on how a GST will apply to legal aid.

For some months now, Senator Tate has been claiming that the introduction of a GST will deny some Australians access to legal a id.

This is simply not true.

Senator Tate should stop lying about Coalition policy and scaremongering about the GST.

Senator Tate argues that the amount of money available for legal aid would be eroded because Legal Aid Commissions would be required to pay GST on legal bills from outside lawyers.

This argument is wrong and it demonstrates that Senator Tate does not want to understand how a GST or value-added tax operates.

Any GST paid by Legal Aid Commissions would be fully rebateable (in the form of an input tax credit).

As a result, the application of GST would have no adverse impact on the budget outcome for Legal Aid Commissions.

Senator Tate also misrepresents the impact of the Coalition's plan to cut legal aid funding by $10 million dollars.

The Fightback document specifically ensures that legal aid to recipients will be retained at current levels.

The Coalition believes $10 million can be saved through

efficiency improvements in the delivery of legal aid services.

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20 February 1991

Contact: David Turnbull (06) 277 4277 D12/92

COMMONWEALTH PARLIAMENTARY LIBRARY M ICAH