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Hawke Socialist Government is finding it difficult to convince Australia that we need a 12.5% consumption tax

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Date 2 July 1985 No. T.o. A8/85

It is no wonder that the Hawke Socialist Government is finding it difficult to convince Australia that we need a 12.5% consumption tax to raise revenue. The potential for A.L.P. fiddling with such a tax has already been demonstrated by them",, the Shadow Minister for Finance, Senator Peter, said.

"When the Bicentennial Roads Program was commenced in 1982 the Government imposed an extra petrol excise of 2c per litre, to raise the $417 million being spent each year on special road projects.

"The Hawke Government indexed this excise, which .now stands at 2.17c per litre but the amount paid to the Roads Program remains at the original figure of 2c per litre.

"This means that. 8.5% of the money raised by the excise, or about $35.5 million, is being retained by the Government in its general revenue fund. In other words it amounts to an extra consumption tax which is used to fund the highest taxing, biggest spending government in Australia's history.

"The fear being expressed now is that when the Bicentennial Roads Program is completed in 1989 the Government, if still in power, will not repeal the legislation which levies the excise on petrol. Obviously, from the way it has grabbed the indexed increase, it plans to retain this source of extra funds even though nothing is scheduled to take the place of the Bicentennial Roads Program.

"Everyone will suffer from this sleight jof hand attitude by the ALP Government. Travellers will pay more for their petrol without the benefit of an improved roads system in the future. The construction materials industry will experience a significant decrease in business available and fuel costs will be more than is necessary.

"In particular, unless urgent steps are taken to curtail increases in fuel and freight· costs then rural Australia ■ and States like Tasmania will be seriously damaged.

"It is no wonder the farmers have been making their concern so obvious in Canberra this week", Senator Rae concluded.

Contact : Pip Rowell (003) 311711.