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Thursday, 19 May 1960

Sir WILFRID KENT HUGHES (CHISHOLM, VICTORIA) - I desire to ask the Treasurer a question. On 15th March last, I asked a question relating to Commonwealth and State finances and the effect of the margins case on the Budgets of the States and the Commonwealth. At that time, the Treasurer was not in a position to reply. In view of the fact that the Supplementary Estimates have now been placed before the House, and as the Treasurer has had a much longer time to go into the figures, can he say whether it is correct that, as a result of the margins case, for the last six months of this financial year the Commonwealth Government will, in its Budget, show a profit of £7,000,000 whereas the State Budgets, taking them overall, will show an approximate loss of £12,000,000? If this is so, will the Government take it into account and do something to assist the States, because the compensating clause in the new formula does not operate until 1st July?

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