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Wednesday, 27 October 1971
Page: 2575

Mr DRURY (Ryan) My question is also addressed to the Treasurer. I refer to a question I addressed to the Treasurer on 28th April last in which I asked whether the Government had considered making an overall review of our whole tax structure for the purpose of simplifying present taxation law, removing anomalies, improving methods of assessment and streamlining administration, particularly as many years have elapsed since the last complete review took place. I now ask the Treasurer: What progress has been made in this direction during the past 6 months?

Mr SNEDDEN - Some progress has been made, but I must tell the honourable gentleman that not enough progress has been made either to warrant me making any statement about it, or alternatively to satisfy me as to the progress because this is something whichneeds to be looked at closely. The honourable gentleman will be aware that this is a very complex and technical area and I am bound to say that the people who can discharge this function adequately with the qualities and experience needed are not easy to find and they are at present under very considerable strain.

The honourable gentleman will remember that we are going to introduce legislation arising out of the Casuarina case and arising out of the dividend stripping case and what has happened there. Also there have been some quite marked changes in tax legislation in Germany, Canada and the United Kingdom. We have that aspect under examination also. I think that one of the prime objectives that we must have in our minds is to make the tax structure as equitable as possible. That will be a primary objective. As the investigation continues I will keep the honourable gentleman informed and I hope that it will not be too long before I can make a broader indication of what the progress is.

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