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Thursday, 8 September 1949

Mr Hamilton n asked the Treasurer, upon notice -

1.   Is it a fact that members of the defence forces serving in New Guinea andPapua are required to pay income and social services tax, as if they were living in Australia?

2.   Are displaced person migrants employed by the Department of External Territories exempt from such taxation because they are regarded by the Taxation Department as residents within the territories?

3.   If so, what is the reason for the discrimination?

4.   Will he take appropriate steps to place members of the defence forces concerned on the same footing as displaced persons for taxation purposes?

Mr.chifley. - The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows : -

1.   Income derived by residents of the territory of Papua-New Guinea from sources within the territory is exempt from Commonwealth social services contribution and income tax. Generally speaking, the duration of service and the circumstances in which a member of the defence forces serves in the territory would not establish him as a resident of the territory. Some members of the forces are liable to contribution and tax, but the liability would be less than that of members of the forces serving in, say, Sydney or Melbourne. The reduced liability is due to the allowance of an annual deduction of £120 to members serving in PapuaNew Guinea. This deduction and other concessional allowances result in many members of the forces serving in the territory being free from contribution and tax. 2 and 3. There are no displaced person migrants employed in Papua-New Guinea by the Department of External Territories.

4.   The exemption is dependent on the income recipient being a resident of the territory and it is not proposed to extend this exemption.

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