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Honey levy changed



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MEDIA RELEASE MINISTER FOR PRIMARY INDUSTRY

CANBERRA

PI 85/29 27 February 1985

Honey Levy Changed

3L

The Minister for Primary industry, Mr John Kerin, said today that amendments to the Honey Levy Legislation now before the Parliament would streamline administration and benefit the individual honey producer.

Mr Kerin said the levy applies to domestic sales and usage, and goes towards the costs of the Australian Honey Board and the honey research program.

He said total levy paid during the 1984/85 year is expected to be more than $300,000.

"Of this amount over $280,000 will be paid by 26 honey dealers, with the balance of $22,000 being paid by approximately 300 producers," Mr Kerin said.

He said the changes, to be introduced from 1 January 1986, will release producers from the present requirement to submit a levy return and pay the levy due each month.

"Instead they will now be required to lodge an annual return in February of the following year and pay any levy due at that time," Mr Kerin said.

"The existing rather complicated monthly return form will be replaced by a much simpler annual return form," he said.

"This not only eliminates what has been regarded by producers as an onerous task, but also saves them the cash costs associated with making up to twelve small payments each year," the Minister said.

Mr Kerin said that the benefits for the Government, result from a reduction in the clerical effort needed to process the levy returns.

"From 1986, returns lodged by producers will total only 300 annually compared with the 3,600 now submitted and revenue collected under the new system is expected to vary very little, if at all; any reduction will almost certainly be less than $1,000 in a year," Mr Kerin said.

He said this will arise because some producers, who pay levy now because they are above the exemption limit in some months will be below the new exemption limit of 600 kilograms in a year.

"No change is proposed in the current arrangements for monthly payments by honey dealers, which are normally substantial," Mr Kerin concluded. .

Contact: Walter Pearson - (062) 726649