Page 4583 - Week 12 - Thursday, 15 October 2009

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MR SMYTH: Treasurer, how much additional revenue has the ACT received or lost since the May budget?

MS GALLAGHER: Those details will be released in the midyear review. I have not checked with Mr Smyth whether he would like the midyear review in December or whether he would like it in February. One year he likes it in December; the next year he likes it in February. If I release it in December, he says I am trying to hide it with Christmas; if I release it in February will I be criticised because it is too close to the budget? I do not know the answer; I am just weighing it all up. Maybe Mr Smyth can tell me: would you like your midyear review in December or would you like it in January? I look forward to your answer to that.

Mr Smyth: So you don’t know how much money you have made or lost?

MS GALLAGHER: It is being updated. I have seen some results for July, which were good, up on our forecasts. I have not seen August’s or September’s yet but, in accordance with the requirements of the Assembly, that information in its entirety will be presented in the midyear review.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Seselja, a supplementary question?

MR SESELJA: Treasurer, what is the current estimate of the cash position of the ACT government in 2009-10 after this additional expenditure and change to revenue has been taken into account?

MS GALLAGHER: It is as it is published in the budget, Mr Speaker.

Economy—growth forecast

MR DOSZPOT: My question is to the Treasurer and it relates to economic growth nationally and in the ACT. Treasurer, now that your federal Labor colleagues have indicated that the economy is performing much better than expected, will you commit to no increased or new charges for the ACT while you are Treasurer?

MS GALLAGHER: The answer is no. From time to time we get these questions: will you rule this in; will you rule this out? We have a significant job ahead of us in recovering the budget. We have outlined a budget plan. I think the opposition do not agree with it but I am not really sure because, yet again, they have not engaged in the process. We have a significant job ahead of us. I think at this point in time, whilst we have outlined a seven-year recovery strategy, for you to ask in year one for me to rule out any tax increases would be crazy. It would be silly. Whilst it might be in the short term politically advantageous for me to do it, because I can feel a Brendan Smyth bad news media release on its way, Canberrans are reasonable people and they would understand that ruling out any increases in taxes and charges at this point in time would be simply silly.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Doszpot, a supplementary question?

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