Second Reading
Database Senate Hansard
Date 19-11-1941
Parl No. 16
Electorate Victoria
Party ALP
Speaker KEANE, Richard
Stage Second Reading
System Id hansard80/hansards80/1941-11-19/0099


Senator KEANE (Victoria) (Minister for Trade and Customs) . - I move -

That the bills be now read a second time.

The only change in rates of sales tax proposed is that the present 15 per cent., which applies to goods included in the third schedule of the Sales Tax (Exemptions and Classifications) Act 1935-1940, be increased to 20 per cent. The rate of 5 pei' cent, on goods which are considered to deserve special consideration, will be retained, but the goods to which that concession will apply will be reduced to the bare minimum. It was hoped that it might be possible to dispense entirely with the 5 per cent, rate, and thus simplify the work of merchants in classifying goods. That, however, has been found impracticable in view of the inclusion in the 5 per cent, schedule of drugs and. medicines, goods used to some extent by primary producers, and goods for use in schools. The Government is unwilling to increase the rate on these goods and, consequently, they will continue to be taxed at, 5 per cent. However, the retention of these goods in the 5 per cent, schedule will not prevent a large measure of simplification being achieved, because they are of a kind that follow a fairly clearly defined course from manufacturer to consumer, and only rarely become intermingled with ordinary goods of commerce. It is proposed, also, to retain the general rate of 10 per cent., but the field to which that rate will apply will be somewhat enlarged by transfers of goods at present, bearing the rate of 5 per cent. Particulars of the goods so transferred are shown in the Sales Tax (Exemptions and Classifications) Bill now before the Senate. The rate to be applied to goods in the third schedule is to be increased from 15 per cent, to 20 per cent. Honorable senators will know that in this field are goods which are estimated to serve the less urgent needs of the community. The list has been carefully compiled in the light of present needs. As is customary when changes in sales tax are suggested, it is proposed that the new rates shall operate from the clay following the announcement of the Government's budget proposals. This course i.? designed to prevent the dislocation of trade which would occur if there were any delay between the date of the announcement of the Government's policy and the date upon which that policy became effective. The new rates will be effective on and from the 30th October, 1941. There are provisions in the existing law which fully protect vendors of goods who, as from that date, pay tax at the higher rates now proposed. When the bills become law they will be empowered to recover the additional amount of tax from any customers who have not accepted liability therefor. The new rates will apply to goods imported on and after the 30th October, 1941, as well as to all taxable transactions or operations effected or carried out on and after that date.

Debate (on motion by Senator MoLeay) adjourned.

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