Page 3240 - Week 08 - Wednesday, 22 August 2012

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MR SPEAKER: Members, I just want to take this opportunity to point out that former member of the Assembly Mr David Lamont has joined us in the public gallery. I welcome you, Mr Lamont.

Sitting suspended from 5.57 to 7.30 pm.

MADAM DEPUTY SPEAKER: It being past 6 pm, I propose the question:

That the Assembly do now adjourn.

MR BARR: I require the question to be put forthwith without debate.

Question resolved in the negative.

Payroll tax administration

Debate resumed.

MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (7.32), in reply: Madam Deputy Speaker, why am I not surprised that the Greens and the Labor Party will not give some consideration to the business community of the ACT? I have to say that the level of ignorance displayed by Ms Hunter before makes me think she has not even read the motion. What I might do is read it to disavow her of her notion that somehow we are going to have a tax holiday for four months. It is not what is in the motion. If you have not read that then I think what you are showing is a degree of ignorance that you should be ashamed of.

Paragraph (3) of the motion, having outlined in (i) and (ii) that there are some problems and concerns out there, provides a path to actually allay those concerns and finetune the system so that it works for the benefit of all. It is not some sort of tax holiday, as described by Ms Hunter. What it says, Ms Hunter—and you have obviously failed to read it, or are incapable of reading it—is that we call on the ACT government to implement a four-month moratorium on the Revenue Office taking legal action against ACT businesses until such time as the way in which the legislation is applied is clarified.

I think that is the appropriate thing to do here. I note Ms Hunter says: “Oh, you’re lazy. You should have brought in legislation.” Whatever happened to the new way of doing business? It is interesting: the Greens propose a new way of doing business and it is innovation. The Liberal Party says, “Let’s not go the route of more red tape, more legislation, more regulation, more whatever; let’s just have a bit of a chat, a quiet conversation, and see if we can’t work this out,” and suddenly that is transformed into a four-month tax holiday.

I think you show your ignorance and your lack of understanding of how the system works. I think you show your ignorance and lack of consideration for a very significant part of our community, the part of the community that pays an enormous amount of tax—eight per cent of the total revenue that the ACT government has. I am amused, I am bemused, that the Greens are not interested in confirming the application of the law.

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