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Wednesday, 2 April 1941

Senator LECKIE (Victoria) (Assistant Minister) . - The question raised by Senator McLachlan regarding shearing contracts is covered by the definition of " wages ", which states - " Wages " means any wages, salary, commission, bonuses or allowances paid or payable (whether at piece work rates or otherwise and whether paid or payable in cash or in kind) to any employee as such and, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, includes -

(a)   any payment made under any prescribed classes of contracts to the extent to which that payment is attributable to labour.

If the employer pays money direct to the shearers, which includes their keep, the employer will come under theterms of the bill provided the total sum paid in wages is more than £1,040 a year. If the employer pays for the shearing through a contractor and supplies the contractor's shearers with sustenance he will have to regard sustenance as wages. The contractor will pay tax on the wages actually paid. Senator A. J. McLachlan need have no fear that there will be duplication of taxation. I realize that peculiar cases will arise in the operation of the measure, but I think that honorable senators can rest assured that the regulations made under the act will remove any doubt.

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