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Thursday, 18 February 1971

Senator LAUCKE (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - My question, which is directed to the Minister representing the Treasurer, follows upon the one about death duties asked by Senator Webster. Is it a fact that only 0.85 per cent of Federal revenue is derived from this source? As the States have succession duties as one of their means of raising revenue and as they have in recent times, in some instances, increased the incidence of this obnoxious form of tax, will the Minister seek from the Treasurer an assurance that the Commonwealth will give serious consideration to vacating this field of taxation, as it has the area of land tax, and thereby remove this most undesirable form of taxation from the cheap political football arena?

Senator Sir KENNETH ANDERSON - 1 have some sympathy for the Treasurer because of his responsibilities. The Government has to raise revenue in certain ways. If it decides that it will vacate a taxation area, it has to have regard to the effect that will have on its revenue and from where it will replace that revenue. That is the first consideration to which one has to give some thought. By implication Senator Laucke's question was linked with the sovereignty and revenue rights of the States. I do not think that at question time we should debate this proposition which predicates a Commonwealth-States arrangement by which the Commonwealth should vacate a particular taxing field in favour of the States. I do not think I should comment on that proposition. The best and only thing I can do is to refer the question to the Treasurer.

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