Page 4113 - Week 13 - Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video

It is cruel and it is unfair. And, based on the budget projections, there is still about $250 million to $260 million of stamp duty revenue being collected by this government every year that Andrew Barr has again committed to dumping onto everybody’s rates. At some stage that $250 million to $260 million every year will be put on our rates.

There will be then a position where, if you live in Curtin, Duffy or Fisher, there will be not simply 50 per cent increases. It will be many, many times more than that because there is only one way to do the maths. If you want to put an extra $260 million of stamp duty on everybody’s rates, there is no mathematical equation possible where that does not result in people’s rates, on average across Canberra, having tripled. That is a fact.

Again what we saw was nasty, grubby little sneers from Mr Barr. It is his way of operating. He sneers across the chamber. Let me say very clearly that when Mr Barr says in his amendment: we have not seen the Liberals talk about tax; we have not seen them talk about housing affordability, that is not true. Let me give some examples, Madam Deputy Speaker. The lease variation charge is a massive tax on housing affordability. I will tell members exactly how it is. Mr Barr does not understand. If developers want to convert a lease that is in a town centre, in Civic or elsewhere, from a commercial property—it may be a vacant one because we know that there is a 15 or 16 per cent commercial office block vacancy rate in this town––into residential, they will be stung by this government in the order of $40,000 or $50,000 per apartment for doing that. We have spoken to developers. We have spoken to builders who want to do this. That is a massive tax on that unit development.

The reality is that Mr Barr does not like people who build in this city; he does not like people who are labelled developers. He sees them as the class enemy. The reality is, though, that if those people want to build in Civic, want to build in our town centres, then the additional cost is $40,000 to $50,000.

A number of things will happen arising from this. If the development goes ahead, which we know is not happening; it has basically come to a standstill since this tax was brought into place, but should it go ahead, what it means is that a lot of the cost from the lease variation charge will get pushed on to those units, those apartments that we know are exactly the part of the market that we are trying to target from a housing affordability perspective. It means that those apartments, those dwellings in Civic and in the town centres that are subject to the lease variation charge, are going to have a $40,000 to $50,000 tax applied to them.

We have said that we will repeal it. We will repeal it because it will help housing affordability. It will enable people to live in Civic and the town centres and spend less money on their apartments to do so. That is a good town planning outcome. That is a very good planning outcome rather than having high density out in places like Wright and Coombs. It will also activate and renew Civic and the town centres. Do not come in here and say that we have not talked about tax reform.

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video