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Wednesday, 26 June 1946

Mr CHIFLEY (Macquarie) (Prime Minister and Treasurer) . - I move -

That the bill be now read a second time.

The purpose of this bill is to obtain parliamentary appropriation for the expenditure of an additional amount of £20,000,000 of revenue for war purposes. When the budget was presented to the Parliament in September last I estimated that the total revenue would be £374,000,000. The budget was framed to provide an appropriation from revenue for non-war items aggregating £16.6,000,000. The balance of £208,000,000 was appropriated for war purposes. It is now anticipated that some revenue items will exceed the estimate. With the end of the war and the relaxation of controls, there has been a marked buoyancy in customs and excise revenue, and indications are that the estimate will be exceeded by £7,000,000. Increased sales of civilian goods, mainly due to the demobilization of the forces, may result in an increase of sales tax revenue by £5,000,000. Income tax may also yield an extra amount of £5,000,000. Estate duty and some other items of revenue will show small increases. It is anticipated that non-war expenditure will be approximately the same as the budget estimate. An accurate forecast of the total revenue for the financial year is somewhat difficult, but the improvement will be of the order of from £15,000,000 10 £20,000,000. To permit this increase of revenue to be utilized to meet war expenditure, it is necessary to provide an. additional appropriation and therefore parliamentary appropriation for £20,000,000 is sought.

The budget provided for a total war expenditure in 1945-46 of £360,000,000. Owing mainly to the acceleration of demobilization, this estimate will be exceeded. The proposed appropriation of £20,000,000 will enable the actual improvement of revenue to be applied to war expenditure, thus reducing tq this extent the amount chargeable to loan.

Debate (on motion by Mr. Fadden) adjourned.

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