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Wednesday, 14 October 1970

Mr BURY (Wentworth) (Treasurer) - I move:

That the Bill be now read a second time.

The purpose of this Bill, and of the 5 Bills j shall subsequently introduce, is to enable the States to receive, in respect of business receipts during the period 18th November 1969 to 30th September 1970, the amounts of duty they would have received had their own receipts duty laws been wholly valid. Business receipts during that period will be liable to duty under the Commonwealth legislation at the rate of 1 per cent, but this liability will not arise if the provisions of State laws - whether valid or invalid - are complied with. This means that receipts exempted or not dutiable under the provisions of state legislation will remain free of all receipts duties, lt also means that receipts in Queensland will remain liable to duty at the rate of .02 per cent provided for under Queensland legislation - provided Queensland duty is in fact paid on the receipts or has already been paid.

Honourable members will observe that some changes have been made to the legislation since it was introduced during the last sittings and subsequently not passed by the Senate. Under clause 24(1.) of the States Receipts Duties (Administration) Bill, provision is made to limit the duty to moneys received before a date to be fixed by proclamation. The Government undertakes that this proclaimed date will be 1st October 1970. The decision so to limit the scope of the legislation is based on legal considerations of a constitutional nature. The same Bill also now specifies 30th September 1970 as the terminating date for the period - described in the bill as 'the transitional period' - during which receipts are to be exempt from liability under Commonweealth law if the provisions of State laws, whether valid or invalid, are complied with, lt will also be noted that

I here is now a separate Bill - the States Receipts Duties (Exemption) Bill - lo provide for exemption from duty under Commonwealth law for receipts during the transitional period where State duty was paid or was not payable. This provision was included as clause 88 in the previous States Receipts Duties (Administration) Bill. Honourable members who wish to have more detailed explanations of the changes being made by the revised legislation can refer to the explanatory memorandum which is being circulated.

Honourable members will be aware of the reasons why it is proposed that the legislation is to cease to have application to transactions after 30th September. They will also be aware that, after a special meeting with Premiers in Canberra on 8th October, the Prime Minister (Mr Gorton) announced that, at the request of the Premiers, the Commonwealth Government agreed to the State governments dropping the receipts duty completely, even in areas where it would be legal for them to impose it. This means that liability for receipts duty under either Commonwealth or State legislation will not apply to any transactions after 30th September 1970.

The Government has agreed that the whole of the resultant loss of revenue to State Budgets in 1970-71 should be made good through the provision of additional Commonwealth grants to the States. The Government has also agreed that, in respect of 1971-72 and the 3 subsequent years, the amount of receipts duty which it is estimated would have been collected by the States in the ordinary course in 1970-71 should be added to (he base to be used in determining the financial assistance grants payable under the grants formula in those years. These arrangements, which the Government regards as constituting eminently fair and, indeed, generous treatment for the States, were made subject to the proviso on the part of the Commonwealth that they depended on the conditions governing the offers of the Commonwealth made at the June Premiers' Conference. Legislation to give effect to the arrangements will be introduced in due course. I commend the legislation to honourable members.

Mr Crean - Hasthe Treasurer any idea of the amount which it is estimated would be collected in 1970-71?

Mr BURY - I do not have the figure precisely.

Debate (on motion by Mr Crean) adjourned.

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