Page 3452 - Week 11 - Thursday, 19 September 2013
The government will ensure two things: firstly that the program of abolition of inefficient and distortive taxes continues; secondly, we will take appropriate steps to ensure the territory’s revenue base is diversified and protected. With those two principles guiding our direction for tax reform, the government is happy to support Mr Rattenbury’s amendment, and will provide information in accordance with it. Of course, I remind members that if they wish to see modelling over the next four to five years, that information has been available for more than a year.
MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (10.58): To speak to the amendment and close the debate, I thank Mr Rattenbury for his amendment. At last we might see the modelling the government claims they have and what the effect of their reforms will be in the long term. There has never been any doubt that there is some information in the marketplace and that the minister has put some numbers out, but what he has not done is explain how the reforms are paid for over the full reform period. Hopefully we will now get that information.
I note the minister has already said the government will claim privilege. That being so, I suggest the minister read standing order 213A paragraphs (5) through (11), which show how privilege is dealt with. It would be better if the government was just open. If they were confident of their reforms, if they were confident they can pay for their reforms and if they were confident that rates do not triple over a time frame, then they would put this documentation into the public realm. They have not.
They can end the argument about tripling rates any time they want. But the fact they have not put this material into the public realm leaves the doubt hanging. It is important that the information is available as the reforms impact upon families and households. I again remind the Treasurer that, yes, you can claim privilege, but that then triggers another process. We will be interested to see, firstly, the return on 31 October of all the documents that are available and, secondly, which ones have the claim of privilege attached to them. If privilege is invoked, I will certainly be looking to use the process of an independent arbiter looking at which documents can and cannot be made public.
I thank Mr Rattenbury for his support and the Treasurer for that fact that even he now supports making public further documents.
Amendment agreed to.
Motion, as amended, agreed to.
Executive member’s business—precedence
Motion (by Mr Rattenbury, by leave) agreed to:
That Executive Member’s business be called on forthwith.