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Thursday, 4 June 1987
Page: 3993

Mr COWAN —I direct my question to the Treasurer. I refer to this week's Bulletin article which details the financial power of unions, such as the Amalgamated Metal Workers Union, which has net assets of $18m-plus and is getting 16 per cent tax free returns on its investments. What is the Treasurer's best estimate of the annual revenue forgone by the Commonwealth, due specifically to the tax exemption given to trade unions on income arising other than from dealings with their members?

Mr KEATING —I did not see the article, but there is an exemption for co-operative bodies in the Income Tax Assessment Act, which has been there for a very long time. I can only presume that the import of the question is that the honourable member thinks that the exemptions for trade unions, charities, churches and the rest should come out.