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Tax package is discriminatory, says Hunt

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The Hawke Labor Government's tax package discriminated against farmers and the small business community, Deputy National Party Leader, Mr Hunt, said today.

Mr Hunt was commenting on Senator Walsh's defence of Labor's proposed tax package. .

Mr Hunt said the capital gains tax would have a more detrimental effect on the capital aggregation of owners of small businesses and family farms than it would have upon other sectors of the Australian community.

He said that in the farming industries in particular, the low returns to capital were partly offset by the steady increase in the asset value of the farm.

However this was important not only at the time of sale to the small farmer but it was also important in enabling the small farmer to raise borrowings for operational and essential capital purchases.

The combined effect of the capital gains tax and the quarantining of farm losses from off-farm income was not only discriminatory against the farming community but it would also have a detrimental effect upon the values of agricultural land in Australia, Mr Hunt said.

Farmers had borrowed a massive $6 billion against land values which would undoubtedly depreciate substantially as a result of Labor's tax package.

Mr Hunt said the so-called Pitt Street farmers had introduced badly-needed capital into agricultural production and had helped to improve the productivity and efficiency levels of Australian agriculture.

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They had also helped to maintain land prices and the security against which land owners had been able to borrow in order to improve their farms.

"The tax package undoubtedly favours the corporate sector and those investing in that sector and has satisfied the demands of the trade union movement. .

"It has done so at the expense of farmers and the small business people of Australia.

"It is this sector which provides about 70pc of all the jobs available in the private enterprise sector of Australia,” Mr Hunt said


7 October 1985