Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 09 Hansard (Wednesday, 22 August 2018) . . Page.. 3477 ..
to represent the vulnerable. Quite frankly, they do not. They are only in it for themselves.
As I mentioned yesterday, how is it that in the Anglicare survey of affordability there is not one house in Canberra that is affordable for a low income earner? There is not one single house in the private rental market that is available within the reasonable price limit of a low income earner in this city.
That is what you get after 17 years of Labor. That is what you get after a supposedly progressive government. What you get is a government that is becoming more and more elitist by the day and that is forgetting about the most vulnerable people in our community, the tens of thousands of Canberrans that are the working poor, the people that simply cannot afford to live in this city to a large extent because of the taxes, fees, rates and charges that this government has imposed upon Canberrans.
I think that this motion is largely a waste of time, given we have an appropriation debate on this very issue. However, if we are going to have this debate, which we clearly are, I think we should use it as an opportunity to send a message to the government that what they are doing is wrong and that it is having a huge impact on Canberrans.
To that end, I move the amendment circulated in my name:
Omit all words after “notes” (first occurring), substitute:
“(a) the Labor Government introduced a tax reform package in 2012 with the stated aim of making ‘taxes fairer, simpler and more efficient’;
(b) since then, the total revenue from rates, land tax, stamp duty, insurance levy and the fire and emergency services levy has grown considerably faster than the combined growth rate of inflation and number of dwellings;
(c) the increase in taxation has been regressive, primarily due to significant increases in fixed charges and levies;
(d) most townhouse, unit and apartment owners are now paying a large portion of their rates in the top marginal bracket;
(e) ACT Government concessions have not kept pace with tax increases; and
(f) many Canberrans cannot afford the increasing cost of living imposed upon them by the ACT Government; and
(2) calls on the Government to stop the massive tax increases that are having a disproportionate impact on low income earners.”.
MR BARR (Kurrajong—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development and Minister for Tourism and Major Events) (5.34): We finally get to have a debate, Madam Speaker. I thank the Leader of the Opposition for his amendment, and indicate that the government will not be supporting his amendment. There are numerous errors contained within both his amendment and his analysis of tax reform.