Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 6 Hansard (1 September) . . Page.. 1615 ..
MS CARNELL (continuing):
Ms Tucker could say that she does not think we should raise the money at all, but I have to say that that is not the approach that people like ACTCOSS say. They believe we do have to improve our revenue effort. They believe that we do need to collect more money and not base our total budget effort on reduction in expenditure. As ACTCOSS say, if you take a straight approach of reducing your expenditure, that reflects into jobs and services, or has the potential to do so. Their approach is that we have to address both sides of our budget. That is exactly what we have done, Mr Speaker.
Let us get back to equity. What do those opposite want? A flat rate for every Canberra household, a poll tax? No, they do not want that. Do they want a percentage on the rates bill, Mr Speaker, therefore basing this levy predominantly on unimproved capital value, not on what is in the house, how big the house is, what is insured or anything else? Well, Mr Speaker, I do not think that is equitable. It is not - - -
Mr Quinlan: It would get a lot closer than you have got.
MS CARNELL: It is not equitable at all. I think those opposite should be quiet until they can come up with something that is more equitable. With the approach that we have taken, people in the $2m houses will pay more than the people in the $100,000 houses. People in Forrest will pay more than people in Banks.
I think it is about time, Mr Speaker, that those opposite, and Mr Kaine and Ms Tucker, did not just oppose for the sake of opposing. If they believe this is so inequitable, it is time they came up with something that is more equitable than this. At this stage I think I have shown that both the approaches that have been put forward so far are less equitable. They will ensure that people on lower incomes and with less expensive houses, with fewer contents, with contents worth a lesser amount of money, will pay proportionately less than people in expensive houses and with large amounts of insurable goods. If they think that is equity, I think they had better go and look at themselves in the mirror.
MR HARGREAVES (11.59): Mr Speaker, I was listening very intently, and you will notice, Chief Minister, that I did not interject on you once.
Ms Carnell: Well, I could not tell because everyone else was.
MR HARGREAVES: Well, I apologise for that. In future, Mr Speaker, I shall interject not at all the louder.
MR SPEAKER: Mr Hargreaves did not interject.
MR HARGREAVES: The Chief Minister said in her diatribe that this system, that system or something else is not good enough. What I heard was the Chief Minister asking the crossbenchers and the Opposition to come up with yet other ways of finding the $10m. That really is not the issue. She spent a lot of time in that 15 minutes debating this issue against that issue. That is not the point. The point is this particular piece of legislation. It is a tax on the responsible citizen. Not enough has been said about people who are irresponsible. They reckon that 30 per cent of people do not insure their homes;