Page 139 - Week 01 - Wednesday, 28 November 2012
The amendment also reflects the facts and not the deceptive slogans about tax reform. There has never been a credible review of taxation that has suggested that stamp duty and the insurance levy are economically efficient. We should be celebrating the fact that we are the first jurisdiction to respond to the evidence and that the majority of Canberrans were not deceived by the scare campaign during the election.
The amendment calls on the government to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and report to the Assembly by August. And I can certainly say that I think that report will give us some very useful points on which to consider these matters further in the future. I commend my amendment to the Assembly.
MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (10.59): I move the following amendment to Mr Rattenbury’s proposed amendment:
Add new paragraph (2)(d):
“(d) table in the Assembly by first sitting week of February, the Government modelling of general rates increases once stamp duty is abolished.”.
The amendment is very simple. The government claims to know what is happening, and this amendment simply lets the rest of us in on the secret. The amendment calls for the government modelling of general rates increases once stamp duty is abolished.
The minister is already on the shifting sands whereby yesterday he said they would reduce stamp duty. This morning he says, “We will reduce initially and then we will get rid of it.” Let us know. If he knows that timetable—and one would assume that if he has a 20-year plan, he has that timetable—then the very simple thing to do is for the minister to simply table that information for the benefit of all of the Assembly and for the benefit of the Canberra community at large.
We have given them a generous amount of time to put together the information. I assume there are volumes of folios and a large number of files where this work has been done, so we have given the government until the first sitting week in February to bring this modelling back to this place. Of course, if they wanted to they could circulate out of session through the Speaker’s office, and then we would all know exactly what is going to happen with rates.
Cost of living is a very important issue for the people of the ACT. It was certainly an issue that was raised with me constantly during the campaign, particularly in the outer suburbs—Gordon, Banks, Conder—where they have seen enormous increases and they have felt enormous increases in their rates notices this year. People want to know what is happening. They want to know what is happening so that they can start planning. They want to know what is happening so that they can start making decisions about their personal finances, so that they do not put themselves in a precarious position.
The minister is being less than clear now about his reforms. The story is changing from day to day in this place—and let us face it, this is the third day since the election