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Wednesday, 18 September 1985
Page: 637

To the Honourable the President and members of the Senate in Parliament assembled. The petition of the undersigned respectfully showeth:

1. That the present Federal tax system is not equitable, readily understandable or manageable. It is making a material contribution to the decline in ethical standards in Australia, and in the opinion of many eminent Australians it is a tax system that basically makes us into a nation of cheats.

2. Some classes of taxpayers are more heavily taxed than others and two groups, wage and salary earners and small businesses, through the impact of inflation on the progressive rate structure, have suffered disproportionately in recent years.

3. A great many people see cheating the tax system as a necessary response to what they regard as cheating by Governments.

4. Through excessive marginal income tax rates, the spirit of free enterprise and hard work is being stifled. The groups in the community who generate savings are being discouraged from investing those savings in capital for business.

5. Any reform of the taxation system needs to be comprehensive and not piecemeal. Further, it requires an unimpeachable commitment from all political parties and parliamentarians to adopt a totally bi-partisan approach in debating tax reform proposals and legislation.

Your petitioners humbly pray that the Federal Government will use the forthcoming Taxation Summit meeting as the occasion to announce the formation of one or more working parties committed to the development of a taxation system that will ensure that the necessary Government revenue is raised in the most equitable and efficient manner possible and that such working party (parties) be provided with adequate resources so as to permit the tabling of their recommendations in the Parliament not later than June 30, 1986.

Further, your petitioners believe that one of the most significant ways this country could celebrate its Bi-Centenary is through the introduction, by 1988, of legislation that will give the people a fair and equitable taxing system.

And your petitioners as in duty bound will ever pray.