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Wednesday, 13 November 1974
Page: 2298

Senator WEBSTER - I present the following petition from 273 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 $130 will impose an unfair financial burden on many parents with children attending school, both government and non-government, and particularly on parents with more than one child at school.

That all parents have an equal right to receive government financial assistance for the education of their children.

That all parents have the right to a choice of school for their children.

That the reduction in the allowable tax deduction will take away from many parents their freedom to exercise their right of choice of schools.

That many parents, unable to continue to send their children to non-government schools will have no alternative but to seek places for them in government schools where pressures caused by over-crowding and under-staffing are already affecting the quality of education the schools can provide.

That it is undesirable that the large voluntary financial contribution being made to education in Australia by parents of children at non-government schools should be reduced.

That the reduction in assistance to parents for education expenses will result in non-government schools being forced to become more socially exclusive whereas their own as well as the national interest will best be served by making available to as wide a socio-economic group as possible the kind of education they seek to offer.

That an alternative form of assistance to parents through a tax rebate system would be a more positive and equitable means of assisting all parents who have children at school.

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 to the 1973-1974 level either through taxation deductions or rebates.

And your petitioners as in duty bound will ever pray.

Petition received.

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