Page 3900 - Week 12 - Thursday, 29 October 2015

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what he will do. He is now saying that, instead of abolishing, we are aiming for the lowest rate. But he is caught in his own trap. He is caught in the trap of this government that spends continually without ensuring effective spending for the people of the ACT. The government are embarking upon enormous expense on capital metro, without any clear indication of how they can pay for it. But they do know that they continue to squeeze the ordinary landholder in the ACT—and that is the shame of this government.

I thank Mr Wall for bringing on this MPI today. The impacts of rate increases in the Canberra community are enormous. If you are a pensioner, increases eat into your disposable income, because you have got to pay bills. We hear that you can defer them—aka a death tax, because that is what it is; the money will just come out of the estate. But you are expected to pay your government rates, all at a time when you do not get anything extra in terms of service delivery. You are not getting anything extra in terms of good outcomes. You have got a profligate government that simply spends.

We heard from Mr Rattenbury, whose opening statement was, “Use the land wisely.” But the land is not being used wisely, Mr Rattenbury. The land is simply being used as a balancing item in the budget of a government that cannot control its spending. One of the bureaucrats told me he thought there was 12 to 15 years worth of land supply left in the ACT at current use. With 12 to 15 years worth of land supply, what will we do when the land has gone? How will you balance your budgets then? How will you build a future for the people who come after us when you have squandered the assets that we currently have and at the same time you have set up a tax system that just taxes and taxes and taxes?

It is unfortunate that we are in this situation. The government is feeling the pressure and we are hearing the language now. Mr Barr is saying that the increases will be moderated. Isn’t funny that that coincides with an election year? They are going to moderate the increases as of next year. There will be one year of moderation and if they manage to get re-elected that moderation will disappear again—to fund their capital metro and other follies. Instead of having a clear vision—(Time expired.)

MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella—Minister for Planning, Minister for Roads and Parking, Minister for Workplace Safety and Industrial Relations, Minister for Children and Young People and Minister for Ageing) (4.45): I am grateful for the opportunity to speak on this important MPI today. The government is continuing to deliver on its commitment to remove inefficient taxes, and it is becoming the first Australian state or territory to abolish tax on insurance policies as well. We are continuing to remove those inefficient taxes, like stamp duty, with Canberrans saving thousands on unfair stamp duty taxes when purchasing a house in the ACT. The government has cut stamp duty in every budget since 2012 and remains committed to further cutting the tax over the coming years.

When we look at our rates and taxes system, it is probably worth while advising Canberrans where their rates and taxes go in the territory. Thirty-one per cent of our rates and taxes go on health, 24 per cent on education, 10 per cent on justice and safety, six per cent on disability and community services, six per cent also on territory and municipal services, five per cent on delivering government services, five per cent

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