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Labor government's proposals on capital gains tax and death duties

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Leader of the Opposition



"The Labor Government's move to introduce a new capital gains tax and death duties is another flagrant breach of undertakings given by the Prime Minister," the Hon. Andrew Peacock, Leader of the Opposition, said today.

"The move to introduce these taxes has been foreshadowed by the Government's Special Minister of State, Mr. Young. Mr. Young is a very senior Minister in the Government and we can only assume that he has made the statement with the approval of the Prime Minister and the Treasurer.

"The proposals will cause a great deal of anxiety, confusion and uncertainty in the Community. Taxes such as death duties cause many hardships and inequities. That is why the Commonwealth and State Governments of all political persuasions have moved to abolish them.

"In addition, a new capital gains tax and death duties would strike at the very heart of the incentive to save. This Government does not seem to realise that if people do not save then companies cannot invest and create jobs.

"But then, this Government does not seem to care about creating permanent jobs. It is more interested in the introduction of, in Mr. Young's words, "symbolic taxes".

"Mr. Young has proposed the taxes but he has not made any attempt to define the details. Like the superannuation tax, it has been bungled. Every Australian will feel threatened.

"It appears that the proposals are part of the strategy by the Government to soften up the Community for a hard Budget. This is a cynical and cruel trick.

"It is interesting to note that the Government's move on the new taxes comes at a time when the Prime Minister is overseas. We can only assume that Mr. Young is kite-flying for the Government. This will allow the Prime Minister to

judge the public reaction and, on his return, disown or support Mr. Young.

"The Prime Minister has continually promised there will be no new capital gains tax and no death duties. The new proposals by the Government are not just another case of "Hawkespeak". They are a cynical and heartless breaking of

a commitment to every Australian".

Canberra, 13 June, 1983.