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Tuesday, 24 February 1987
Page: 495

Senator CHANEY —My question is directed to the Leader of the Government in the Senate and follows his rather excited reply to the earlier question on the proposed May mini-Budget. Can the Minister give an unequivocal assurance that the July tax rate reductions will take place as at present legislated for?

Senator BUTTON —Legislation has already been passed in respect of that matter. I suppose that Senator Chaney can give the assurance as well as I can, and it would have to be unscrambled here.

Senator CHANEY —Mr President, I ask a supplementary question. The May mini-Budget will involve making a whole lot of decisions which will involve legislation. My question relates to whether we can have an assurance at this stage that the July tax rate reductions which are legislated for will be left in place so that they do occur.

Senator BUTTON —The July tax reductions which have been promised by the Government will remain in place. They will come into force from 1 July. They will be quite distinct from the tax concessions offered by the Fraser Government in 1977. The only major tax concessions offered by the Fraser Government in its seven or eight years in office were offered in 1977 and taken away in April 1978. I remind the Senate that during the entire period in which the Fraser Government was in office it made no impact on marginal tax rates in this country, and no significant tax reductions except those which were promised and dishonoured. This Government is not in that business. The tax reductions to marginal rates promised by the Government will take place on 1 July 1987.

Senator Walters —Are you sure?

Senator BUTTON —Senator Walters can ask me on 2 July.