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Wednesday, 8 December 1976
Page: 3468

Mr BRAITHWAITE (DAWSON, QUEENSLAND) - My question is directed to the Treasurer. In view of the Queensland Government's intention to abolish death duties as from 1 January 1977 and the stated intention of other States to provide relief in certain circumstances, has the Government any proposal to alter its method of assessment of Federal death duties in order to avoid a greater assessment of Federal duties as a result of the decreasing State collections? Alternatively, has the Government any proposal to extend complete exemption from assessment of estates passing to spouses or to the immediate family?

Mr LYNCH -The area of State death duties and Commonwealth estate duty is, of course, an area in which personal hardship has abounded and does abound at the present time. In that context the Government made it very clear in the election campaign that it would move to make significant amendments in this area. Those amendments were included in the Budget Speech. They were very significant in reducing the considerable degree of hardship faced by people as a consequence of the imposition of Commonwealth estate duty. However, the honourable gentleman raises the question of the changes which have taken place both in Queensland and in other States. Yes, the matter will be examined, as to both the level of Commonwealth estate duty and the basis of it. That examination will be made by the Government in its overall review of the tax system.

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