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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 7 Hansard (6 June) . . Page.. 2014 ..

Mr Humphries: The staff member has been named on ABC Radio, Mr Speaker. It has been widely mentioned.

MR SPEAKER: Well, I cannot help that.

Debate (on motion by Mr Humphries ) adjourned to the next sitting.

Sitting suspended from 12.17 to 2.30 pm.

Questions without notice

Payroll tax

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Treasurer. Treasurer, in the Assembly on 8 May 2002, you said that your government was not committed to increasing the payroll tax threshold in accordance with the proposals contained in the then government's budget, brought down in May 2001. On 4 June 2002, Mr Wood spoke, in this place, about cuts to the federal government's roads to recovery program. He said:

To cut funds in a month or two in the federal budget, a month or two before that financial year, is no help at all to those people who build roads. It's the nature of those programs that any changes in funding need a long lead time.

Minister, how can you reconcile the fact that your government is critical of the federal government for giving your government just six weeks notice about the roads to recovery program change, when you are prepared to give ACT businesses only five days notice about the payroll tax threshold?

MR QUINLAN: Mr Speaker, as far as I am concerned, at this point, this government has made no indication that it intends to change the payroll tax regime.

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, I have a supplementary question. Minister, given that you have said you cannot rule out the possibility of cancelling the former government's proposal to raise the payroll tax threshold-

MR SPEAKER: It sounds like a preamble to me!

MR HUMPHRIES: Can you tell the Assembly whether a decision, which may result in a changed arrangement to ACT businesses, would have an adverse impact on planning for employment to be undertaken by companies either operating in the ACT or planning to come to the ACT?

MR QUINLAN: First of all, Mr Speaker, it was the electorate that cancelled the former government, and I am presuming it would have cancelled any of the election promises or forward commitments it had made.

Every budget that comes out is replete with prognostication and hyperbole about what the government is going to do. I do not think a government which follows is committed to the letter of the promises made in a budget that was brought down-or outside

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