Page 2332 - Week 08 - Wednesday, 5 June 2013

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148 per cent; and Holt, 138 per cent. This is in addition to rents going up by 77 per cent. Childcare in the ACT is $13 a day more expensive than the national average. First homes now cost on average more than $408,000 and, for the first time, first homes are now more expensive for 50 per cent of first home owners due to the charges in stamp duty concessions. And it goes on and on.

The cost of living statement in this year’s budget has been changed, and the reason given by Andrew Barr today was, “Because we can. Because we can.” That is what he said. But when we look at what the cost of living impact is and when we finally get to the nub of it, we see a whole bunch of things have not been included in this cost of living motion that we have called on the government to include. We are still investigating whether that is all in there.

The cost of living statement in the 2012-13 budget noted an increase of $641 in government rates and charges for an average Canberra family. The documented increase of $641 for that family in the 2012-13 year was due to government taxes and fees going up. As an example, rates went up 9.6 per cent, utilities by 11.5 per cent, electricity by 17.8 per cent, gas by 11.5 per cent and sewerage by 8.2 per cent. Fees and charges rose from $8,425 a year to $9,066. So things like the ambulance levy and the utilities tax were missing last year. The increase in CTP insurance was not accounted for. And, apparently, the family did not park their car, which can add another $3,200 to charges if they park their car in Civic. Mr Coe might be able to confirm an increase of nine per cent in parking in this year’s budget again?

Mr Coe: Twenty per cent in total takings.

MR HANSON: Twenty per cent in total takings of parking across the ACT. That is a direct hit to the cost of living of Canberra families. That is even more important as an issue when the federal government is cutting the free parking for many public servants. So for many Canberrans who work in the federal public service, they are facing an increased bill in the parliamentary triangle of $2,640 a year. If you have got two family members who work in different departments on either side of town, you can double that. Perhaps one is working in the federal parliamentary triangle and one is working for the ACT. What people will find is their fees and charges going up by 20 per cent. So if federal Labor is not getting you, then local Labor will, and that is what we are seeing.

An additional comment in the review of the last budget on ways to improve the cost of living statement by the Centre for International Economics was that using after-tax income as the disposable income would more accurately reflect the government’s rates and charges as a proportion of income and that median household income should be used rather than average because of household income distribution.

I note that one of the changes in the statement on cost of living in the budget was for people who were married 15 years and over, which I think would be illegal. So, I am not quite sure how that—

Mr Barr: No, you’ve not read the commonwealth Marriage Act then, have you?

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