Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 1 Hansard (16 February) . . Page.. 234..
Mrs Burke: But you might be?
MR STANHOPE: Yes. But it is certainly one of the issues we will consider. Just so that we are clear about this, there is no doubt that as of today we are not actively considering borrowing. But between now and when the budget is finalised we will at some stage actively consider borrowing. At the moment we are not, but it is certainly part of the mix. Between now and when we bring down the budget we will actively consider increasing expenditure and we will actively consider reducing expenditure. Between now and when we bring down the budget we will actively consider increasing taxes and we will actively consider reducing taxes. Between now and when we bring down the budget we will actively consider borrowing and we will actively consider not borrowing. So we will do all those things. Ask me in April or May.
MR PRATT: My question is to the Chief Minister. Chief Minister, page 42 of the Mid year review of the ACT budget that your Treasurer tabled reveals that your government is proposing to introduce new taxes as from next financial year. What is worrying about these new taxes, apart from the fact that they are proposed, is that they are estimated to raise, in aggregate, only $2.5 million a year. Why is your government proposing to introduce more nuisance taxes when we have devoted considerable energy to trying to get rid of a raft of nuisance over recent years?
MR STANHOPE: I have not memorised page 42 of the Mid year review. I apologise for that, Mr Pratt. In fact, I do not think I have actually opened the Mid year review to page 42. My colleague the Treasurer, who of course has administrative responsibility for the midyear review and to whom you might possibly have addressed your question, has whispered to me-and I will take it as formal advice-
Opposition members interjecting-
MR STANHOPE: I now have page 42 of the Mid year review, and Mr Pratt is right. It refers to other taxes received. These are decisions that were obviously taken in the last budget. I have absolutely no idea what they relate to.
What decisions did we take in the last budget? We took decisions in relation to gaming-that is, poker machines-and we took decisions in relation to parking. It might be gaming, Mr Pratt. It is a total of $2.5 million. These were decisions that were taken last year as part of the mix. In the coming budget we will either actively consider increasing them or actively consider decreasing them or actively consider leaving them alone.
To clarify, these are taxes that were imposed in the last budget. I would have to go back and find out exactly which part of the taxes imposed these are. But these are not new taxes. The midyear review does not impose taxes, Mr Pratt. These are not taxes that actually have been conjured up by Treasury of itself to add to the mix. If your question was "are these new taxes?"the answer quite obviously is no-quite clearly no.