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Tuesday, 23 August 1960

Mr HAROLD HOLT (Higgins) (Treasurer) . - byleave - I move -

That the bill be now read a second time.

The principal purpose of this bill is to give effect to income tax proposals announced in the course of my recent Budget speech. Included in the amendments is a proposal to increase the amount upon which primary producers are entitled to the special 20 per cent. depreciation of the cost of residential accommodation provided for employees, tenants and sharefarmers who are engaged in agricultural, pastoral or pearling activities. At present, the special rate has application to amounts of up to £2,750 expended on accommodation for each employee, sharefarmer or tenant. That amount is being increased to £3,250 and will apply to buildings commenced after 30th June, 1960, and completed before 30th June, 1962. It will also apply if a building commenced by 30th June, 1962, is completed not later than 30th June, 1963. Should the expenpenditure exceed £3,250, depreciation at the normal rates will be allowed on the excess.

An increase in the allowance of subscriptions to trade, business and professional organizations is proposed. The position to-day is that a taxpayer is entitled to allowances up to £1010s. annually for - (a) subscriptions paid to an association that carries out on behalf of its members activities the cost of which would be deductible by the members if they carried out those activities themselves; and (b) subscriptions of a periodical nature paid to a trade, business or professional association. The allowance is being increased from £10 10s. to £21. The amendment will apply to amounts paid during the current income year 1960-61 and subsequent years.

It is now proposed to allow deductions for gifts of £1 and upwards which are made to the National Trust established in Tasmania, the Art Gallery Society of New South Wales, which was formerly known as the National Gallery Society of New South Wales, and the Australian Productivity Council. The bill will also entitle donors to deductions for gifts to the Australian Postgraduate Federation in Medicine, the College of Radiologists of Australasia, the Australian College of General Practitioners, and the College of Pathologists of Australia. Deductibility in these cases will be contingent on the gift being for the purpose of medical education or research.

A memorandum explaining the technical features of the bill is being made available for the information of honorable members. In these circumstances, I do not propose at this stage to speak at greater length on the bill. I commend the bill to honorable members.

Debate (on motion by Mr. Crean) adjourned.

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