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We will not oppose the current arrangement, but I move as an amendment to Mrs Carnell's motion:
Paragraph (1), delete “in the 1995 Budget”.
This is only a minor amendment, Mr Speaker. It seems to me that the Estimates Committee ought to have the right to review all revenue initiatives brought in by the Government. The fact of the matter is that, because the budget is going to be so very late this year, I would expect that nearly all of the revenue measures will have been implemented well before the budget is brought down. I refer members to the fact that today we are looking at payroll tax, rates and land tax, and stamp duties. The Government has already made a ruling on tobacco taxes, and so on. I want to remove that slight restriction on the scope of the Estimates Committee.
Mrs Carnell: Where would they be if not in the budget?
MS FOLLETT: Mrs Carnell asks where it would be if it were not in the budget. I have just told you, Mrs Carnell, that many of the revenue measures you are taking or have already taken are not revenue measures in the budget. Knowing your predilection for keeping the Assembly in the dark, I would not put it past you to try to prevent the Estimates Committee from reviewing revenue measures taken elsewhere than in that budget context.
Mrs Carnell: Where do you think they will be?
MS FOLLETT: Again for Mrs Carnell's benefit, I refer her to the fact that we have before us Government amendments to payroll tax, to rates and land tax and to stamp duties, and we do not have before us the budget. So, we do have revenue measures which are not in the 1995 budget.
I wish to amend the motion in that way to make it quite clear that the Estimates Committee, if they wish, may review those revenue measures as well. I trust that members of the Assembly will support that slight broadening of Mrs Carnell's motion. I think the wording I suggest is consistent with the terms of reference that former estimates committees have had. I do not expect to be on the Estimates Committee, but I can see no reason why they should have that restraint upon them if they wish to examine revenue more broadly.
MR HUMPHRIES (Attorney-General) (3.44): Mr Speaker, the Government will certainly be opposing this amendment by Ms Follett.
Ms Follett: Why?
MR HUMPHRIES: Here is one very good reason: You yourselves did not live by the same rules. It is very easy for those who have not been here before to assume that what Ms Follett is suggesting is all very reasonable and appropriate; but it is, with great respect, best described as a stunt. The words Ms Follett proposes to delete from this motion are the very words she herself included in last year's motion.