Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Full Day's HansardDownload Full Day's Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Wednesday, 15 September 1971
Page: 1311

Dr GUN (KINGSTON, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - My question is addressed to the Minister for Education and Science. I refer to the increase from $300 to $400 in the maximum allowable deduction for education expenses. Is it a fact that only a small fraction of parents can afford to spend over $300 per annum on the education of their children and thereby benefit from the increase? Can the Minister state how many parents of children at government schools will benefit from the increase and how many parents who have children at the affluent independent schools such as those attended by the children of most members of Cabinet will benefit?

Mr Malcolm Fraser (WANNON, VICTORIA) -The honourable member ignores something which 1 mentioned the other day and that is that many of the people who will be applying for deductions for education expenses under this provision will be paying taxation at a very much higher rate than that which prevails for many others.

Dr Gun - They also earn more money.

Mr Malcolm Fraser (WANNON, VICTORIA) - Yes. If honourable members look at the table contained in a 3-page statement in which the South Australian Minister of Education tried to attack what the Commonwealth was doing, they will see that it showed the gross amounts of income up to, I think, the level of $20,000. I have not in my mind the taxation paid by a person in that category but I think it is probably about $13,000, other things being equal. This is something that certainly needs to be borne in mind when one looks at the operation of this particular taxation allowance. The honourable member for Kingston ignored completely the fact that the allowance is also a very great help to people in rural areas who are among the hard-pressed members of Australian society at the present time.

The fact that this allowance exists enables and encourages them to make an additional effort to send their children to a boarding school. Very often this is the only way in which people living in remote areas can get their children to a school which they would prefer and which they believe is desirable. Basically, behind the approach of the honourable member for Kingston to this matter is an underlying objection to the survival of the independent system of education. In spite of the policies and changes of policy which have come about over the last 4 or 5 years, the underlying belief of many members of the Opposition and the motivation for the question asked by the honourable member for Kingston are, I believe, that they would prefer to see one education system and that would be a State education system with no independent schools at all.

Suggest corrections