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MESSAGE FROM THE SENATE—TAXATION LAWS AMENDMENT BILL (NO. 6) 2001

Message No. 731, 27 September 2001, from the Senate was reported returning the Taxation Laws Amendment Bill (No. 6) 2001 with amendments.

Ordered—That the amendments be considered forthwith.

On the motion of Mr Slipper (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Finance and Administration), the amendments were disagreed to, after debate.

Mr Slipper presented reasons, which were circulated, and are as follows:

Reasons of the House of Representatives for disagreeing to the amendments of the Senate

Senate Amendment No. 1

The proposed amendment would make sanitary products GST-free. It would require thousands of businesses to change their computer and accounting systems and the Tax Office would need to make rulings on definitions as what has been proposed differs from the former WST exemption.

The House of Representatives does not accept this measure.

Senate Amendment No. 2

The proposed amendment would make lactation aids GST-free. This would require thousands of businesses to change their systems to define what is GST-free or taxable under the proposed amendment. The proposed amendment also does not attempt to define exactly what a lactation aid might be, thus requiring Tax Office rulings.

The House of Representatives does not accept this measure.

Senate Amendment No. 3

The proposed amendment makes funeral services GST-free. This amendment is poorly defined and will create definitional problems, complexity, and uncertainty not only for the funeral industry but for thousands of other businesses. For example, venues would be taxable if provided for weddings, but
GST-free if provided for funerals. Flowers would be taxable if provided for weddings, but GST-free if provided for funerals.

The House of Representatives does not accept this measure.

Senate Amendment No. 4

The proposed amendment would make long term accommodation in a caravan park GST-free. Under the GST, caravan park owners have the choice of charging a concessional 5.5% GST on their long term accommodation and claiming full input tax credits or not applying the GST to rents, which means that they cannot claim input tax credits. This ensures that long term residents of caravan parks are treated fairly compared to those who rent a house or flat. The proposed amendment would provide residents of caravan parks with GST treatment which is more favorable compared to that available to others in rental accommodation.

The House of Representatives does not accept this measure.

On the motion of Mr Slipper, the reasons were adopted.