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Thursday, 20 October 1949

Mr BEALE (Parramatta) .- The Minister for Post-war Reconstruction (Mr. Dedman), in a particularly aggressive speech on the motion for the second reading of the bill-

The DEPUTY CHAIRMAN (Mr. Burke). - The committee can take no notice of what was said during secondreading speeches in the House.

Mr BEALE - In his speech the Minister made some points of which I believe I ought to take notice.

The DEPUTY CHAIRMAN.- The honorable member may not take notice now of what was said in the House.

Mr BEALE - Everybody welcome's tax concessions, and we on this side of the chamber are going to vote for this bill on the principle that half a loaf is better than no bread. My point is that the concessions provided for in the bill do not go far enough. I invited the Minister to consider a number of suggestions which were put forward, not in a party spirit, but with a sincere desire to afford relief to taxpayers. Those concessions would not involve the Treasury in any diminution of revenue.

The DEPUTY CHAIRMAN.- Order ! Although the committee has decided to take the bill as a whole, honorable members must deal with particular provisions of it.

Mr BEALE - I am dealing with the concessional allowance in respect of contributions to pension funds and the proposal to increase the amount of the allowance from £100 to £150 a year. It has been said that it is a remarkable coincidence that that is proposed to be done at the time when the parliamentary pensions system is coming into operation and that it is within a few shillings of the amount which members of Parliament are required to contribute in order to qualify for the pension. I need not say any more about that, because it has been fully ventilated, but, when the Minister goes as far as he can within the Standing Orders, if not beyond the Standing Orders, to assert that it is false to say that the two amounts bear a relationship, I say to him that the proof of the pudding is in the eating of it. "We have been clamouring for years for an increase of the amount deductible in respect of such payments, but the amount has not been increased until now when the parliamentary pensions scheme is coming into operation. It remains for the people of Australia to judge that matter. The Minister's argument that the concessional rebate system is more profitable-

The DEPUTY CHAIRMAN. - Order ! The Chair has already ruled on that matter. The bill has nothing to do with concessional rebates.

Mr BEALE - With great respect, Mr. Deputy Chairman, the matter that I have been dealing with is a concessional rebate. It is one of the rebates provided for in the principal act.

The DEPUTY CHAIRMAN.- The only concessional rebate that may be dealt with is the one provided for in the bill.

Mr BEALE - I should like it to take the form of a straight-out deduction instead of a concessional rebate. No practising accountant or long-suffering taxpayer will believe the Minister when he says that the concessional rebate system is better for him than the straightout deduction system.

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