Page 4302 - Week 12 - Wednesday, 25 October 2017

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If we need a further example of just how out of touch this opposition party is with sensible tax reform, we need only look at the work of the Productivity Commission, the report commissioned by their own federal colleague Scott Morrison, that once again recommended that state and territory governments should phase out stamp duties and replace them with broad-based land taxes—exactly what this government is doing. Once again we have demonstrated that we are implementing good public policy. We are cutting stamp duty. Someone purchasing a half a million dollar property in the ACT is now saving $7,700 on what they would have paid under Mr Coe’s preferred tax model.

Again, if he wants to go to the next election arguing that he will put stamp duty back up, that he will jack it back up on every single property in this city, good. Let him go forward with that policy. I know Mr Hanson did not in 2016. He shied away from jacking stamp duty up. Having opposed tax reform for the first five years, when given the opportunity to say, “No, I will reverse it,” he did not. Mr Coe similarly will squib that issue when it comes to the 2020 election. He will not go to the 2020 election promising to reintroduce an insurance tax, promising to make payroll tax higher, and he will not, I will confidently predict, suggest that stamp duty should be increased. Once again we have a university debating motion from Mr Coe, revisiting an issue that this Assembly dealt with in legislation earlier this year.

I commend my amendment to the Assembly. I wish to assure all Assembly members that the government’s commitment to tax reform continues, because it is the right thing to do for this community. It provides secure and stable revenues to provide the health, education, municipal and community services that this growing community needs, to invest in the infrastructure that the fastest growing state or territory needs, and I am very happy for that policy contrast to continue.

We won the 2012 and 2016 elections on this policy, and we will continue this reform agenda. Mr Coe can oppose it, and again I say bring it on. Go to 2020, like you did in 2016 and 2012 so unsuccessfully, arguing to undo this reform or reverse it. There is the challenge for you. If you think stamp duties are the way forward, if you think that reinstituting a tax on insurance is the best public policy approach, go for it. We took our tax policy to the 2012 and 2016 elections and were re-elected twice. We will continue that approach. Mr Coe can continue to oppose our tax reforms. His colleagues can continue their path of economic lunacy. They can continue to oppose sensible public policy as recommended by their own federal Treasurer through his Productivity Commission report. If they want to do that, bring it on.

MS LE COUTEUR (Murrumbidgee) (11.35): This motion is very similar to the motion from Mr Coe on rates that we debated in September and, as in September, we will not be supporting it. We will instead be supporting Mr Barr’s amendment. As I said back in September, the ACT Greens support the government raising revenue, because there are lots of things that the community wants the government to do. The community wants a public health system. They want a public transport system. They want a public education system. They want parks. They want playgrounds. They want footpaths. They want roads.

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