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Wednesday, 2 December 1998
Page: 1095

Mr COSTELLO (Treasurer) (10:10 AM) —I move:

That the bill be now read a second time.

Mr Speaker, the abolition of wholesale sales tax and the introduction of goods and services tax could result in difficulties for business if appropriate transitional rules are not put in place.

Without such rules, there might be double taxation or large falls in the value of stock held for resale. Consumers and businesses may delay purchases to take advantage of price falls when the higher wholesale sales tax rates cease to apply. Businesses may delay high value purchases to obtain input tax credits.

As outlined in my earlier speech, the government has designed transitional arrangements to ensure that the benefits of tax reform can flow immediately to businesses and the wider community.

Full details of the measures in the bill are contained in the explanatory memorandum circulated to honourable members.

I commend the bill to the House, and I present the explanatory memorandum.

Debate (on motion by Mr Crean) adjourned.