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Tuesday, 10 September 1985
Page: 323


Senator MESSNER —I remind the Leader of the Government in the Senate of his wonderful appearance in Playboy magazine recently-which was most revealing-when he described payroll tax as a burden on industry which, in fact, discourages employment. Does he accept that the proposed capital gains tax and taxing employers for employee fringe benefits will simply add to industry cost burdens and futher discourage employment? Even at this late hour, will the Government heed the call of 18 business organisations which met in Canberra a fortnight ago and drop the capital gains tax proposal and the fringe benefits tax proposal applying to employers from the package expected to be announced in a week or two?


Senator BUTTON —I think in fairness I ought to say that anything concerning me in Playboy was in printed form rather than in pictorial form. I think the comment Senator Messner attributes to me was correctly read by him, which surprises me in itself. Insofar as taxation of capital gains and fringe benefits is concerned, the Government will make an announcement about that matter at an appropriate time. Senator Messner keeps referring to the proposed capital gains tax and so on. I think he should bide his time in patience and see what comes out of the review of the taxation system. He will not have to wait very long. I must say that in any announcement the Government makes it will take care to see that it is not detrimental to business initiative and investment.