Page 1237 - Week 04 - Wednesday, 6 April 2016

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are ready for the future. We are not, according to a firm that has a tool to do these rankings. Canberra is not listed in Dell’s ranking of future-ready cities. There we have it.

Of course the Treasurer goes back to his great delight, three-word slogans, “fairer, simpler and efficient”. Yes, for the government! It is certainly not fairer for the taxpayer. Our objection has always been that it puts a burden on the taxpayer that is unfair. He quoted from the Property Council. The Property Council at 7.23 this morning put out a press release called “Tax reform and the politically possible”. It says:

The facts are that businesses already pay very high rates of land tax, with aggregation and other features creating significant distortions in what is billed as an inefficient tax.

A new flat land tax on the family home could certainly raise a significant amount of money—

which is what the Treasurer is currently doing—

However we wanted to see if the idea stacked up—and if implementing it was as easy as it sounds.

So we commissioned a state-by-state economic analysis of the issue. It found that the average home owner would have to pay $2,360 each year in land tax to fund the abolition of stamp duty. That’s an average figure, so families and households in our bigger cities would pay even more.

And that is exactly what is happening here. These are the sorts of numbers that average Canberra families are having to pay extra to fund this—what was it?—fairer, simpler and more efficient system of taxation. Yes, fairer, more efficient and simpler for the government but certainly not for the taxpayer.

These are important issues. You know that Andrew Barr is in trouble when he gets a little petulant, when he gets a little personal, when he gets a bit anxious about what is going on.

Mr Barr: You know Brendan Smyth is in trouble when he says Andrew Barr gets in trouble, because you say that every answer. It is just what you are saying. This is the same speech you have given 2,000 times.

MR SMYTH: Yes, true. You come down when you are challenged and you put words in the mouth of the Prime Minister. Then you have to retract it. “Oh, he didn’t actually say that. I came up with some words that I thought he said.” You got caught out a bit more and you had to correct the record as well. There you go.

These are important issues for the taxpayers of the ACT. These are important issues if you are paying the bills. These are important issues if you are feeling the cost burdens of this government’s inability to balance the books, to deliver a surplus, to reduce the

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