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The order of the day having been read for the resumption of the debate on the question—That the Bill be now read a second time—

Debate resumed.

Mr Cox moved, as an amendment—That all words after "That" be omitted with a view to substituting the following words: "whilst not declining to give the Bill a second reading, the House:

(1) condemns the Howard Government because:

 (a) it is the highest taxing government in history;

(b) without the additional revenue provided by bracket creep the budget would be in deficit this financial year and in 2005-06;

(c) it will be unable to return to taxpayers the more than $6 billion in additional tax as a result of bracket creep which it will receive in 2005-06, without going into deficit;

(d) it continues to take new policy decisions that spend the proceeds of additional taxation collections, in the case of this Bill by providing tax concessions to foreign expatriates not available to Australian taxpayers; and

(e) tax concessions to expatriates should not be paid for by reducing the medical expenses rebate for ordinary Australians; and

(2) calls on the Government to provide annual indexation of the medical expenses rebate; and

(3) calls on the Government to provide tax deductibility to volunteer fire fighters for incidental expenses that are not reimbursed and are incurred in volunteer fire fighting, on account of the extreme sacrifices they make for the community in time, effort and personal risk".

Debate continued.

Amendment negatived.

Question—That the Bill be now read a second time—put and passed—Bill read a second time.

Consideration in detail

Bill, by leave, taken as a whole.

Mr Cox moved the Opposition amendment.

Debate continued.

Amendment negatived.


Mr Slipper (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Finance and Administration) presented a supplementary explanatory memorandum to the Bill.

On the motion of Mr Slipper, by leave, Government amendments (1) to (3) were made together.

Bill, as amended, agreed to.

Consideration in detail concluded.

On the motion of Mr Slipper, by leave, the Bill was read a third time.