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Thursday, 4 December 2008
Page: 8292

Senator CONROY (Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy) (8:48 PM) —I thank all senators who have made a contribution to the debate on the Tax Laws Amendment (Luxury Car Tax—Minor Amendments) Bill 2008. The technical amendments debated in the Senate today ensure that the amendments to the luxury car tax moved by the non-government senators and passed by the Senate in September operate as intended. The technical issues addressed in this bill were not raised in that Senate debate. The debate raised a large number of issues but not those addressed in these amendments.

Subsequent to the passage through the Senate of the luxury car tax, the motor vehicle industry and the finance industry approached the government and raised some anomalies that existed due to the interaction of previous amendments with vehicle financing arrangements. The government has listened to those concerns and has acted quickly to clarify the operation of the law for car buyers, finance companies and dealers. These amendments make it clear that luxury car tax refunds are payable to eligible businesses regardless of the arrangement used to finance the vehicle. The amendments also ensure that vehicles contracted before budget night are not subject to the higher rate of luxury car tax regardless of how the purchase is financed.

In conclusion, I would like to respond to points that have been raised in the context of these amendments. The opposition referred to 60 per cent of luxury car buyers being affected by this amendment. I am advised that figure applies to all vehicles that are financed, not just those that are leased—that is, it includes vehicles purchased under an ordinary car loan which do not need to be covered by these amendments. Finally, I note that the opposition has recorded its support for the bill. I urge all senators to support the bill and I commend the bill to the Senate.

Question agreed to.

Bill read a second time.