Canberra Matters columnist PAUL COSTIGAN reports the an ACT integrity commission is almost a reality.
‘THIS Budget will make it more difficult to live, work and raise a family in Canberra,” says Opposition Leader Alistair Coe.“The money hungry ACT government is slugging households more and more in today’s Budget, while future generations will be forced to pay for the incompetence of Andrew Barr as Treasurer.
“While Andrew Barr has his own spin, the real numbers in this Budget paint a worrying picture.
“The ACT’s net debt will reach nearly $3.5 billion next year. Revenue for the first time will exceed $6 billion. Stamp duty, which the government promised to abolish, will bring in $300 million this year while interest payments total $194 million this year.
“The ACT government is gouging record revenue from Canberrans but it’s clear to everyone across town that we’re getting less and less in return. The quality of local services is declining while costs continue to rise.
“Andrew Barr’s rates increases are driving people across the border.
“We’re being gouged across the board. In this Budget, the take from residential rates is up 12 per cent; commercial rates is up 5 per cent; land tax is up 18 per cent; motor vehicle registration is up 6 per cent and parking fines up a whopping 38 per cent.
“The cost of living is too high and it seems the government is profiting from the demise of those Canberrans that will need to go into survival mode as a result of this budget.”