ACT Budget 2012-13 : Supporting our economy, supporting jobs and reforming the ACT tax system to make it fairer and simpler

At 2.30 today the Treasurer and Deputy Chief Minister handed down the 2012-13 ACT Budget in the Legislative Assembly.

All the budget papers including can be found here including the Treasurer’s speech, budget estimates, tax reform, budget at a glance (including the useful readers guide), factsheets and regional snapshots can be found here.

At the beginning of this years budget deliberations  the ACT Government had to make two important decisions – the first was about the role we needed to play in supporting our local economy and local jobs and the second was whether we wanted to tackle serious tax reform this year.

We decided that we needed to invest in jobs and support our local economy through what looks like being a couple of difficult years with the Commonwealth spending reductions. We also decided to pursue tax reform to make sure that our own taxation system is fairer, simpler and more efficient.

This is a Labor budget. There are investments in health, education, local government services, community services. We are continuing with a large infrastructure program to support our growing city and to support jobs  and the budget also contains a large land release program to ensure that we are meeting demand in the housing market.

There are a range of concessions and programs targeted at our city’s most vulnerable populations all of which are outlined in the budget papers.

In relation to tax reform this budget starts the ACT on the first 5 year reform stage. It is expected that achieving all the reforms that are flagged in this budget will span a 20 year period.

All the information you need can be found here.

In short, the decisions taken in this budget are to simplify the current system, remove the most inefficient taxes over time and readjust some of the tax setting’s to make sure that taxes reduce for people on lower incomes. These tax changes affect insurance taxes, stamp duty, land tax, payroll tax and rates.

I’d be very happy to take any questions you might have and I will try to answer them over the coming days.