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Senator Short, pursuant to notice, moved--That the Senate--

(a) notes that in announcing tax reforms in 1985 the then Treasurer

(Mr Keating) said that his aim was to relieve the tax burden on

middle-income Australians;

(b) expresses its concern that a study of Australia's taxation

system by Access Economics shows that, 10 years after the then

Treasurer Keating's so-called major reforms were announced, all

persons earning less than approximately $60 000 to $70 000 per

year are now paying a higher proportion of their income in tax

than they were ten years ago when compulsory superannuation

contributions are included;

(c) notes that:

(i) the only people who are better off under this

Government's taxation policies are high income earners,

those earning 2.5 times the average weekly earnings or

more, and that those who have been most disadvantaged by

this Government's taxation policies are middle-income

earners, on approximately average weekly earnings, and

(ii) when the compulsory superannuation guarantee charge is

taken into account, as conceptually it should be,

Australia's tax rates by international standards are

not low, but rather are middle of the Organisation for

Economic Co-operation and Development's field, and are

very high by regional standards; and

(d) condemns the Government for deliberately pursuing taxation

policies which have widened the gap between rich and poor, and

which have devastated middle Australia.

Debate ensued.

Question put and passed.

General Business concluded.