Taxation, Land

16 Feb 2004 questionsarchive
A supplementary question put forward to the Hon. P. HOLLOWAY regarding difficulties paying land taxes.

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: I have a supplementary question. Does the minister acknowledge the fact that people who are on fixed incomes may have some difficulty in paying land taxes of, say, $8 000—which is certainly not uncommon?

The Hon. P. HOLLOWAY: I am aware of the issues raised in relation to those who are asset rich and income poor.

I know that the commonwealth government has, in relation to elderly people, a number of measures to address that. But I think that in this whole debate, we really need to look at what has happened here, that is, that what has been undertaken in this country over the last couple of years is one of the most significant redistributions of wealth that has taken place in this country. It is a redistribution of wealth from those of lesser means to those who are better off. It is being suggested here that the solution to that maldistribution of wealth is to reduce the taxation for those on more, by increasing the tax burden on those of lesser means. It is an interesting tax theory, but not one that would necessarily pass the fairness test.

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: I have a supplementary question. Do I take it from the minister’s response to the previous question, given that he is sheeting home the responsibility for retirement incomes to the commonwealth, that he would prefer people who have supplemented their fixed income with property and rental to sell them all and go on welfare and be dependent on the government?

The Hon. P. HOLLOWAY: If your property value increases rapidly in price, you are a beneficiary and favoured by that action. If I had a second property and it doubled in value I would be very grateful for that.