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Tuesday, 16 August 1960

To assist certain classes of disabled persons, it is proposed to provide an exemption from sales tax on motor cars for use in personal transportation to and. from gainful employment. The exemption is to apply where a person has lost the use of a leg to such an extent that, in the opinion of the Director-General of Social Services, he is unable to use public transport. This measure of taxation relief will assist a considerable number of persons to become usefully employed. The exemption will, it is estimated, involve a revenue loss of £265,000 in a full year and £210,000 for 1960-61.

A reduction of the rate of tax from 25 per cent. to 12½ per cent. is proposed for silver-plated ware pewter and cut-glass ware. The estimated cost of these reductions is £150,000 in a full year and£ 120,000 in 1960-61.

The dairying industry will be assisted by a proposed exemption of tanks which form part of bulk milk tankers used in transporting bulk milk from farms. The exemption will not apply to motor vehicles to which the tanks are fitted. The estimated loss of revenue is £20,000 for a full year and £16,000 this financial year.

It is further proposed to grant exemption of water de-salting apparatus and of certain classes of goods imported from Christmas Island. Exemption is also to be allowed in respect of goods imported into Australia by the International Atomic Energy Agency and by certain officials of that organization. These exemptions are estimated to involvea loss of £6,000 in a full year and £5,000 for 1960-61.

A change is proposed in the method of taxing radio valves. At present, valves made in Australia are exempt from sales tax but are subject to excise duty of 2s. 9d. each. Imported valves bear a similar levy embodied in the customs duty to which they are subject. It is proposed that the excise duty, and that part of the customs duty which is equivalent to the excise duty, shall be superseded by a sales tax of 25 per cent. This is the rate of sales tax which is payable on wireless receiving sets. An exception will be made for certain valves of a kind which are used only in transmission. These valves will be subject to sales tax at the general rate of 12½ per cent. The net effect on revenue is estimated to be a gain of £300,000 for a full year and £100,000 for the current financial year.

An increase in the rate of sales tax on electric shavers from 12£ per cent, to 25 per cent, is proposed. This will remove the competitive advantage those goods now have over safety razors and safety razor blades which are already taxed at 25 per cent. The estimated gain to revenue is £290,000 in a full year and £230,000 for 1960-61.

In total, the net effect of the foregoing proposals is estimated to be an addition of £40,500,000 in a full year and £36,600,000 in this financial year.

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