Peter Costello

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Mr Beazley'€™s Ignorance



Mr Beazley yesterday claimed that the consideration by the Parliament of the Tax Commissioner’s withholding schedules “… was in the gift of the Treasurer…”. This is completely false.

The withholding schedules are made by the Commissioner of Taxation pursuant to section 15-25 of Schedule 1of the Taxation Administration Act 1953 (TAA).

Under the Legislative Instruments Act 2003, the withholding schedules made by the Commissioner are legislative instruments.

The instruments are made by the Tax Commissioner. They are then registered with the Attorney General’s Department which then arranges for them to be tabled by delivering them to the Clerk of each House of Parliament.

There is no role for the Treasurer.

I attach the Senate Guide to Senate Procedure (available on the Senate website) which states clearly that:-

  • as soon as practicable after making a legislative instrument, the maker must lodge the instrument and its explanatory material with the Attorney-General’s Department for registration – instruments are not enforceable unless they are registered;
  • “the Department must arrange for the instrument to be tabled in each House within 6 sitting days of being registered.”

The withholding schedules have to be tabled in the Senate by operation of law. They will come into force if Mr Beazley determines not to vote for disallowance. He should end the confusion now and announce that he has determined to let all Australians get their tax cut from 1 July 2005. Otherwise 850,000 employers will suffer confusion from his blocking tactics which have now completely backfired.

Link to Brief Guides to Senate Procedure:

26 May 2005

26 May 2005

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