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Wednesday, 11 September 1996
Page: 3344

(Question No. 148)


Senator Sherry asked the Minister representing the Treasurer, upon notice, on 17 July 1996:

(1) What is the Government's official definition of a tax.

(2) Is a tariff a tax.

(3) Is a levy a tax.

(4) Would the reduction of a tax rebate be classified in the Budget Papers as a tax increase.


Senator Short —The Treasurer has provided the following answers to the honourable senator's question:

(1) For the purposes of the Budget documents, the Government does not intend to change the classification adopted by the previous Government with regard to taxes.

(2) Revenue from tariffs is classified in the Budget papers by the previous Government as `Customs duty—Imports'.

(3) Revenue from levies is classified in the Budget papers by the previous Government either as an offset within outlays or as `Other taxes, fees and fines', depending on the nature of the levy.

(4) If a rebate has been classified as an outlay, any reduction would be recorded as a reduction in government outlays. If a rebate has not been traditionally classified as an outlay, any reduction of such a tax rebate would be classified in the Budget Papers as a tax measure.