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Public Interest in Taxation Legislation

22.62. It has also been submitted to the Committee that foreshadowed amendments to the Act and regulations should be given public circulation so that they may be discussed by members of the interested professions, commercial organisations, trade unions and other persons. This could be done in the form of the publication of a draft Bill or a Green Paper, as is the common and successful practice in the United Kingdom. Where the proposed introduction of a new tax is decided upon by the Government, protection against advantage being taken of the intended enactment is achieved by making a public announcement, simultaneously with the publication of the draft Bill or Green Paper, that the tax, when the appropriate legislation is passed by Parliament, will take effect from a specified day. In that way the stigma of retrospectivity of taxation would be avoided. The Committee is of the opinion that these procedures should be followed and that informed discussion of any new fiscal laws will be of considerable assistance in the framing of the legislation. The experience of this Committee suggests that publicity of the kind referred to will not lead to only a mindless opposition to taxation proposals.

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