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Government gags GST debate as Hockey misleads.

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Media Release

The Hon Simon Crean, MP

Deputy Leader of the Opposition and Shadow Treasurer


20 October 1999


Government Gags GST Debate As Hockey Misleads


Debate on the government's 454 GST amendments Bill and Labor's proposals for greater equity an d transparency was gagged today in another outrageous abuse of the Parliament by this government.

This Bill contains an enormous number of amendments to fix the dog's breakfast left by the Howard-Democrat deal.

And Labor had sought a series of amendments to make this unfair tax less unfair:

•  Fix the notorious special deal for casino high-rollers;

•  Require that the GST component be shown on receipts, so that people know just how deep and how often Peter Costello has his hand in their pockets; and

•  Reverse the watering-down of the anti-avoidance measures.

The government's gagging of debate on this issue, and the fact that they could hardly raise a backbencher to speak against Labor's amendments shows how much they want to hide it.


In rejecting the requirement put by Labor that the value of the GST be shown on all receipts, the Minister at the table, Joe Hockey, misled the Parliament repeatedly.

He stated that it was easy to work out the GST component of a bill - it's 1/11 th of the total cost of any goods or services bought, he said.

But unless the government has a secret plan to slip the GST back onto food and other items that are currently exempt, his statement is simply wrong.

Unfortunately this is the kind of loose use of the truth we have come to expect from the Minister.


Further information: Phillip Tardif (02) 6277 4045(w), (0419) 497 103



jy  1999-10-22  12:39