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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 03 Hansard (Wednesday, 31 May 1995) . . Page.. 639 ..


and washers. If all this makes a family home look like a tax nightmare, do not worry; the Keating Government has slapped 12 per cent on the light fittings so that you cannot afford to see the results. If you are thinking of pulling down the scaffolding and giving up on your dream home altogether, it is too late, because scaffolding has been hit with a new 22 per cent sales tax from 9 May this year, so it is already cutting in.

There are also, unfortunately, numerous other administrative costs hidden in all of this. Every nook and cranny of the house is being treated in a different way by the Taxation Office. Cabinet-makers, who have previously produced tax exempt items, will now have to register at the Australian Taxation Office and retain receipts for all business inputs, materials and manufacture-related equipment in order to claim exemptions. Of course, there is no escape for the consumers because they will still have to cough up the 12 per cent.

The consumer does not escape the confusion either. While the changes apply to taxable sales made by suppliers from 1 July this year, the legislation may not come into force by that date. Whilst suppliers will need to charge sales tax from 1 July, they will not be required to remit the tax to the Australian Taxation Office until 28 days after the legislation is enacted. If all the proposed taxes are not passed by the Senate and suppliers have charged the additional tax, this can be refunded only when the customer can be identified. Otherwise, the money will have to be remitted to the Taxation Office.

The Federal Government contends that the sales tax increases will raise $215m and add $400 to the cost of a new home. However, we have all come to appreciate in recent weeks the unreliability of the 1995-96 Federal budget papers; so who knows exactly how much they will raise and exactly how much they will add to the cost of a new home. Obviously, it will be a considerable amount of money. A joint analysis by the Housing Industry Association and the Master Builders Association reveals that the Federal measures are likely to mean a tax grab of $525m and a cost impact of more than $1,000 on an average new home. That is 2½ times more than what Keating claims. The MBA estimates that repairs and maintenance will cost 6 per cent more for the family home.

Mr Berry: Mr Speaker, I take a point of order. Mr Stefaniak might have taken notice of your earlier ruling on the extent of an answer to a question.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Berry, I would have hoped that everybody would take notice of my earlier comments.

Mr Berry: I would have hoped so, too.

MR SPEAKER: Thank you. I would hope that you are drawing your answer to a conclusion, Mr Stefaniak, because it is certainly out of order in terms of standing order 118(a), which says that answers to questions without notice shall be concise. It is longer than the Gettysburg Address, and not as interesting.


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