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Do not change personal tax system and load industry



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SENATOR FRED CHANEY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION IN THE SENATE SHADOW MINISTER FOR INDUSTRY, TECHNOLOGY AND COMMERCE

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Changes to the personal tax system must not be achieved at the cost of loading extra burdens onto industry.

All tax summit participants - not just those representing industry and commerce -■ need to remember that any decisions which increase total labour costs will reduce the competiveness, profitability and ability of businesses, to maintain or increase their workforces.

Most of Australian industry simply cannot take any more imposts if it is to survive and expand.

It is distressing to read reports that the responsible Minister, Senator Buttont is backing Option A.

This is the option which the Business Council of Australia said last week would have a “devastating effect upon business and investor confidence”, .

It is quite incredible that Senator Button has apparently thrown his weight behind this option.

Even more alarming is the Treasurer's apparent failure to realise the damage the fringe benefit proposal would have on business and industry.

While Senator Button professes concern about the impact of on-costs on Australian manufacturers, Mr Keating appears determined to press ahead with action which would have the effect of further adding to these costs.

In an extraordinary statement on ABC radio last week he accused employers of benefiting by providing lower wages in return for fringe benefits for employees, accused ’ them of polluting and perverting the tax system and

said it was time they paid their way.

The Treasurer must know that fringe benefits.are the product of high marginal rates of taxation.

He should be directing all his energy at reducing those rates, instead of bad-mouthing employers and trying to make them scapegoats for the state of the taxation syfcem.

If the government's proposal to.tax employers for employee benefits is endorsed by the Summit and brought in by the government it will simply add increased operating costs and lead to more unemployment.

Perth 30 June 1985 Contact?- Keith Kessell - 09 385 9430