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Wednesday, 19 October 1949

Mr THOMPSON (Hindmarsh) . - I support the request of the honorable member for Martin (Mr. Daly) that ice shouldbe free of sales tax. Refrigerators, upon which sales tax must be paid, are used mostly by the well-to-do, but the poorer sections of the community must be content with ice chests, which are now a necessity, when butchers' shops are closed from Friday to Monday. I do not expect the Minister to promise immediately that sales tax on ice will be removed ; I merely ask that consideration be given to the request when further reductions of sales tax are under review.

Mr McBride - Why not raise the matter in caucus !

Mr THOMPSON - This is a place in which to raise matters of this kind. My experience has been that matters raised in committee often receive favorable consideration from the Government at a later stage. While I do not agree with the general observations of the honorable member for Fawkner (Mr. Holt), I believe that sales tax should be removed wherever possible from small items that figure in the household budget. The revenue raised by sales tax on such items does not amount to much in the aggregate, and the tax itself is a source of irritation. It should be removed, even if the articles themselves do not appear to be essential. Already, the main essentials used in the home are exempt from tax, and I urge that the exemption be extended to ice.

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