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Wednesday, 16 October 1985
Page: 1310


Senator WALSH (Minister for Finance)(12.23) —Senator Walters proposes that there is something unjust about the basic taxation law because the income tax unit is the individual instead of the household. Then she tacks on to that the effect of the Medicare levy and says that this is a matter of injustice and that something should be done about it. The first response to that, if one accepts her original proposition as valid, which I do not-a sort of fiddling about at the edges while leaving the heartland alone-is that the hypothetical household to which she referred, a household with incomes split in the proportion she suggested, if one exists at all, would be extremely rare. Secondly, I refer to the problems of writing and administering a taxation Act. The Income Tax Assessment Act, the last time I counted the pages, contained eleven hundred and something pages. To make allowance for the sort of proposition which Senator Walters is putting forward would be to add considerably both to the length of the Act and to the difficulty in administering it. If there are any households which meet the hypothetical conditions she has put down-I doubt whether there are any at all or any which approximate it-there would certainly be very few.