Thursday, 15 May 2008
Questions without Notice: Additional Answers
I will add to the answer in two respects. This was a question in relation to the luxury tax on motor vehicles, and in my response I also dealt with the overall impact which that would have on the budget surplus if that tax was to be removed. I said it would result in some billions of dollars being removed from the budget surplus were the opposition to proceed with that measure, together with other measures, which they have put forward.
In fact, for the benefit of the House’s information, we have calculated that there have been opposed now some 20 budget savings measures—$2.9 billion in 2008-09; $3.1 billion in 2009-10; $3.4 billion in 2010-11; $3.2 billion in 2011-12. The opposition is opposed to a total, based on our estimates, of $13 billion in savings measures over the forward estimates, meaning there is a very basic and fundamental challenge for the Leader of the Opposition tonight, which is to indicate where these savings will be otherwise met within the budget.
Mr Speaker, I rise on a point of order. This is an abuse. He is not seeking to add to the answer to the question from the member for Dickson. This is not adding to an answer and he should be stopped.
I indicated that I wished to add to the answer in two respects. The second respect concerned the point made by the member for Dickson concerning the impact of this tax in relation to those who have a responsibility for people with disabilities or have disabilities themselves. I will, for the information of the House, say that there are already a range of existing exemptions to avoid hitting people with disabilities with luxury car tax. We will therefore be consulting closely with disability groups in drafting our legislation to ensure there are no unintended consequences for those suffering disabilities.
Mr Speaker, I have a point of order. I was waiting for you to deliberate on the previous one. I draw your attention to the fact that we have a Serjeant-at-Arms up there and the history of this place would tell you that I have had some conflict with one of them in the past. But the reality is that, when that request was put, the Prime Minister was this side of the Serjeant-at-Arms and I think it was the responsibility of the chair to call upon the Serjeant-at-Arms to ask the Prime Minister to return.
There are a range of possibilities and opportunities that I might have had, including perhaps asking the member for O’Connor to intervene. I will intervene and will get back to the member for Boothby, who has raised an appropriate request.