Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 10 Hansard (Wednesday, 13 September 2017) . . Page.. 3690 ..
With this in mind, the Greens have spent much of the last two days in negotiation with the government on an acceptable amendment to Mr Coe’s motion. While the government is making its budget decisions, it needs to have in front of it an analysis of how all the vulnerable groups are likely to be impacted by tax reform and how they will be affected by the changes. It could be that we need to make tweaks to deferment eligibility. There might need to be an increase to the pensioner rebate or there could be something else, some other way of looking at things that I cannot, with my very limited amount of information, think of.
What we are saying is that consideration of this needs to be built in at the start of the process. I am really pleased that through negotiations the Greens have been able to work with the ALP to get an outcome whereby the government will step up the work it is doing to make sure tax reform is fair and equitable.
Mr Barr’s amendment does three key things. It acknowledges that tax reform needs to consider equity and social justice as well as economic efficiency. It commits to monitoring the impact of tax reform and concession changes on property owners who are on low or fixed incomes. It commits to a social impact analysis on the adequacy of the concessions system and providing this to the Assembly as part of the budget process next year. This is a good start, and it is something that the Greens will continue to work on and monitor to make sure that our taxation system is equitable and efficient.
At 6 pm, in accordance with standing order 34, the debate was interrupted. The motion for the adjournment of the Assembly having been put and negatived, the debate was resumed.
MR COE (Yerrabi—Leader of the Opposition) (5.59): Once again we have a situation where the Chief Minister is stubbornly and blindly going ahead with his heartless tax regime and we have the Greens pretending to have a bob each way, but in actual fact they are in full endorsement of what the Labor government is doing. Ms Le Couteur may well be able to fool some people; she may be able to fool some constituents with this amendment, but I think we all know that nothing is going to change as a result of this amendment—nothing.
I refer to this example that Ms Le Couteur mentioned of Susan. Susan could be one of thousands of people in Canberra who are suffering because of the policies that the Greens and Labor have put in place. Thousands of people are suffering as a result of this. Unfortunately, Susan’s needs are not going to be addressed by this amendment. Susan’s disposable income is still going to take a hit because of what the Labor Party and the Greens are doing.
What the government is doing with units is unfair. Whilst the Greens may say that it is right that they should be charging unit owners an extra 20, 25 or 50 per cent, as is the case for Reg and Naysin in Braddon, we on this side do not think it is right. We do not think it is fair. For years the government has been encouraging people to move into these complexes, and for the people who were the suckers who did, they then cop a 50 per cent increase in their rates.