Page 2310 - Week 08 - Wednesday, 5 June 2013
elections before they will see no stamp duty. But their rates will triple well before that. They will see a tripling of rates well before they ever see stamp duty going.
I commend Mr Smyth for this motion. All elements of his motion are factually based, as so eloquently displayed by the Leader of the Opposition. This motion should be supported because it highlights the hypocrisy of this government. It highlights the dishonesty of this government, as we have seen and as has been reinforced by the Chief Minister’s fundamentally dishonest speech and contribution to this debate.
MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (4.05), in reply: We asked how would the taxes that were being abolished and were being transferred into rates apply. It is a reasonable proposition, when you have reform of this size, that you do the work and you actually work out whether it does work and whether or not it is sustainable. And when we asked the Treasurer about what the reforms would mean, he simply said, “I refer you to the Quinlan tax review.”
We asked a number of questions about what it would mean for rates over what time frame and what effect it would have on households, and his simple answer was: “I refer you to the Quinlan tax review.” And the document in the Quinlan tax review that talks about the distributional impacts on households over 10 years clearly shows that rates triple. We asked a question, we were sent to the review. The review said triple.
We used that document in our document. It is actually sourced. We say where it comes from. And it shows what will happen. The mathematics are simple. If you are going to attempt to remove all of these taxes—and I say “if” because it is not quite clear that they will remove them—and it goes into the rates, then the rates take must triple. It does not work any other way.
You have to have doubt whether they will actually do what they set out, because I note conveyancing, which is one of the taxes that we are getting rid of, goes up seven per cent in 2014-15, five per cent in 2015-16 and another seven per cent in 2016-17. So you have got a tax that has been abolished but that continues to grow. And I know the Treasurer will be saying, “Yes, but the population base grows and this is a factor and value goes up,” all of which would be true. But if you are abolishing it, at some time it must come down. In fact, it must disappear. And when it disappears, this tax that currently grows must go into rates. And the distribution simply says, and it is confirmed by Quinlan, that it must triple. It is inescapable.
There is an easy answer to this, of course. The Treasurer could come, and as we have asked many times over the last 12 months, into this place and could simply table the document that shows how the taxes that they claim to be abolishing disappear, where the money goes and what the distributional effects are. He could finish this argument now. But he has not, he will not and he cannot because he knows, for those taxes to disappear, then the rates take must triple and consequently the rates on households must also triple.
If we were wrong and he had a document to prove it, he would be down here immediately and would have done so in the budget debate last year. But he has not, and they have not been able to refute it. They have not been able to refute it today. And it clearly stings. It stings because they are caught out.