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Tuesday, 25 November 1941

Mr CALWELL (Melbourne) .- How much revenue will the Government be giving away through this and other concessions that are provided for in the bill ? I should also like to know what will be the position of an individual who earns about £2,000 this year, but who will retire at the age of 65 years next year, when his income will diminish to about onequarter of its previous level. Under the provisions of this measure, the man whom I have in mind will be required to pay about £1,300 of tax in respect of the money which he earned this year. He will be obliged, if he is to discharge his liabilities, to sell a house in which he has invested his money. Is any provision made for a rebate to him in these special circumstances, or will he be obliged to submit: to the equivalent of a capital levy in order that he may satisfy his obligation to the State? If he will bt obliged to submit to a capital levy, in that he will have to sell some property in order to pay his Commonwealth and State taxes, will the Treasurer adopt, generally, the principle of a capital levy? In my view a. man who is placed in this position as the result of taxes having increased steeply in the last couple of years, should be allowed a long time in which to pay his tax or given the benefit of some adjustment over this year and next year. At any rate, he should not be placed at a grave disadvantage in comparison with what would be his position if he were to continue earning £2,000 a year. I ask the Treasurer to mitigate the severity of taxation upon persons whose incomes drop considerably because they reach the retiring age. and who are compelled to live on what they have managed to save while they have been in employment. The income of the man whose case I have cited if high, but he has not always earned thai amount, and, because he happens to retire during a war, he should not b

Mr Fadden - There is a special hardship provision in the act.

Mr CALWELL - Yes, in that the taxpayer may appeal to departmental officials, who may grant some remission. A? the committee has made provision to help people who are interested in companies, it might also consider the position of individuals such as the man I have mentioned. I appeal to the good sense and spirit of decency inherent in the Treasurer, and ask him to endeavour to relieve the circumstances of such individuals to whom I have referred. If they are to be impoverished by means of this heavy tax, they will have no course open to them but to apply for the old-age pension, and that will mean added burdens for the Treasury. I ask the Treasurer to deal with eases of this sort on their merits, either by amending the bill, or by direct.ina his officials to deal reasonably with them.

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