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Thursday, 4 October 1984
Page: 1644

Mr HOWARD —I wish to make a personal explanation.

Madam DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mrs Child) —Does the honourable member claim to have been misrepresented?

Mr HOWARD —Yes. During the debate on the matter of public importance, the Treasurer (Mr Keating) misrepresented a statement of mine and sections of my speech by alleging that under the Budgets I had brought down the level of Budget receipts was a higher proportion of gross domestic product than that projected for the 1984-85 Budget. That statement of the Treasurer is wrong. It is based upon the entirely hypothetical assumption that somehow or other one could exclude from the calculation of receipts a portion of those receipts, namely, the Medicare levy. Such a procedure would be a surprise to the seven million Australian taxpayers who have to pay the Medicare levy and regard it like any other form of taxation as part of their taxation liability. They are not my words and they are not the words of the Liberal Party of Australia. They are verified on page 364 of the Budget Papers which, under the heading 'Budget Receipts', records the fact that it is anticipated that, by 1984-85, as a proportion of gross domestic product Budget receipts will be 27.9 per cent. By quick reference to that table it can be seen that that is clearly the largest proportion of gross domestic product--

Madam DEPUTY SPEAKER —Order! Is the honourable gentleman getting to the end of his personal explanation?

Mr HOWARD —Yes, I am. It needs to be put in context.

Madam DEPUTY SPEAKER —I hope the honourable member will keep it succinct.

Mr HOWARD —It is the largest proportion of any Budget since the end of World War II. No amount of hypothetical assumptions by the Treasurer which are not verified by the experience of the Australian taxpayer can alter the unassailable fact that the second Keating Budget is the biggest taxing Budget since World War II.