Page 556 - Week 02 - Wednesday, 22 February 2012

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as with payroll tax, for example, where any increases would flow on through the cost structure of businesses into prices paid by consumers. Indeed, it might look at things like change of use charge or lease variation charge, where an enormous big tax is put on the cost of living. At a time when the ability to purchase a home is already tough in the ACT, we get a great big tax. But there is no analysis in the budget documents that says how this will affect those that wish to purchase a home or a unit.

We will require a statement to be presented to the Assembly. Whilst we have no prescription about the form of this statement, and we will leave it to the government of the day to determine what shall be included in the analysis and how it shall be structured, a statement will be required at the time of the annual budget so that people do understand what it is that they are facing in the coming year.

Under this amendment such a statement is only required at the time of the annual budget—that is, when the first appropriation bill is presented for a financial year, as required by section 10 of the Financial Management Act. I acknowledge that the form and content of this statement will probably evolve as we learn what can be provided in such a statement and what may not be necessary to be included.

Of necessity, therefore, this analysis will be a living document as we improve our understanding of what it could encompass. But with an insight into the basis on which proposals are formulated, including the assumptions which underlie different proposals, and as with other regular reports from the government, this statement will be drafted to suit particular circumstances in that year.

But have no doubt, Mr Speaker, that the intent of this is that any taxpayer, any citizen living in the territory, may look at this statement as it is presented with the budget to understand what the government forecast will be the impact of their budget on those citizens in that year.

I note that there have been comments made on other occasions in this place about a cost of living statement. Indeed, in a debate on 22 June last year, the leader of the Greens, Ms Hunter, spoke in less than glowing terms about a cost of living statement. Ms Hunter said:


that is, the Greens—

feeling is that it—

a cost of living statement—

would not offer a lot to members of the community in actually evaluating budget proposals.

Ms Hunter went on to say:

We really think that does come from a poverty income analysis.

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