Tax relief top of wish lists

By MURRAY SIMPSON

A BLOCKBUSTER Federal Budget surplus has Justine Elliot and John Murray totting up their wish lists.

Labor's Richmond MHR Mrs Elliot yesterday said the $14 billion surplus was an ideal opportunity to address some burning local issues.

"We need tax relief for lower and middle income earners who are doing it tough, especially with soaring petrol prices," Ms Elliot said.

"Aged care spending is also a top priority.

"With 20 per cent of this electorate over 65, there is an urgent need for increased spending on home care, health and more places in aged care establishments."

And Mrs Elliot said it was high time free dental services were revived.

"We also need a hefty boost in education, training and apprenticeships.

"We have a 36 per cent youth unemployment rate in Richmond and it's an area we have to address."

Tweed Chamber of Commerce president John Murray said the massive surplus was an extraordinary opportunity to do something special.

"Top of my wish list would be tax relief, both personal income tax and company tax," he said.

Finance Minister Nick Minchin yesterday said he would not speculate on whether the May 9 Federal Budget would include further tax cuts.

"There are tax cuts coming into effect on the first of July anyway as a result of the last Budget," Senator Minchin said.

He added that the Government was wary of a need to save surplus funds for the future as Australia's population ages, and not to get "sucked into permanent spending commitments" dur- ing a commodities boom.



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