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Women hard hit by tax system



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MEDIA RELEASE SENATOR JOCELYN NEWMAN

SHADOW MINISTER FOR THE STATUS OF WOMEN

W22/16.6.92

WOMEN HARD HIT BY TAX SYSTEM

The abolition of the wholesale sales tax and the introduction of the GST will provide a much fairer, efficient system of tax and will make many items bought frequently by women, cheaper.

Women are particularly disadvantaged by the current system. Currently they pay through the nose every time they go shopping with wholesale sales tax on household items ranging from 10 to 30 per cent. The invisible taxes include fuel excises, superannuation levies, training guarantee levies and payroll taxes and are attached all along the production and delivery chain.

They are taxes Mr Keating doesn't want to talk about! They are taxes the Opposition will remove!

Currently, women's personal items are taxed extremely heavily. Toiletries, which are necessities, are the worst area affected by the Wholesale Sales Tax.

Soap, toilet paper, tissues, talcum powder, hair spray, shampoo, conditioner, hair brushes and combs, razors and blades, face and hand lotion and cosmetics are all taxed at 20 per cent.

Women pay 30 per cent on watches and all jewellery - imitation or real.

Medicinal items used by women and families are affected by sales tax. Lanolin, vaseline, disinfectants, antiseptics and alternative medicines are taxed at 20 per cent.

Women with babies pay through the nose for basic baby items. Teething rings, nappy detergents, sterilisers, baby oil and baby soap are taxed at 20 per cent.

Women with school-aged children are penalised with the sales tax. School bags, sports equipment, musical instruments, pencils, pencil cases, glue, elastic hair bands, plastic wrap, stationary and paper is taxed at 20 per cent.

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C O M M O N W E A L T H PA R LIA M EN TA R Y LIBRARY M 1CA H

Children's toys are taxed at 20 per cent.

The family pet's canned and dried food is taxed at 20 per cent.

Electrical equipment such as radios and video recorders is taxed at 30 per cent.

Even the humble loaf of bread is weighed down by taxes on ingredients and production. *

The bread tax chain starts with harvesting the wheat - next is processing the wheat and baking the bread - then the selling. Payroll tax, a training guarantee levy, tax for plastic wrapping, a superannuation levy, sales tax on delivery vehicles and fuel tax are added along the chain.

With the GST no taxes on ingredients and production will be added.

The only way to get rid of these high taxes women pay every day on necessary items is to abolish the archaic wholesale sales tax.

The Federal Government has tried to use the GST to scare women, reducing 700 pages of well researched and honest reform to one claim that 15 per cent tax will be added to everything. After GST, bills will not increase by 15 per cent but by 4.4 per cent on average. Even the Federal Treasury said it would be more like 3.6

per cent.

Australian women can't be fooled by the Government's scare-mongering. They have long memories about Mr Keating's nine years of neglect of women. They also recognise that Fightback is more than just a tax change.

They know that the small increase with the GST will be more than compensated for with big income tax cuts, increased family allowance, a dependant spouse rebate, abolition of fuel excise (a full tank of petrol will be around $11 cheaper) and much more.

They know that as well as enabling us to provide the greatest personal income tax cuts in our history, a better tax system is critical to restructuring the Australian economy so that we can provide real jobs for Australians.

June 16, 1992. Further information: Senator Newman ph (06) 2773660 or Raine Brand ph (003) 341755.

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