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inconvenient use

26 April, 2007
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Hon KIM CHANCE: I read that article in today’s The West Australian. I found it really interesting. Firstly, it stated that we were the highest taxing government in Australia. It referred to rates and state taxes, but it lumped in local government costs without defining what proportion of the $3 000 was the local government portion. I thought it was interesting that the article did not differentiate between rates and state taxes. It also stated that those two things accounted for $3 000 and that commonwealth taxes accounted for $12 000. Therefore, of the three levels of government, one of which must be a minor component of the state, as a result of having the highest taxes in Australia at $15 000 per head, the state should cut its taxes. I thought that was interesting. On the basis of the information received, even if the state had no state taxation at all, we would be more expensive than some states.

Hon Simon O’Brien: You changed the definition to try to avoid this label a couple of years ago, didn’t you?

Hon KIM CHANCE: How?

Hon Simon O’Brien: Do you remember that the definition employed by the state was taxes by dollar per capita? You changed it to be a proportion of gross state product.

Hon KIM CHANCE: That is correct. We adopted the federal definition for consistency.

Hon Simon O’Brien: For convenience.

Hon KIM CHANCE: Well, it might have been a convenient consistency!

Hon Simon O’Brien: You are a consistent inconvenience!

Hon KIM CHANCE: In terms of making valid comparisons, particularly on taxation on a jurisdictional basis, it is nice to have everybody counting in the same way. It was convenient and consistent to adopt the commonwealth mechanism, which, I think, the federal Treasurer had adopted three or four years previously. It was probably entirely consistent.

Hon Simon O’Brien: It is your speech. You tell us which of the states is the highest taxed state in Australia.

Hon KIM CHANCE: It is mine; I was not too sure, Hon Simon O’Brien.

Hon Simon O’Brien: Mine is coming as soon as you sit down.

Hon KIM CHANCE: I can hardly wait! In fact, can I sit down now?

Subject: Governance and Administration of Western Australia [Legislative Council – Motion]

Date: 4 April 2007

Hansard reference: pp. 1132c – 1140a [online (pdf)]

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