Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 10 Hansard (Wednesday, 13 September 2017) . . Page.. 3681 ..
are both in their eighties. They were paying about $20 a week to live in their own house; now they are paying $30 a week to live in their own house.
This is the two-paced society that I made mention of late last year. There is one pace for Canberrans who can keep pace, can keep up with the cost of living increases in Canberra. There is another pace for those who cannot keep up with the cost of living increases in Canberra. And even for those who can afford to pay the increasing rates, land taxes and fees and charges that this government imposes—perhaps they are on two incomes; perhaps they are both public servants—there is still a question of value. Are Canberrans getting value for money for these increases? And is it fair?
The government will say that it is all because of stamp duty. This government is bringing in record revenue from stamp duty, a government that claimed in 2012 to be abolishing stamp duty. It is the only abolished tax that is still bringing in $300 million. It is bringing in record revenue. This government has no integrity when it comes to its taxation policy.
Unfortunately, it is not going to get any easier. The take from residential rates is forecast to increase another 11 per cent in 2018-19, nine per cent in 2019-20 and another nine per cent in 2020-21. The government may well say that these figures about the total take also include new properties, and that is true. The total take is going to be a bigger pie, because there are going to be more properties that they are drawing rates from because of the growth of Canberra. But that still does not explain why we have increases like nine per cent in Aranda, eight per cent in Chifley, 25 per cent for units in Stirling or the 50 per cent that we saw for Reg and Naysin in Braddon.
In 2012 the ACT Labor government embarked on a sweeping tax reform package. The Canberra Liberals were sceptical, and we voted against it. We have voted against these harsh increases on every occasion, and we are proud of our position. In contrast, the Greens have voted with Labor on every single occasion when it comes to rates and land tax. On every single occasion, the Greens and Labor have been in lock step. It simply does not add up that the Greens would now be critical of the very policy that they have endorsed and the very policy that they, in effect, have ownership of.
The changes back in 2012 were meant to wipe out stamp duty, but over the forward estimates through 2021 the government is projected to bring in even more residential conveyance duties than before. The forecast is for more than $217 million, which is 12 per cent higher than the take in 2017-18. The Quinlan tax review recommended that in abolishing conveyance duties the government needed to recognise the significance of the change and consult with the community on the transition plan. In effect, there had to be consideration for people who had already paid stamp duty. This government conveniently ignored the recommendations that were compassionate and accepted all the recommendations that resulted in higher revenue.
Madam Speaker, I urge members to support the motion.
MR BARR (Kurrajong—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development and Minister for Tourism and Major Events) (5.31): I thank the Leader