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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 7 Hansard (29 June) . . Page.. 2701..


Questions without notice

Budget—taxation

MR SESELJA: My question is to the Treasurer. Treasurer, budget papers from 2006-07 predicted that, in 2009-10, revenue from taxation would be $948 million. The most recent budget papers, for 2010-11, estimate the total tax collected in 2009-10 will now be $1.114 billion. Treasurer, why did you slug Canberra families and business an extra $166 million in 2009-10 in your first budget as Treasurer?

MS GALLAGHER: In my first budget as Treasurer?

Mr Seselja: The 2009-10 budget.

MS GALLAGHER: The 2009-10 budget. I think the question from the Leader of the Opposition needs to be put in context. Yes, we are getting additional revenue. The revenue streams grow. That is correct. They did not grow as large as we had expected prior to the global financial crisis but they are growing. So is the budget. The budget is growing as well. I am yet to see a list from the opposition about all the things they would not fund, other than, I think, the arboretum, which is the only thing they have come up with, which we support wholeheartedly.

The context that the Leader of the Opposition misses is that, despite your revenue growing, your budget is growing too. Health is growing at 10 per cent per annum. It is over a billion dollars. It is a third of the budget.

I will check the figures the Leader of the Opposition uses for the 2009-10 budget. I do not have the 2009-10 budget revenue in front of me but I will check them because they do have a habit of picking and choosing numbers when they feel like it that do not give a completely accurate picture. Indeed, I do not even have the 2009-10 budget papers with me to check. If I am going to get every question from you, you might give me the indulgence of getting the book down from my office.

We have had to seek and minimise additional revenue impacts on the community. We have sought to do that in both of the budgets that I have brought down as Treasurer. The majority of the revenue initiatives for this budget are actually related to rectifying an existing revenue steam which the opposition has supported, to my knowledge. So we have sought to minimise the impacts on Canberra families. I think we have done that to the best degree we can, despite the demand for government services continuing to grow.

This is something that the budget cabinet looks at every single year. And every year it is at the forefront of our minds: how do we minimise the impact on the community to deliver what we need to deliver? And it has been hard the last two years. It has been very hard to do that. But I think we have managed pretty well.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Seselja, a supplementary question?


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