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Wednesday, 24 May 1972
Page: 1950

Senator WILLESEE - I direct a question to the Minister representing the Treasurer. I was told by the Treasurer yesterday in reply to a question on notice that a reliable estimate of the loss of revenue arising from amendment to section 26 (a) of the Act could not be made. I ask: Is it the practice of the Government to introduce financial measures without any idea of their effect on the Budget? If not, why has the Government acted in the dark in this case?

Senator COTTON - I have not the benefit of the knowledge of what the Treasurer might have said yesterday but I doubt very much whether more was intended by anything he said than that it is not easy to draw precise arithmetical lines as to amounts of money involved in any calculation like this because what normally happens is that when the Government makes these changes there is a certain amount of adjustment at the edges. I could not go any further than that for it would be improper for me to do so. I am very hesitant about making comment on Treasury matters of this character particularly just before a budget session. But I shall do what I can to seek greater information on the subject for the honourable senator.

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