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Tuesday, 26 May 2009
Page: 4418

Mr BOWEN (Minister for Competition Policy and Consumer Affairs, and Assistant Treasurer) (8:23 PM) —in reply—I thank all members who participated in this debate. The pay-as-you-go amendment contained in schedule 1 of the Tax Laws Amendment (2009 Measures No. 3) Bill 2009 will provide a substantial cash flow benefit to small business, self-funded retirees and other eligible taxpayers. This amendment sets the GDP adjustment for the 2009-10 income year at two per cent for taxpayers who pay quarterly PAYG instalments on the basis of the GDP-adjusted notional tax method. This will be an important initiative in this very difficult time for cash flow for small business in particular and it joins the general and small business tax break that the government has embarked upon as part of the government’s support for small business in these very difficult times.

The amendment in schedule 2 of the bill will allow taxpayers who are voluntarily registered for goods and services tax who choose to remit the GST annually to also choose to make their PAYG income tax instalments annually, provided they satisfy the other eligible tests for annual PAYG instalments. The amendments will reduce the compliance costs for eligible taxpayers by addressing the misalignment between PAYG and GST instalment systems.

Schedule 3 of the bill amends the Petroleum Resource Rent Tax Assessment Act 1987 to implement four minor measures, on which I will not detain the House. Schedule 4 amends the list of deductible gift recipients in the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997. Division 30 of the tax act sets out the requirements for organisations to be granted DGR status. Organisations with DGR status can collect tax deductible gifts. Organisations must either fit under one of the existing DGR categories or must be specifically listed under these provisions. This schedule specifically lists the Royal Institution of Australia Inc., the Diplomacy Training Program Ltd and the Leeuwin Ocean Adventure Foundation Ltd.

I am very pleased that the members for Page and Fremantle were able to contribute to this debate. The member for Page was instrumental in convincing me of the benefits of the Diplomacy Training initiative, something I am sure the member for Fremantle would also support, given her extensive background in the area. The member for Fremantle, as the honourable member indicated, was very active in lobbying on behalf of the Leeuwin Ocean Adventure Foundation and took the opportunity when I visited Fremantle to introduce me to the board of directors and senior management. I had a range of questions about the services that were available to disadvantaged youth in particular and I found their case very compelling. As the honourable member for Fremantle indicated, there are a number of precedents for this listing and I was more than happy to support it through this legislation. She deserves the acknowledgement of the House for her tireless efforts on behalf of the Leeuwin Ocean Adventure Foundation.

Taxpayers can of course claim income tax deductions for certain gifts to organisations with DGR status. DGR status will assist the listed organisations to attract public support for their activities. Again, in these very difficult times where donations are drying up, DGR status is of vital importance to many instrumentalities and I am glad we have been able to extend it to these three organisations. I commend the bill to the House.

Question agreed to.

Bill read a second time.

Ordered that this bill be reported to the House without amendment.