Barr Maintains Secrecy On Triple Rates

Shadow Treasurer, Brendan Smyth, today moved a motion calling on the Government to table their 20 year modelling of general rates increases instead of keeping them secret. The move was a follow up from an exchange in June during the Estimates process, involving:

The Chair: You have modelling, surely?
Mr Barr: Yes there is a variety of modelling.
Mr Smyth: You have just said you know exactly what the effect of your reform package will be.
Mr Barr: That is correct.

(Estimates Hansard, 17 June 2013)

“However, Mr Barr continued to refuse to release the material, and threatened to use privilege to prevent the release even if the Assembly ordered him to do so,” said Mr Smyth.

“Throughout the Estimates process, and the August sittings, the Opposition has given Andrew Barr plenty of opportunities to be more transparent and open on his tax reforms. He still refuses.

“If the Government has nothing to hide, then why is it choosing to implement its rates increase policy in this way? Yet again, we see the Government operating in the shadows.

“Already we have seen that the Government’s projected rate increases will result in rates tripling in approximately 11 years, while stamp duty will only be abolished by 2032.

“This is just the latest in a long line of tactics to hide the truth while, by stealth and by secrecy, the rates increases are hiked up higher and higher,” concluded Mr Smyth.