Page 3377 - Week 08 - Thursday, 23 August 2012

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Mr Smyth: But they tell the truth.

MR BARR: If the shadow treasurer wishes to continue to assert the things that he is asserting across the chamber, he should do so by way of a substantive motion.

MR SESELJA: A supplementary.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Seselja, a supplementary question.

MR SESELJA: Treasurer, did you personally read and authorise the copy in this brochure, entitled Tax reform: a fairer, simpler and more efficient taxation system, or otherwise approve its publication?

MR BARR: The material that has been circulated has been approved by the independent reviewer.


MR SPEAKER: For the information of members, we have quite a full public gallery today. I would particularly like to welcome the delegation of whips from South Africa to the ACT Assembly today. Also in the gallery are members of the University of the Third Age, and a group from the ACT Council of Social Service. I welcome all of you to the chamber today.

Questions without notice

Taxation reforms—promotional brochure

MRS DUNNE: My question is to the Treasurer. Treasurer, in all rates notices recently sent out, the ACT government has included a brochure promoting tax reform. Treasurer, this brochure when describing the reform uses forms of words such as “fairer” six times, “reduced” eight times and “abolished” six times. In only one spot, in tiny type in the bottom corner, does the brochure state that the major component of the reform is in fact a major increase in general rates. Treasurer, why have you not been more up-front about what your reform actually means?

MR BARR: It may have escaped Mrs Dunne and the economic geniuses on the other side of the chamber, but the government are phasing out inefficient taxes and we are replacing them—and we have been very up-front about this—with a progressive broad-based land tax. Every single credible economist in the world recognises—

Mr Smyth interjecting—

MR BARR: Every single credible economist in the Western world recognises the importance of fair and efficient taxation, and every single credible economist recognises that a transition away from inefficient and distorting taxation to more efficient forms of taxation leads to a removal of dead weight loss on the economy. In the context of the reforms in this year’s budget, $175 million worth of dead weight costs are lifted from the territory economy, and if the Liberal opposition do not believe or do not understand fundamental economic reform—

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