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Thursday, 7 August 1930

Senator HERBERT HAYS (Tasmania) (6:52 AM) . - No taxation measure has caused more concern than this, which imposes an additional burden upon an already heavily taxed people, whose incomes within the last couple of years hare been considerably reduced. The difficulties with which the Government is faced are well known, and every honorable senator is anxious to co-operate with it in devising means for removing them; but it is hardly fair to the people that this form of taxation, which is so far-reaching in its incidence, should be introduced in the dying hours of a lengthy session. Last week-end I paid a visit to Tasmania, where I was besieged with inquiries for information in relation to this legislation. Beyond saying what the rates would be, I could not furnish any information in regard to its provisions.

Reference has been made to the fact that this tax will apply to ships. That aspect of the matter is of the greatest importance to Tasmania, because, according to the declaration of the PostmasterGeneral, the Government has made provision for an augmentation of the shipping service to that State within the next three years. If tax is to be paid on ships that are imported, the company that is to operate that service must raise its freights and fares to recoup itself for the additional outlay. It is idle for any honorable senator to suggest that this will he merely a temporary tax. Once it is imposed it will operate for some time to come.

I ask the Leader of the Senate to give favorable consideration to the request that seeds which are imported for primary producers shall be exempt from the tax. The amount of revenue involved is not considerable. The Government should give every encouragement to the importation of seeds because of the effect of that importation upon the wealth of this country. If the Minister does not express his willingness to include this item in the schedule, I shall move an- amendment to that effect when the bill reaches the committee stage.

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