Letters / Time to share the ACT tax secrets

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Letter writer PETER BRADBURY reckons it’s time for a fair-dinkum community debate on tax in the ACT. 

CANBERRA voters deserve full details on the competing tax strategies of the major parties. We should have the fair-dinkum community debate on tax that we have never had.

As it stands, Labor is promising its “War on the Poor” will resume if it wins the election; the Liberals, that there will be a four-year ceasefire, and the Greens tax policy will be whatever Andrew Barr tells them it is.

None of the parties in the current Assembly seem to support a tax system that is horizontally and vertically equitable. Small parties and independents should smash the majors on this.

Everybody should remember that the unit-title surcharges were a virtual secret before the 2016 election. What secrets will there be this time?

Peter Bradbury, via citynews.com.au

‘Shocking’ delay on road project

IT has been four months since the final design of the William Slim Drive Duplication was released, yet alarmingly construction has not yet been completed.

With over 20,000 vehicles, this key road connecting Belconnen to Gungahlin has been submerged in traffic and residents are stuck due to one lane.

This project was due to be completed in the 1980s and the Commonwealth has already provided $20 million funds, so the delay is shocking and must be ended.

Laura Clarke, via email

Buyers should know about tenants 

PUBLIC housing must provide a safety net for the truly needy, but public housing is handed out to those who are not needy. 

An example of the folly of this government department is its view that a person earning $103,000 is needy and qualifies for subsidised housing.

An example of this government’s abuse of power is its practice of demanding developers hand over a percentage of units in return for approval for building apartments. This amounts to blackmail – if you don’t give us 10 per cent of the units in your development you don’t get approval to build.

Another aspect of this shake down of developers by the ACT government to get free properties is that purchasers of units are not told there are public tenants in their complex. 

If it’s illegal to sell a property in the ACT without an energy rating it should also be illegal to sell apartments without disclosing how many public housing properties are in each complex and which apartments have been allocated. This enables purchasers to make informed decisions when buying properties.

Lucinda Spier, via email

Price rise from price drop?

The ICRC has given Canberrans a 2.56 per cent reduction in electricity prices from July 1… just in time for ACTEW to cut its package discount by 5 per cent from 25 per cent down to 20 per cent. 

So our “reduction” is actually a 2.44 per cent increase. Thanks ACTEW… time to shop around.

Robert Doyle, Kambah 

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