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Wednesday, 2 December 1998
Page: 1096

Mr COSTELLO (Treasurer) (10:14 AM) —I move:

That the bill be now read a second time.

Mr Speaker, some high earners are avoiding obligations and taking advantage of government assistance given to low income earners by converting income into fringe benefits. This way they can be assessed on nominal income to qualify for income support that they do not need and which was not intended for them.

From the 1999-2000 income year, group certificates will show the full value of fringe benefits received when the taxable value exceeds $1,000. These benefits will be taken into account when liability for surcharges and eligibility for assistance is being determined.

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.