Page 2645 - Week 09 - Tuesday, 11 August 2015

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Mr Coe interjecting—

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Mr Doszpot): Sit down for a second Mr Barr. Mr Coe, thank you! Mr Barr.

MR BARR: Thank you, Mr Assistant Speaker. As Canberra house prices continue to increase, if you do not reduce the stamp duty rates, the amount of stamp duty paid in Canberra will approach that $40,000 figure, and that is the path the Liberal Party wants to take—the rate of stamp duty that is applied. As our house prices increase into the future, if you do not reduce the rate of stamp duty, then the amount of stamp duty on each transaction will increase. That is what happens—house price inflation, no adjustment to stamp duty rates, stamp duty goes up in total across the amount collected by government and on each individual property. That might be hard for Mr Coe to comprehend, but most people will understand that the reason we need to reduce stamp duty is to stop that massive hit on homebuyers.

Let us also make the observation that most people have to borrow that stamp duty money, so they pay interest on that over the life of their loan. They then pay four, 4½, five per cent, whatever the prevailing mortgage rate is at the time. They pay that over the life of that loan. That is why I am cutting stamp duty in every budget I deliver, and that is why we are committed to that path of stamp duty reduction, just as we are committed to the path of abolition of insurance taxes from 1 July next year, just as we are committed to a further increase in the payroll tax threshold, just as we have been committed to other tax reforms, to do three things: make our tax system simpler, make our tax system fairer and make our tax system more efficient.

The contrast is with those opposite, whose policies are to increase stamp duty, to increase insurance taxes and to increase payroll taxes because they have opposed every cut to those taxes. If they are determined to be true to what they have been saying, they will reverse all of those tax cuts. Or if they do not they have accepted the government’s tax reform agenda. That is the question tonight. Will you be reversing those tax cuts?

Mr Smyth interjecting—

MR BARR: The shadow treasurer can harp away on the sidelines, interjecting once again after you have warned him, Mr Assistant Speaker. He can continue to do that while you sit there mute.

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER: Mr Barr, please address yourself to the chair. Do not take part in debate. I will keep order.

MR BARR: Really?


MR BARR: Right. I will believe that when I see it, Mr Assistant Speaker.

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER: You will be very surprised, I know.

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