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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 8 Hansard (25 October) . . Page.. 2020..

Government Revenue

MR HIRD: Mr Speaker, I will not stoop to those low depths. My question is directed to the Chief Minister in her capacity as Treasurer. Could the Minister advise the parliament what major areas of taxation revenues and income did not perform as well as expected in 1994-95?

MRS CARNELL: Thank you very much, Mr Hird. Ms Follett's first question seemed to indicate that a $600,000 shortfall in an auction was somehow unusual in government and somehow the fault of the Government involved. If $600,000 is the fault of this Government, what was the $10m-plus revenue shortfall that we found in the last budget? The interesting thing to look at here is where that revenue shortfall was. Stamp duty on marketable securities was only half the $12.5m Ms Follett put in her budget. That is a $6m shortfall, Ms Follett. Does that mean that it was your fault? No, it was not; it was the market's fault. The market changed. Markets change, and so do taxi plate markets change. But that was $6m, not $600,000. There was also a fall in the receipts from financial institutions duty. That was lower than expected too. Why? Was it the fault of the government of the day? No, it was not the fault of the government of the day; the market changed. Businesses tended to centralise in Sydney, they tended to do their business there, and therefore Ms Follett as Treasurer did not get the revenue she expected. That is quite understandable. What else changed? Land sales were not up to the level that was expected. Was that the Government's fault? No, it was not the Government's fault. It was the market's fault. The fact is that fewer people wanted to buy land, so revenue fell.

In other areas, of course, revenue was higher than expected. Poker machine tax was higher than expected. Payroll tax was slightly higher than expected. Tobacco franchise tax was higher than expected. This is exactly what happens in any normal budget. What did Ms Follett do?

Mr Berry: Mr Speaker, Mrs Carnell - - -

MR SPEAKER: Are you taking a point of order?

Mr Berry: Yes, I am.

Mr De Domenico: Under which standing order?

Mr Berry: Relevance. Mr Speaker, if the issue is about a comparison between revenue for the Government and an auction, there is no relationship. One is the fault of the shoddy deal with the auctioneer; the other one is about the market.

MR SPEAKER: There is no point of order, Mr Berry. We were not comparing auctions and loss of revenue. Mrs Carnell was discussing losses of revenue, as I understood it.

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