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Business bewildered by Keating's now you see it now you don't tax package



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MEDIA RELEASE SENATOR TONY MESSNER

SHADOW MINISTER FOR FINANCE AND TAXATION 40/85

TH E SENATE

business bswieubkeu by k e a t i n g 's n c w y o u s e e i t ~ n c w y o u d o n 't t a x p a c k a g e '

Ctie could be forgiven for drawing comparisons between Mr Keating and

a sleight of hand trickster,in his handling of the government's tax

package. His not so glamorous assistants in this charade are the

Australian Democrats. Unfortunately, no one else knows just what the

final form of the tax package will be.

Senator Tony Messner, Shadow Minister for Finance and Taxation, today

called for the Hawke Labor Government to clarify the final form of

its tax package so that the business comrunity can make informed plans

for future investment.

"It is totally irresponsible for the government to announce major

changes to the taxation system, which are to operate from the time

of their announcement, without providing the details. How can rational

business decisions be made when the legislation is subject to review and

modification almost continuously?

"The failure of the government to provide details on the operation of its

negative gearing proposals, capital gains tax, the imputation system

and the tax on fringe benefits is frustrating enough for the business

craimunify. The final straw, however, is the present antics of Keating

and the Democrats. After much talk about changing many of the harsher

aspects of the government's tax package, it appears that the Democrats

have sold out on entertainment deductions, the fringe benefits tax and

negative gearing.

The Australian investment and business conmunity can be forgiven for

their bewilderment. They are desperate for the tax issue to be settled

so that critical investment decisions can be taken.

Mr Keating and the Democrats do not care. They are content to let the

business ccnmunity wait. It is a tragedy that the fate of Australia's

taxation system should be left in such irresponsible hands.

Canberra 28 November 1985

Enquiries: Michael West (062) 72 7111

REPRESENTING IN THE SENATE THE SH AD O W TREASURER A N D SHADOW MINISTER FOR IMMIGRATION A N D ETHNIC AFFAIRS