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Wednesday, 19 November 1941

Senator KEANE - The increase of 21/2d. a dozen in the retail price of safety matches throughout the Commonwealth, from the 14th November, 1941, was necessitated by an increased excise duty of 2s. a gross, and sales tax of 10 per cent. or approximately 21/2d. a gross. Manufacturers have been permitted to pass on only the additional excise of 2s. a gross paid by them, without any additional profit.Wholesalers are permitted to sell at an increased price of 2s.1d. a gross. The gross profit margin of wholesalers is below the rate prevailing at the outbreak of war. Retailers' margins have been increased by 21/2d. a gross on sales of dozens, but have been materially decreased where sales are made in single boxes, as no increase has been permitted of the price of1d. for single boxes. Since the outbreak of war, on account of increases of manufacturing costs, 3s. 6d. a gross excise duty, and the increase of sales tax from 5 per cent. to 10 per cent., the total costs to retailers have increased by over 80 per cent. Retailers' margins have been considerably reduced since prewar days.

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