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
Tuesday, 6 November 1973
Page: 1522

Senator CARRICK (NEW SOUTH WALES) - My question is directed to the Minister representing the Treasurer. It refers to a recently reported statement by Mr Hawke, President of the Australian Council of Trade Unions and Federal President of the Australian Labor Party that taxation should be significantly increased in the immediate months ahead, an advocacy identical with that of the Federal Government's economic adviser, Dr Coombs. I refer, too, to a statement by Mr Whitlam in his policy speech in which he said that taxation was already very high and to his clear promise that there would be no increase in taxation. Will the Minister give an unequivocal denial that the Government proposes to increase taxation between now and the next Federal Budget?

Senator WILLESEE -Firstly, I state that I heard Mr Hawke speaking on the television program. I did not understand him to use the words significantly increase'. I think that he was dealing with a general proposition. Maybe the honourable senator is right. I do not think it matters very much whether or not he said 'significantly'. He dealt with the whole question of whether in these circumstances there should be an increase in taxation. He said that in his view there should be. I hope that we never have a government in Australia that prevents people from expressing their views on television programs or anywhere else. I do not see that there is anything wrong with that. If that view disagrees with something that we said months ago, what is wrong with that? There is a new government that believes in a little bit of free speech. The honourable senator asks me what I will decide between now and the next 10 years. I do not have a crystal ball. Of course, I will not answer that question.

Senator Withers - Between now and the next election.

Senator Carrick - I said the next Budget.

Senator WILLESEE - One honourable senator is saying 'the next Budget' and another one is saying 'the next election'. I do not think that there is anything magical about a Budget and I do not think that there is anything magical about an election.

Senator Carrick - But if -

Senator WILLESEE - Would the honourable senator be quiet for 2 seconds? He has asked a question; now he should listen to the answer. There is nothing very magical about 30 June, a Budget or an election date. This Australian Government, as a proper government, and its Cabinet will decide in its view what we should do about the economic situation or in other situations in which we have been given a mandate to take action. We will do that fearlessly and honestly. We will not answer questions like this. Because somebody down in Melbourne says something, the honourable senator wants a guarantee from me about doing this, that or the other thing.

Suggest corrections