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ACT Shadow Treasurer Brendan Smyth

17 Days To Go: Time For Barr To Explain Plan To Triple Rates

Victor P Taffa

With 17 days to go before the election, ACT Shadow Treasurer Brendan Smyth is calling on Andrew Barr to explain his plan to triple Canberrans’ rates.

Mr. Smyth said the election will be Canberrans’ only opportunity to have their say on this important issue, and they deserve to know the truth about what they will pay.

“ACT Labor’s plan to abolish stamp duty and other taxes will cost the government well over $350 Million in revenue every year.” Mr. Smyth said.

“They have said they’ve paid for this through general rates and mathematically this is the only way.”

“If Andrew Barr claims this is a lie, he needs to explain how they plan to replace this loss in revenue if it won’t be through rates.”

“I call on Andrew Barr to answer the following questions so that Canberrans can make an informed vote on this issue:

  • The government is giving up $350 Million tax revenue from stamp duty, payroll tax and other tax changes, to be replaced with increased rates. A cup of coffee a week would only replace around $30 Million of this revenue. Where is the other $320 M lost revenue coming from?
  • If rates are not to triple, how exactly is the $350 Million being replaced?
  • Will there be job cuts or service cuts to replace the $350 Million?
  • What did Andrew Barr mean when he said that the family home is a ‘tax haven?’
  • How much, in today’s dollars, will Canberrans rates go up in five and ten years?
  • If the government cannot predict this, why not?
  • Does the Quinlan tax review demonstrate a tripling of rates is necessary to replace the $350 Million in lost revenue?

“Canberrans will have a clear choice at the election: to have stamp duty eventually removed, but have their rates tripled to pay for it, or keep the existing system, plus better local services and lower rates and charges.” Mr. Smyth said.


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