Territory Stories

Debates Day 1 - Tuesday 23 May 1995



Debates Day 1 - Tuesday 23 May 1995

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Parliamentary Record 11


Debates for 7th Assembly 1994 - 1997; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 7th Assembly 1994 - 1997




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory





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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory

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Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



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DEBATES - Tuesday 23 May 1995 squeezed until it hurts. This budget is designed to tax Mr and Mrs Average Territorian. I refer to families with an income approximate to the average rate of Territory weekly earnings which, including overtime, is about S700 a week. These people take home about $550 a week. These are average Territorians who will lose close to a weeks wages as a result of paying the tax and charge increases that were announced by the Treasurer in his budget speech ... Mr Perron: Do you have a break-up of that? Mr EDE: Mr Speaker, I have a break-up of that. They will lose much more as a result of paying for the items that the Treasurer could not fit into his 45-minute budget speech. Dishonesty and deceit are the hallmarks of this budget. Let us have a look at the figures and at the average Territory family. The people I am talking about are on average weekly earnings. They are not simply figures, but real people. Let us have a look at an average Territory family with 2 children aged, say, 7 years and 3 years, with a third on the way. They are living in a 3-bedroom Housing Commission house. Next year, when interest rates drop, they hope to get a bank loan, stop renting and buy their own home in Darwin, Palmerston, Alice Springs or wherever. To help build up their bank deposit, they have put off replacing the old station wagon that they brought up from south some 4 years ago. The mother is currently working at home duties, but does obtain the occasional part-time work to help make ends meet. The station wagon is left at home for emergencies and to help with running the children around. Dad catches the bus to and from work. This family does not have a swimming pool, and they keep garden watering down to a minimum because of the cost. They have no airconditioner. As is the case in many Territory families, one is a moderate smoker who is trying to give it up but not making a very good job of it. They are not big drinkers by Territory standards, but they enjoy a drink, particularly with their friends at the weekly barbecue. However, to help balance the budget, they switched to cask wine a few years ago. All up, our average family will have been dismayed to find that the increases in taxes and charges announced on Thursday by the Treasurer will cost them more than $400 next year - that is, if they do not sell the station wagon. If they decide to sell the station wagon and obtain another vehicle, the changeover will cost $650 or more. Of course, it has slowly emerged that the situation is worse - far worse. Significantly more tax and charge increases flow from this budget than were actually announced by the Treasurer. By Friday, the day after the budget was brought down, our family found that the cost of their car registration was to increase, and that the husbands bus fare to and from work will also increase. But then, for this family, came the real killer, the cruellest blow to their hopes. They are renting Housing Commission accommodation, and they have a gross household income of more than $26 000. Families with a household income as low as $26 000 will be caught up in these Housing Commission rental increases. That is $10 000 per year below the average income for the average Territorian worker. However, a family of 2 adults and 3 children, with a household income of $31 000 or higher, will have to pay the full rental increase of $1100 per year. Thus, for our average Territory family, the thought of planning for a housing loan has just receded over the horizon and out of reach. Last Thursdays budget has cut this familys disposable income by a massive 6%. This family would have to work an extra 3 weeks a year simply to maintain its current financial status. 3457