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Wednesday, 30 October 1974
Page: 2112

Senator MISSEN - I present the following petition from 69 citizens of Australia:

To the Honourable the President and Members of the Senate in Parliament assembled. The humble petition of the undersigned citizens of Australia respectfully showeth:

That the reduction of the allowable deduction of education expenses under Section 82J of the Income Tax Assessment Act from $400 to $150 is $50.00 below the 1956-57 figure.

That this reduction will impose hardships on many parents who have children attending school, whether non government or government; and particularly on parents with more than one child at school.

That this reduction will further restrict the freedom available to parents to make a choice of school for their children.

That some parents who have chosen to send their children to a non-government school will have to withdraw their children and send them to government schools already over crowded and under staffed.

That the parents to benefit most relatively from educational income tax deductions, in the past and even more in the future, are the parents of children in government schools and this has a divisive effect in the Australian community.

That parents should be encouraged by the Australian government to exercise freedom of choice of the type of school they wish for their children. The proposed reduction means an additional financial penalty is imposed on parents who try to exercise this choice and discourage them from making an important financial contribution to Australian education over and above what they contribute through taxation.

That an alternative system, a tax rebate system, could be adopted as being more equitable for all parents with children at school.

To compensate for the losses that will follow from the proposed reduction and to help meet escalating educational costs faced by all families your petitioners most humbly pray that the Senate in Parliament assembled should take immediate steps to restore educational benefits to parents, at least at the 1 973- 1 974 level either by increasing taxation deductions or through taxation rebates.

And your petitioners as in duty bound will ever pray.

Petition received and read.

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