Andrew Barr’s budget to deliver more cost-of-living pain for Canberrans


Despite Andrew Barr spending months spruiking that his 13th budget handed down last week would be about cost-of-living relief, what he actually delivered is more pain for Canberrans.

Canberra Liberals Leader Elizabeth Lee said what Andrew Barr did not tell Canberrans is that instead of providing much needed cost-of-living relief he will be increasing a number of taxes and charges.

“Canberrans are experiencing a cost-of-living crisis with the most recent ABS data showing that employee households recorded the highest quarterly and annual rises in cost of living,” Ms Lee said.

“Instead of providing much needed relief for all Canberra households, Andrew Barr has slugged them even further with a number of increases to taxes and charges.”

the budget includes a number of increases to taxes and charges such as:

  • Household rates to go up by between 4.5 and 9 per cent
  • vehicle registration fees up by 4 per cent
  • drivers licence fees up 4 per cent
  • public transport fees up by 3 per cent
  • road rescue fees up 4 per cent
  • safer Families levy to increase from $50 to $70
  • police, fire and Emergency services levy to increase from $375 to $396.

On top of that the ACT has also seen recent hikes to:

  • electricity charges which are up 12.75 per cent
  • water charges going up by 7 per cent
  • sewerage charges going up 7 per cent.

“What Andrew Barr has delivered this budget is more pain for Canberra households, and we know given his record as Treasurer over the last 13 years there will be more pain to come if he is re-elected in October.

“The Canberra Liberals, in contrast have listened to the community and have put forward a number of policies aimed at addressing the cost-of-living pressures Canberrans are facing.

“This includes a comprehensive $65 million cost-of-living package that will see a family of four at least $750 better off.

“Last week we also announced that under a Canberra Liberals government, Canberrans will always pay lower rates, with a guaranteed cap on rate increases which will be a 10-year average of WPI at 2.2 per cent.

“Under our policy, Canberrans will be on average almost $2000 better off on their rates bill in the first term of a Canberra Liberals Government because we know they have been gouged by Andrew Barr over the last decade.

“For too many Canberrans, this budget was a missed opportunity by Andrew Barr to deliver real relief,” Ms Lee concluded.