16 sleeps. Day 21. It’s so simple

Ok so I admit it was a tad self indulgent. Using my own breakfast show to try and clarify in my own mind whether the major catch cry of the ACT election campaign was fact or fiction; true or false; real or bollocks. Are my rates about to triple?
So maybe I’m the last person in Canberra to understand how this works. Except I still don’t really understand how it works. I had ACT treasurer Andrew Barr and his Liberal shadow, Brendan Smyth, talking with me for the best part of half an hour, and all I took away from it was a headache.
I suspect both parties are being a bit loose with the truth. I know what Barr is trying to achieve. I read Quinlan’s review, and I read the government’s response. And I’ve studied the Libs response. Does that mean I know what’s going on? No chance..
Ill tell you what I do know. If people’s rates aren’t going to triple, the government better work out a way of explaining this to confused Canberrans. Because more and more people are starting to focus on rates,and it’s looming as the issue of the election.
I have to say, on the surface the government has botched this important reform issue. Big time. Shaking up the tax system in the ACT is long overdue. The business community wants it, the property industry wants it; strewth, in the long term ratepayers may even appreciate it. A lot of very inefficient and business-killing taxes and charges are being removed, including the hated stamp duty.
But what possessed the Government to drop this on the community just before an election? Sure, do it if you also have a plan to sell it; they don’t. And they’re bleeding. And people getting their rate notices now are none too impressed by what they’re reading, they want answers, so they start listening to the mantra that Labor is tripling your rates.
Brendan Smyth conceded this morning some people’s rates might well go down. He also admitted he didn’t know when people’s rates will triple, and that he was lumping commercial rates in with residential rates to come up with a final figure.
Look, stuffed if I know. The last thing we want is a government too frightened to introduce difficult reforms because it might confuse the public, and might be easy for an opposition to attack.
But introducing difficult changes just before an election, without an easy ‘how to’ guide? Well, that’s a no-brainier.

The origins of Stonehenge. Easier to understand than ACT rates formula


One response to “16 sleeps. Day 21. It’s so simple

  1. Couldn’t agree more, a communications nightmare, just makes the voters trust everyone less. Maybe that isnt such a bad thing, surely suspicion is an important part of democracy!

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