Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 08 Hansard (Wednesday, 15 August 2018) . . Page.. 2955 ..
MADAM SPEAKER: Before I call the next question, Mr Coe, you were quiet noisy in those few minutes. Can you refrain.
MISS C BURCH: My question is to the Treasurer. I refer to an analysis by economist Mr Adrian Makeham-Kirchner on the impact of rapidly rising increases in rates, taxes and charges under this government reported in the media on 25 July. He found that the increases in ACT government rates, taxes and charges were hitting low income earners the hardest. Mr Makeham-Kirchner said:
“With the fixed portion of these taxes, rates and levies increasing, it means at the lower end of the income distribution it’s consuming a higher proportion of the household budget, and the concessions have essentially gone backwards in real terms.”
Why are increases in ACT government rates, taxes and charges consuming an increasing proportion of the household budget for low income earners?
MR BARR: Through the mix of concession policies that the ACT government has in place we have in recent times significantly increased our support for low income households. We are not, however, in the business of trying to cut their penalty rates or reduce their support through the social welfare system. We are not the party that seeks to ensure that the most vulnerable in our city receive the least support, which is the fundamental philosophical reason for being on this side of politics. That side of the chamber pride themselves on delivering as much cash as they possibly can to the top 10 per cent of income earners in this nation.
Opposition members interjecting—
MR BARR: That is what you are about. That is why you are all in politics: to put more money into the pockets of the richest Australians. We take a different approach. We support—
Mr Hanson: Madam Speaker, I raise a point of order. Mr Barr talked about us trying to put money into the pockets of people. I recall a hearing when Mr Barr objected to that and said it was unparliamentary. I ask you to rule on whether an allegation that people are trying to put money into the pockets of someone is unparliamentary.
MADAM SPEAKER: Mr Hanson, I will give you a very quick ruling. It is not out of order.
Mr Hanson: There you go, it is not out of order, Mr Barr. Did you hear that?
MADAM SPEAKER: It was context, Mr Hanson.
Mr Hanson: Oh, it was context!
MADAM SPEAKER: Mr Hanson, consider yourself warned.