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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 8 Hansard (12 August) . .

Page.. 2262..

review or report to the Assembly in a number of areas where it is not considered useful or timely or could be considered as another layer of unnecessary red tape. A response has been provided, of course, to each individual recommendation.

The Centre for International Economics report provides a useful independent insight into the budget, and I would like to take a moment to highlight a few of their findings. The economic forecasts for gross state product, state final demand, employment growth forecasts, inflation and wage price index estimates and underlying macroeconomic assumptions are all considered reasonable.

Debt and liabilities continue to increase in 2015-16, albeit at a reduced rate in comparison to 2014-15, and, when measured as a share of GSP, liabilities are broadly in line with the current levels of other jurisdictions. The revenue projections are considered to be generally efficient and stable, with the taxation reform program seen

as a stabiliser of taxation income in the forward periods.

The taxation reform program and the 2014-15 budget initiatives will increase the cost of living for some ACT households. Others, of course, are offset by increased concessions. The capital works program is considered stimulatory to workforce participation.

The centre also acknowledged that the 2014-15 budget seeks to offset the negative impact of commonwealth fiscal consolidation on the ACT. These findings are a testament to our commitment to reform of the territory's taxation system, our commitment to investing in our city's economic future and the government's dedication to responsible financial management.

In closing, I do not consider that the report of the estimates committee and its recommendations raise any issues that would prevent the passage of the Appropriation Bill 2014-2015. On behalf of the government, I thank the committee for its consideration of the bills and I commend the government response to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mr Smyth) adjourned to a later hour.

Standing orders—suspension

Motion (by Mr Corbell) agreed to, with the concurrence of an absolute majority:

That so much of the standing orders be suspended as would prevent order of the day, Assembly business, relating to the Government response to the report of the Select Committee on Estimates 2014-2015, being called on and debated cognately with orders of the day Nos 1 and 2, Executive business (Appropriation Bill 2014-2015 and the Appropriation (Office of the Legislative Assembly) Bill 2014-2015).

Appropriation Bill 2014-2015

[Cognate bill:

Appropriation (Office of the Legislative Assembly) Bill 2014-2015

Cognate paper:

Estimates 2014-2015—Select Committee report—government response]

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