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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 14 Hansard (Thursday, 9 December 2010) . . Page.. 6062 ..

It stands to reason that, by effectively creating a higher threshold for that period, no person could possibly be disadvantaged. We accept the government’s assurance that this is the case.

MS GALLAGHER (Molonglo—Deputy Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Health and Minister for Industrial Relations) (11.03), in reply: I do have, I think, the lengthiest speech for the purposes of this debate, but I think it is important just for the record to put it on. I would like to acknowledge perhaps the best speech that Mr Smyth has ever given in this place—the one that he has just given this morning—and I look forward to other speeches of that length from the opposition today.

The Payroll Tax Amendment Bill amends the Payroll Tax Act 1987 to correct an erroneously published payroll tax threshold amount for the 2001-02 financial year. As part of the 2000-01 ACT budget, it was announced that the annual payroll tax threshold would be increased to 1.25 million for the 2001-02 financial year. A disallowable instrument was subsequently signed by the Treasurer to implement that decision.

In 2000, the Treasurer tabled in the Assembly a disallowable instrument setting the ACT annual payroll tax threshold for 2001-02. However, the instrument tabled in the Assembly was not the instrument that was signed by the Treasurer. The instrument incorrectly set the threshold at 950,000, instead of the intended 1.25 million. The Revenue Office was unaware that the incorrect instrument had been gazetted and so went on and administered the tax on the basis of the intended threshold—that is, at 1.25 million, which is why no individual has been disadvantaged. All relevant information and publications made available by the Revenue Office reflected the correct amount as announced in the 2000-01 ACT budget.

I note that a comment was raised by the scrutiny of bills committee in relation to whether the bill could have an adverse effect on the interests of any person and I provided a formal response to Mrs Dunne as chair of that committee.

The purpose of amending the bill is to validate the intended payroll tax threshold amount for the financial year of 1.25 million to address that error of the published amount for that year. The Revenue Office administered the right threshold. Taxpayers were assessed on the basis of the higher amount and the amendment proposed by this bill would not adversely affect the interests of any person. I commend the Payroll Tax Amendment Bill 2010 to the Assembly.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Leave granted to dispense with the detail stage.

Bill agreed to.

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