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57 ABNs and nothing on.

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57 ABNs And Nothing On Kelvin Thomson - Shadow Assistant Treasurer

Media Statement - 12 July 2000

Labor's Shadow Assistant Treasurer, Mr Kelvin Thomson said today's revelation that the Hamilton Kennel Club Inc. and Hamilton Amenities Kennel and Obedience Club Inc. received 57 Australian Business Numbers, rather than the 2 they applied for, is yet another indication of Government and Tax Office bungling of the new tax system.

"This bungle, and others like it, throws the Government's boast about the number of extra ABNs registered - 2.9 million - into serious doubt. Treasurer Peter Costello needs to recheck the actual ABN count.

"For the Treasurer of these Clubs to receive dozens of letters each containing a separate ABN, and 57 copies of the Tax Office booklet "Unlock the Benefits" is a farcical and absurd waste of taxpayers' money.

"One of Bruce Springsteen's songs ridiculed 'Pay TV' as '57 channels with nothing on'. The ABN Registration process has given the Hamilton Kennel Clubs the same outcome.

"Small businesses and community groups have been doing their best to comply with the new tax system but their task has been needlessly complicated by the Government's constant mistakes.

"Not only has the Government issued multiple ABNs, in some cases the Tax Office has issued an ABN to a company only to later advise that it is "incorrect" and issue a different ABN.

"These companies had naturally acted on the initial advice, and as a result have incurred needless extra costs in reprinting stationery and amending computing systems.

Mr Thomson said that the Government's rush to issue the ABNs had led to numerous mistakes, and that small businesses and community groups were presently carrying the burden of these errors.

"I encourage any small business or community group which has been issued with an incorrect ABN to contact me, and I will pursue with the Government compensation for financial losses which they have suffered as a result of the Government's mistakes," Mr Thomson concluded.

Authorised by Geoff Walsh, 19 National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600.