Page 78 - Week 01 - Tuesday, 27 November 2012

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DR BOURKE: My question is to the Treasurer. Can the Treasurer outline the Gallagher government’s intentions on continuing tax reform?

MR BARR: I thank Dr Bourke for the question. Can I say how very pleasing it was that the community endorsed the ACT government’s commitment to tax reform. I am very pleased with that outcome, Madam Speaker. As much as those opposite might crow, there are still those opposite sitting on that side of the chamber and tax reform was a very important part of this election campaign.

Opposition members interjecting—

MADAM SPEAKER: Order, members!

Mr Seselja interjecting—

MADAM SPEAKER: Order, members! Mr Seselja, I would like Mr Barr to be directly relevant and you are distracting him somewhat. He has had a minute to speak about the election result. Would you like to talk about tax reform?

MR BARR: Thank you, Madam Speaker. So the ACT now holds the title of the most reformist jurisdiction on tax reform in Australia. Whilst other jurisdictions know the reform that needs to be undertaken, we are the only jurisdiction actually doing something about it—getting rid of inefficient taxes and replacing them with more efficient ones. We have a modern and thriving economy that delivers high quality services and infrastructure to our citizens.

However, to continue to fund these services into the future, we need a modern revenue base. So during this term it is the government’s intention to continue to put the territory’s taxation system on a more sustainable basis in order to provide high quality services and infrastructure into the future. Our goal is to make our tax system fairer, simpler and more efficient.

Tax reform implementation is an ongoing task. I am pleased to advise the Assembly that over the next few years we will become the first jurisdiction in Australia to abolish all tax on insurance. We will continue to reduce stamp duties across the board to assist every homebuyer in this city, every single homebuyer in this city, to buy a house.

We will continue to reform land tax for the benefit of those particularly low and middle income earners who are renting homes in this city and we will continue to cut payroll tax to continue to be the most competitive and lowest taxing jurisdiction for small and medium size enterprises in the country.

These measures are essential to ensure that our economy remains strong and to allow us to continue to make public investment in the future of our city. Tax reform is important and essential to our economic wellbeing. Tax reform that supports

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