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Wednesday, 29 June 1938

Mr CASEY (Corio) (Treasurer) . - by leave - I move -

That the bill be now read a second time.

The Financial Emergency Act 1931, enacted, in section 19 (4) -

The Governor-General may arrange with the Governor in Council of any State that the taxation, under thelaw of that State, of the salaries and allowances of any .persons whose salaries and allowances are reduced under this part, to the extent to which such taxation is permitted by or under this section, shall bc deducted from the .periodical .payments of the salary and allowances of those persons and shall bc paid .to the State in such man in r and nf such times as are provided by the arrangement.

The provision applied to persons whose salaries had been reduced under that act. The sub-section ceased to have effect when restoration was made under the Financial Relief Act (No. 2) of 1936. But an arrangement had been entered into between the Commonwealth and four State Governments under which the Commonwealth deducted from salaries of Commonwealth public . servants, at the source, unemployment-relief taxes or equivalent taxes imposed by those State governments. The total amount so collected was paid in a lump sum to the State governments. This arrangement was made for the convenience of State governments and also of Commonwealth public servants who were liable to State taxes of the nature described. Since October, 1.936, the salaries of Commonwealth officers and employees have not been subject to any reduction under the Financial Emergency Act, and the authority to make deductions of State taxes from salaries of Commonwealth officers and employees therefore ceased to have effect from that date. This measure will authorize the Government to continue the procedure in respect of unemployment relief taxes.

Mr Gander - It will mean £1,500 a week to the Stevens' Government in New South Wales.

Mr CASEY - It will make no difference to the Stevens' Government or airy other State government. It simply means that instead of Commonwealth public servants being required to pay a lump sum in respect of State taxes of this nature at the end of the financial year, the tax will bc deducted in relatively small amounts from their weekly or fortnightly pay and will be paid to the State governments in a lump sum.

Mr Martens - Tho Government proposes to continue the practice adopted under the Financial Emergency Act.

Mr CASEY - Yes ; we believe that arrangement to be convenient to the State governments and the Commonwealth pub lic servants concerned. The bill is noncontentious.

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