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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 07 Hansard (Wednesday, 30 June 2010) . . Page.. 2890 ..

Grants Commission. Their budget turnaround is almost completely attributable to that, whereas our budget has had to withstand a further cut of 10 per cent of our GST revenue. We have a very strong budget plan, endorsed, I think, by the estimates committee to a large extent, about returning the budget to surplus. We want to do it in a measured and considered way. We want to do it in a way that minimises the impact on Canberra families, and we want to do it in a way that allows our budget to grow, recognising that disability services, child protection, education, health and community services are all going to grow over the next few years while our revenue remains flat. That is the budget plan that we have put in place, and I am yet to hear an alternative view that stacks up.

MR SMYTH: I have a supplementary question, Mr Speaker. Treasurer, what impact will the rise in ACT government taxes and charges have on inflation in the ACT? How much will inflation rise? Do you have a figure?

MS GALLAGHER: I think it is a bit of a stretch for the Deputy Leader of the Opposition to say that a very modest increase in some fees and charges across the ACT government is going to have an impact on inflation. I think the ACT government—and this is pointed out in the ACIL Tasman report—

Opposition members interjecting

MS GALLAGHER: I think the ACIL Tasman report just draws out who the significant player is in the ACT economy. It is the commonwealth.

Mr Smyth: And, what, you didn’t know that? You needed a report from ACIL Tasman to know that?

MS GALLAGHER: I am just saying that your own independent analyst there—

Mr Hargreaves: I rise on a point of order, Mr Speaker. Could you please remind all members that conversations across the chamber are not the appropriate way of dealing with question time.

MR SPEAKER: Thank you, Mr Hargreaves.

MS GALLAGHER: Thank you, Mr Speaker. I think I will go with the less is more approach, and I have answered the question.

MR SPEAKER: Supplementary, Mr Smyth?

MR SMYTH: Yes, thank you, Mr Speaker. Treasurer, what impact will the increase in taxes and charges have on families in Tuggeranong and Belconnen?

MS GALLAGHER: I am sure the people of Tuggeranong and Belconnen will be very pleased with the budget overall, the extra investment that the government is making in their communities, continuing to invest in health, in education, in community services, in vital community infrastructure. I get the sense—and I have not had one letter from a constituent to change my view or to support the Liberals’ view—that the community understand that the government has to increase fees and

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