Page 4105 - Week 13 - Wednesday, 18 November 2015

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MR SMYTH: That is very kind, Madam Deputy Speaker. People should have certainty. The business community needs to know with certainty what will happen on their rates so they can do their forward planning. People need to know with certainty, for instance, when conveyancing is apparently going to be abolished. That may actually impact then on choices they make about downsizing, upsizing, moving, changing, whatever it is. But these reforms have left people with no certainty.

The Chief Minister will no doubt jump up and talk about progressivity. The government uses the word “progress”, says that this is a progressive tax, to cover the fact that it makes it easier for them. That is all this is about. This is making it easy for the government; it is to give them certainty. All it does is give the people of the ACT higher bills, whether it be for their residences or their businesses. It is not an unreasonable request that we conduct an impact analysis on these things and we work out what is happening with the cost of living as an impact of the government’s changes. It would not be unreasonable to have that before the budget next year. It gives the government some six months. I commend the motion to the Assembly.

MR BARR (Molonglo—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Minister for Urban Renewal and Minister for Tourism and Events) (11.19): I move:

Omit all words after “That this Assembly”, substitute:

“(1) notes:

(a) that the Government is abolishing duty on conveyances;

(b) that the Government is abolishing duty on insurance;

(c) that duties on conveyances and insurance are two of the most unfair and inefficient taxes levied by governments;

(d) that insurance duty will be abolished by 1 July 2016;

(e) that stamp duty has been cut in every budget since 2012-2013 and will be cut in all forthcoming budgets delivered by this Government;

(f) that the ACT Government was the first in the country to undertake such reform;

(g) that households and businesses are already saving considerable sums on their insurance policies due to the cuts to insurance duty;

(h) that home buyers are saving thousands of dollars in stamp duty, with a $500 000 property currently incurring $5900 less in stamp duty than before tax reform started in 2012;

(i) that household and commercial general rates are a stable and efficient source of revenue;

(j) that the Government’s taxation reforms are revenue neutral—with increases to rates funding decreases to other taxes;

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