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Tuesday, 25 November 2003
Page: 22718

Mr LATHAM (3:07 PM) —Mr Speaker, I wish to make personal explanations on two matters.

The SPEAKER —Does the honourable member claim to have been misrepresented?


The SPEAKER —Please proceed.

Mr LATHAM —During question time when the Treasurer said that I endorsed the government's income tax plan from three years ago he was referring to an article on the front page of the Sydney Morning Herald on Saturday, 18 October, written by Mr Matt Wade. In that article I actually said:

“If you are raising children, you've got a mortgage and you are living in expensive cities like Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, I don't think anyone could pretend that $65,000 is a huge amount of affluence ... It's part of a broader problem of disincentive right across the income bands.”

Labor's greatest concern was for low-income earners, but there was also “a problem around that 60-, 70-, 80-thousand-dollar level”.

So that is the truth of it: no endorsement of a policy, let alone the government's policy, just the identification of problems under the highest taxing government in Australia's history.

The SPEAKER —The member for Werriwa has indicated where he was misrepresented. He had a second matter he wanted to raise.

Mr LATHAM —Yes. The second matter concerns a letter written by the member for Parkes to his local newspapers, dated 25 November, falsely claiming that I proposed an inheritance tax in my 1998 book Civilising Global Capital. Anyone reading the book will see that he is referring inaccurately to material from a Queensland academic reproduced in the appendix. My book makes clear at page 349 that I do not endorse the proposals by Professor Hinckfuss. The member for Parkes is misleading his electorate with this false claim.