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Headlong retreat on taxation

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Deputy Leader of the Opposition

Parliament House, Canberra, A C T. 2600 Tel. (062) 72 6892/6296/6297

Commonwealth Government Centre Chifley Square, Sydney, N S W. 2000 Tel. (02) 239 1858/3060



The Treasurer's taxation announcement is not just a monumental

loss of nerve by the Government. It is also a thinly disguised

and bitter diatribe against the Prime Minister and others who .

betrayed him at the Taxation Summit.

The statement is full of self-justification for the Treasurer's

original support of Option C. It heaps ridicule and scorn on the

Prime Minister by exposing the fraudulent ad hocery of the compromise

put together by the Prime Minister at the end of the Taxation Summit.

All the brave words about tough decisions are found to represent


The prediction I made at the end of the Summit that all we would

end up with at the end of the day were the "nasties" of Option A,

seems to have borne fruit.

There is to be no major shift away from our excessive reliance on

income tax as a source of revenue.

There is however to be a capital gains tax, a j ackbooted, industrially

stupid and unfair attack on fringe benefits, coupled with such short­

sighted measures as the removal of negative gearing which will

dramatically affect poor rentpayers, particularly in the large


The Treasurer and this Government have totally failed on the issue

of taxation reform. The leadership and courage they boasted they

could deliver have not been realised. ·

The large number of people in Australia who wanted fundamental tax

reform will be bitterly disappointed.


13 August 1985