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Thursday, 21 August 1980
Page: 586

Mr HAYDEN - With some of the tumult in the last couple of days, the Honourable John Naupa may well feel at home. I refer the Treasurer to the measures introduced in the Budget relating to deductions from income of up to $1,200 for taxation purposes for the selfemployed in relation to superannuation. .He will recall the initiative.

Mr Neil - It is a great idea.

Mr HAYDEN - Well, I would be interested to hear whether the honourable member for St George endorses this provision, given the income distribution in his electorate.

Mr SPEAKER -Order! The Leader of the Opposition should direct his question.

Mr Neil - It is a great idea. It is a great Budget measure.

Mr HAYDEN - I am sorry; I did not hear the honourable member for St George.

Mr SPEAKER -The honourable member for St George will not be heard. He will remain silent. I call the Leader of the Opposition.

Mr HAYDEN - I ask the Treasurer: Do these new arrangements mean that the net after-tax cost of the superannuation claim, if the maximum deduction of $ 1 ,200 is claimed, will be $8 1 6 for a taxpayer with an income in the range of $4,000 to $17,000 and $648 for a taxpayer with an income in the range of $ 1 7,200 to $34,500, while for those with incomes above $34,500 the net cost will be only $480, that is, only about half of the net cost to the moderate income earners? How does the Government justify this generous but regressive handout to the high income, self-employed professional in the heartland of the tax avoidance industry compared with the moderate income, self-employed skilled tradesman and farmer?

Mr HOWARD - I again welcome the interest of the Opposition in this measure. Firstly, I would like to correct the description of the measure by the Leader of the Opposition. It is not just a measure for the self-employed. It is also a measure for employees not presently supported by pension and superannuation schemes.

Mr Hayden - It is still a rort for high income earners. All your bankrollers will be making a fortune out of it.

Mr HOWARD - It applies--

Mr Hayden - It is a rort for high income earners, a rort for your people.

Mr HOWARD - It applies in a totally evenhanded fashion. The Leader of the Opposition by omission has tried--

Mr Hurford - When are you introducing the legislation?

Mr SPEAKER -Order! The Treasurer will resume his seat. I do not propose to allow the question to be answered while Opposition members make that noise. I ask honourable members on the Opposition benches to remain silent while the question is being answered.

Mr HOWARD - The great majority of employees in the community who are unsupported by pension and superannuation arrangements at present are in the lower income ranges. That is why the measure was designed to assist not only the self-employed but also unsupported employees. Of course this taxation deduction is in line with other taxation deductions; because people on higher incomes pay more tax they get a greater benefit from the deductions.

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