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Tuesday, 30 May 1972
Page: 2303

Senator GIETZELT (NEW SOUTH WALES) asked the Minister representing the Treasurer, upon notice:

Is itafact that in 1953, when the average weekly earnings were $32.70, the taxation deduction allowed For a spouse or dependant was $260 per annum, and that today, when average weekly earnings have exceeded $90. the concession is only $312 per annum; if so, (a) would it not be consistent and in the interest of family men that the allowance should be about $750 per annum, (b) is it becauseof such obvious anomalies that the Government has ordered the present inquiry into the taxation system, and (c) will the Treasurer assure the public that such anomalies will be removed following this inquiry.

Senator COTTON The Acting Treasurer has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

The earnings and deductions quoted are correct.

Although an increase in the deduction referred to would he of benefit to those claiming it, it must be recognised that particular concessional deduction provisions in the income tax law are varied from lime to time having regard to other concessional deduction provisions and to the other competing claims on the revenue. Changes to the levels of concessions are made in the light of overall Budget policies rather than in relation to movements in average weekly earnings.

The reasons for the Government's decision to set up a high level expert body to conduct a full s cale public inquiry into the taxation system were set out in the Treasurer's statement in the House of Representatives on11th April 1972 and go far beyond matters of this kind. Clearly, it would be premature to discuss now what taxation measures will be taken after the enquiry is completed.

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