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Monday, 16 September 1985
Page: 540


Senator CHANEY —My question is directed to the Leader of the Government in the Senate and concerns the latest chapter in the Government's extraordinary catalogue of confusion and indecision over changes to the tax system. I refer to reports that at a meeting with the Prime Minister on Friday representatives of business and manufacturing in the rural industries repeated the concern expressed three weeks ago by a meeting of 18 organisations about the adverse effects of proposed taxation changes, particularly the impact of a capital gains tax. Is it true that the Prime Minister told Friday's meeting that the remnants of the Government's tax proposals would not be announced until Parliament resumed in October, or is it still the intention to make a statement on Thursday? In view of the growing concern within the community about capital gains taxation and the discriminatory attacks on business proposed in the fringe benefit area, is there still time to reconsider the damage these changes would cause, or has the Cabinet completed its deliberations? If the latter is true, is Caucus now the only hope of a commonsense outcome from the tax debacle?


Senator BUTTON —I am not aware of the details of the discussions or of the exact points which Senator Chaney alleges in his question were made by the Prime Minister to representatives of the business community at discussions on Friday. The Government's tax package will be announced this week. The deliberations are complete.