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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 8 Hansard (15 August) . . Page.. 2960 ..


Mrs Dunne: Not if you're living in your own residence, it's not.

Mr Barr interjecting—

MADAM SPEAKER: Chief Minister and Mrs Dunne, please refrain. Mr Parton.

MR PARTON: How much have the changes to the rating system for units contributed to increases in rents for units?

MR BARR: It would be almost impossible to ascertain that. It would be from zero, because they are, of course, fully deductible. That would be the most likely outcome.

MR COE: Chief Minister, do you accept that your changes to the methodology for units and apartments are causing considerable hardship to many Canberrans?

MR BARR: I understand that most people do not enjoy paying tax. Most people would prefer that someone else pay tax. We all have a responsibility, though, to contribute to the collective good of our community and that means that it is necessary for the government to raise revenue. The government must consider the fairest way to raise that revenue and the government believes, following detailed consideration of the issues as they relate to the split of revenue collected between detached dwellings and units, that it is appropriate for units to contribute slightly more to the overall tax increase.

Mr Coe: A point of order.

MADAM SPEAKER: A point of order. Minister, can you resume your seat.

Mr Coe: The question was: does he accept that the changes cause hardship to many Canberrans? He has spoken about revenue at large, but he has not actually spoken about the impact it has had on those who are actually paying the rates.

MADAM SPEAKER: I think he is talking on the broader policy issue.

Mr Coe: That is right; he is.

MADAM SPEAKER: He has a minute, but he is still talking on the broader policy issue, Mr Coe.

MR BARR: Thank you, Madam Speaker. It is, of course, available to anyone to utilise the various deferral schemes if they are experiencing any hardship. There is a variety of concessions and programs available to assist households in that regard, particularly as it relates to rates, including payment by instalment or, importantly, the ability to defer them altogether.

Mr Coe: Altogether?

MR BARR: To defer them altogether, to when the property is sold in the future.


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