Page 4954 - Week 15 - Thursday, 15 December 2005

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Mr Hargreaves: She only got half a car, though.


MRS DUNNE: Mr Hargreaves tests my patience with that loud voice; it is a bit of a distraction from time to time.

What actually happens is that people go around and get the best possible deal for their family. Sometimes they can get the price knocked down and sometimes they can get $1,000 worth of petrol thrown in. What Scrooge McDuff over there wants to do, what the Treasurer wants to do, is essentially to levy tax on a fraudulent basis—not on the basis of the price paid for the new vehicle but on the basis of the book price. So, irrespective of how good a deal Mr and Mrs Waramanga can get for their new car, Mr Quinlan as the Treasurer says, “I don’t care how good a deal it is, I think your car is worth X and you will pay X in stamp duty on it, irrespective of whether you got a discount on it.”

That is mean minded and mean spirited. Imagine the impact that that would have on fleet vehicles. A builder with a range of tradesmen working for him might go out and buy three or four utes and get a discount because of that. No, Mr Quinlan says, “The book price is $3,000 more than you paid for it and you are going to pay the equivalent of $3,000 worth of stamp duty more, irrespective of the price you paid.” This is an outrageous impost on the working men and women of Canberra.

Mr Mulcahy: Even unions will pay more for their fleets.

MRS DUNNE: Even the CFMEU will pay more. And what about people who are buying large vehicles—people buying 12-tonne trucks and things like that? If they do a deal and they get a discount, Mr Quinlan will make sure that he gets his pound of flesh out of it. The working men and women of Canberra, their families, their children, will be under an unjust impost. It will be in a sense a fraudulent calculation of the stamp duty because it will not be based on the actual price paid for something.

What does this Treasurer hope to gain by this, except the complete disregard, the complete opprobrium, of every new car buyer in this town? These are families, these are business people, these are unionists, these are everyday working people. What has he got against people buying new cars? You have to ask: is his grab for taxation revenue, his need to plug the dike, which is bursting all over the place, so great that it has to be done at the expense of family people in Canberra?

The proposal put forward by Mr Quinlan is wrong. It is not moral. It is not appropriate for Canberra in the 21st century. It is entirely and utterly inequitable. Mr Mulcahy proposes to delete this proposal, and it should be considered very carefully. As with many pieces of legislation, the more draconian provisions come in under the radar and people do not notice. But they will when they go to pay their stamp duty the first time after this law comes into effect. If this law comes into effect this week, the people who go out after Christmas and buy a car when there are discounts will suddenly realise just how tight a grip Ted Quinlan has on their wallets—and they will not appreciate it one bit.

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