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Tuesday, 18 September 1928

Mr GREGORY (Swan) .- Seeing that some honorable members have been travelling almost all the time since Friday, I ask the Treasurer to defer consideration of the bill in committee until to-morrow, to give us an opportunity to study the amendments a little more closely. "While I have no desire to relieve any section of the community of taxation which should legitimately be imposed upon it, I have a great objection to the inclusion in taxation measures of retrospective provisions. They are dangerous, and liable to operate very unfairly. Earlier this year I moved an amendment to another taxation bill with the object of providing that taxation should be imposed upon incomes derived by Australian residents from capital invested outside of the Commonwealth. I contend that it is much more desirable that we should encourage people to invest their capital within the country than elsewhere; but by taxing income derived from investments within the Commonwealth and exempting from taxation income derived from investments outside we are practically inviting people to invest their money abroad. I should have been prepared to move a similar amendment to this bill but for the undertaking of the Prime Minister that the whole subject was being carefully investigated. A few nights ago the right honorable gentleman stated that the Government had not quite determined its attitude upon the subject. Seeing that the most careful investigation is necessary before the incorporation of such provisions in our taxation legislation, I am quite prepared to give the Government every opportunity to complete its inquiries. Consequently, I do not propose to move an amendment of that nature to this bill. I hope, however, that next year Parliament will deal with those who, with the object of avoiding taxation upon their incomes, consider it expedient to make their investments abroad. This enables them to avoid paying a single sixpence towards the expenses of government, although in many cases they have made the bulk of their wealth from their investments here.

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