Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 7 Hansard (24 September) . . Page.. 2176 ..

MS CARNELL (continuing):

Where does that leave Mr Quinlan's analysis? Corrected for these blunders, Mr Quinlan's modelling concludes that the Coalition tax package would leave the ACT $172m better off, three times the $57m he claimed. His own modelling, when you fix up his basic blunders, shows that Mr Quinlan himself now accepts that the ACT would be $172m better off than under the Labor Party package.

I think it is important to have a bit of a look at the $108m net benefit under the Labor Party tax package that Mr Quinlan spoke about, because it is very rubbery. The problem with it is a complete lack of consistency, a disease Mr Quinlan seems to have caught from Mr Berry, who seems to have left at the moment, but I hope you have not got it to quite that extent, Mr Quinlan. Mr Quinlan used the most conservative estimate of the likely impact of the Coalition's tax package on Canberrans but the most optimistic for his own party's promised tax cuts. That is a basic sort of approach to bodgie accounting, something which I would have thought Mr Quinlan would not have done.

Modelling by OFM estimates that a more realistic figure for the impact of the ALP's proposed income tax changes is an increase of about $48m in disposable income in Canberra, not $98m, the figure Mr Quinlan put forward. That compares with over $200m from the Coalition's income tax cuts - $208m, to use Mr Quinlan's more recent figures, versus $48m. That is a huge difference in the back pockets of Canberrans.

Mr Speaker, put simply, we have seen very little improvement in the quality of the financial and economic analysis since Mr Quinlan replaced Mr Berry on the frontbench. I would suggest to Mr Quinlan that what he might like to do from now on is ask for some explanations. It may help. We see the same disingenuous use of whatever figure looks the best today, the same inconsistency, the same willingness to ignore details and go straight to cheap political points. It interests me that Mr Quinlan appears to have put out a new press release with regard to these figures, after he obviously realised his first ones were wrong, but unfortunately the second ones are wrong as well. He still stuffed it up, so I suggest to Mr Quinlan that he may like to seek a briefing. In fact, I would be more than willing to personally run through it with him.

MR HIRD: I ask a supplementary question, Mr Speaker. On the issue of rubbery figures, is it fair to say that Mr Quinlan needs a new calculator, Chief Minister?

MS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, what is interesting is that Mr Quinlan felt a need to put out a second press release at all. I have seen it only in the last few minutes. The first one was fundamentally wrong, but unfortunately the second one is fundamentally wrong as well. It appears that Mr Quinlan is sticking with the $108m figure for the benefit of the ALP's package, a figure that I have already shown was absolutely incorrect. It appears that Mr Quinlan still cannot read the tax package and work out what revenue is in and what grants to the ACT stay in. Unfortunately, Mr Speaker, mark 2 ain't much better than mark 1.

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .