Page 2152 - Week 07 - Thursday, 16 May 2013

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streams. That is why it is important when you see such volatility in the economy to have more stable revenue streams and it is why it is important to reform your tax base. It is why it is important to focus on business development strategies and to ensure affordability measures are in place for your housing market.

Why tax reform, Madam Speaker? Because it helps lower costs on businesses; it makes the tax system more efficient; and it reduces the excess burden in the economy. So nearly $170 million worth of deadweight loss is lifted from the territory economy as a result of the shift away from inefficient transaction taxes. That money goes back into the pockets of Canberra businesses and households. That is the benefit of tax reform.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Gentleman.

MR GENTLEMAN: Minister, would this have any effect on the ACT’s credit rating?

MADAM SPEAKER: Mr Gentleman, in your question you say, “Does this have anything to do with the ACT’s credit rating?” Are you saying, “Does the global financial crisis have anything to do with—

MR GENTLEMAN: The ACT’s fiscal policy.

MADAM SPEAKER: So your question is: will the ACT’s fiscal policy have an impact on our credit rating? Is that what you mean?

MR GENTLEMAN: “The global economic conditions affecting the ACT” was the original question. My question is: will these conditions have any effect on the ACT’s credit rating?

MADAM SPEAKER: I just wanted to get the connection between your supplementary and the original question. Mr Barr, the Treasurer.

MR BARR: I thank Mr Gentleman for the question. Of course the ACT is one of only two Australian jurisdictions with a AAA credit rating and a stable outlook. The ACT and Victoria, I understand, are the only two that share this at a state and territory level. Of course the commonwealth government has a AAA credit rating, achieved across all three major ratings agencies.

The ACT credit rating was, indeed, endorsed following last year’s budget, and there was particular attention paid to the tax reform agenda of the government and the importance of that reform to maintain our AAA credit rating in the long term because it demonstrated the government’s commitment to make the right decisions for our community and for our economy.

Federal government—budget

MR SMYTH: My question is to the Minister for Economic Development. Minister, portfolio budget papers for the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy note that funding for the commonwealth government’s ICT centre of

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