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Wednesday, 30 May 1973
Page: 2835

Mr DRURY (RYAN, QUEENSLAND) - My question is addressed to the Treasurer. While not denying that tax relief should be given first to those most in need, I ask the Treasurer whether it is the intention of the Government to wait for the report of the Asprey Committee before embarking on major changes in the overall taxation structure? I also ask the Treasurer whether the Government will bear in mind that if skilled persons earning more than, say, $5,000 a year are unduly penalised this will act as a disincentive and therefore retard productivity and feed inflation?

Mr CREAN - As I indicated in an answer to an earlier question, it is not possible at this stage for me to give details of changes, one way or the other, in a tax or in all taxes. In regard to the specific question whether changes will be made before the Asprey Committee makes its determinations, I cannot give that guarantee either. The Asprey Committee will be concerned with such fundamental propositions as whether the existing form of sales tax, for argument's sake, should be replaced by a value added tax and whether we should explore the interesting realms of capital gains taxation or net worth taxation. All sorts of interesting possibilities are there. I think it is regrettable in many ways that these areas were not explored 10 years ago.

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