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

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 10 Hansard (27 August) . . Page.. 2819 ..

MR HUMPHRIES: If it is an investment property-that is right.

Mr Quinlan: That obtains now.

MR HUMPHRIES: I know it obtains now. But the rate at which you are paying is going up. That is what your bill says, Mr Quinlan. I will read the speech. It says:

Another provision of this bill increases the marginal land tax rates from 1 October 2002 for all non-residential properties with average unimproved values ...

You also provide for a widening of the take with regard to properties generally. That is the other provision relating to land tax. Residential properties owned by companies or trustees will become liable for land tax, even if they are not rented, Mr Speaker.

The message I am trying to get out here is that we should be sending a signal to people investing in property that the costs are not likely to rise significantly. I appreciate that that is not what the Treasurer was talking about with this structure, but the extent to which properties are rented out provides the market level for private accommodation in the territory. Ms Dundas has already had something to say about the number of properties and the amount of accommodation available in the territory.

We all know the rental market is tight. I make the point that the government has to be careful it does not so squeeze the private rental market, indirectly, that the result is fewer properties available for rent. That would have an impact on ACT Housing's capacity to meet market demand.

As I said, because of the retrospectivity, because of the breach of the government's promise to have these outlays in its budget delivered without an increase in the tax take, and because these taxes are essentially taxes on employment and investment, the opposition will be opposing this bill.

In case the Treasurer is interested in criticising this as a collateral way of opposing the budget, I remind him of the fact that, as I recall it, the federal Labor opposition has promised to do something very similar with the federal government's budget in opposing collateral legislation dealing with the question of disability payments and the pharmaceutical benefits scheme. We have not used this as a model. We are not copying the federal opposition, but we accept that to oppose a collateral bill in the budget is not the same as opposing the appropriation bill itself.

MR QUINLAN (Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Business and Tourism, Minister for Sport, Racing and Gaming and Minister for Police, Emergency Services and Corrections) (12.22), in reply: There are a few points I want to pick up on-Mrs Dunne talking about openness, et cetera. I will not take too much time.

I feel that what has come through from some of the members of this place is an emphasis on people saying, "Tell us when; tell us exactly why!" In this place, there have been a number of occasions when we have had to know precisely why-and that has become an issue. We all know that, when you are building a road, a stadium-or whatever you are implementing-exact precision is just not possible.

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