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Tuesday, 13 October 1970

Dear Sir:

We are writing to enlist your aid in achieving a tax reduction, long overdue, for Australian women and their families.

What the Association did not anticipate was the guile of this Government. Instead of reducing tax the Government is increasing it. The letter continues:

In the past 14 years we have made repeated representations to the Federal Treasurer for a reduction of 25 per cent 'luxury' sales tax on cosmetics and toiletries to the general rate of 15 per cent.

Again, our request is supported by a wide range of women's organisations, individual women and industry associations.

Mounting support by women's organisations is disclosed by the list in the enclosed document setting out the case for taxation justice for Australian women.

Would you kindly add weight to our campaign by making direct representations to the Federal Treasurer for a reduction of the tax in the 1970-71 Budget.

Yours faithfully,



No doubt Mr Austin is well now aware that this plea has not been listened to and instead of a reduction, cosmetic and toiletry manufacturers face an increase. The Association used a rather powerful method of comparison to show how ridiculous in essence is some of the structure of sales tax. In a document attached to its letter the Association states:

What modern woman, or man for that matter, would consider lipstick, nail polish, powder or deodorants a luxury? Surely we all recognise these and many other similar products as essential to appearance and acceptance in today's society.

Consider these ridiculous anomalies in the tax schedule. . . .

The Association sets out a list which shows that dog powder is free of tax while baby powder is subject to a tax of 25 per cent; hair nets are free of tax but hair spray bears a tax of 25 per cent; women's gloves are free of tax but hand lotion bears a tax of 25 per cent; baby toys bear tax of 15 per cent and baby cream 25 per cent; compacts are taxed at 15 per cent but face powder at 25 per cent; and dog clippers are subject to a tax of 15 per cent while razor blades are taxed at 25 per cent. The Association points out:

There is no logical argument in favour of continuing this deplorable injustice and if the Federal Government has any regard for fair play it must reduce this tax in the 1970-HI Budget.

Despite this powerful plea the tax has not been reduced; instead, it has been increased. Whilst this is not the only reason, it is certainly one of the reasons why the Opposition is of the opinion that the set of Bills which is now before us should be opposed, that the increases are unnecessary and unduly regressive and that they arise out of a total misinterpretation by the Government of the health of the economy. We believe that the only effect that the increases can have is to worsen what is already a deteriorating situation.

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