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Rates Rises

Today in the Assembly I raised a voice of warning regarding rates rises and cuts to essential services. This year’s territorial budget includes record levels of taxation, with ACT Government revenue reaching more than $7 billion for the first time. Much of this comes from rates.

Over the past seven years, the average rates bill in my electorate of Ginninderra has increased by 106 per cent. Some suburbs have been especially hard hit. Rates for unit owners in Belconnen, for example, have soared by 146 per cent. Rates have doubled in 17 of the 20 suburbs in the electorate.

Residents are happy to pay their fair share in taxes. The problem comes when tax bills go up as services go down. In Canberra, the provision of basic services is not keeping up with the growth in either tax revenue or population. This year’s budget, in fact, includes effective cuts to social protection, housing, community services, and health – meaning that the small funding increases are less than inflation, taking us backwards.

Ordinary Canberrans are paying more for less. This is the governmental equivalent of working harder for less pay. I feel justifiably indignant, and it needs to stop.

Click on the arrow button to read my speech.

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