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The facts about the Luxury Car Tax.

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SENATOR THE HON. ERIC ABETZ Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Senate Shadow Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research

Media enquiries: Brad Stansfield 0419 884 666 1

A0878 5th September 2008

The facts about the Luxury Car Tax

Labor’s claim that the Coalition is protecting Rolls Royce, Porsche and Ferrari drivers from the tax increase are FALSE.

The Coalition are acting to protect families, those in rural areas, and the Australian car manufacturing industry.

Labor is playing the politics of envy to justify their tax slug.

Their decision to reintroduce the tax after it was defeated in the Senate is an abuse of the Senate and, worse, it is playing politics with the Australian automotive industry which is now faced with continued uncertainty and reduced sales at a time they can least afford it.

Almost 70 percent of cars subjected to LCT are below $75,000 - cars such as Toyota Landcruiser, Holden Commodore, Toyota Tarago, Mitsubishi Pajero, Ford Falcon etc.

Only 17 Rolls Royces were sold in Australia last year, and only 424 Porche 911s were sold. Yet over 6,000 Landcruisers were sold - in fact, the Landcruiser is the top-selling so-called “luxury car”, averaging almost $74,000 each.

The Toyota Landcruiser is not a “luxury” car. It is a rural workhorse and comes standard without carpet. Who buys a Landcruiser as a status symbol?

Labor is slugging Australian Landcruiser drivers $6 million extra per year, but Rolls Royce drivers only $1 million!

Worse, under Labor’s deal with the Greens, (for example) an imported BMW 3-series (diesel) would be exempt from a roughly $900 tax increase, but a roughly equivalent optioned-up Australian-made Holden Commodore would not! And Labor pretends to support the Australian car manufacturing industry.

On top of all this, even Labor Senators in their Majority Report concluded that the tax would be inflationary!

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Labor must stop playing the politics of envy.

They must stop using the Australian car industry as a political football.

They should accept the decision of the umpire - the Senate - and drop this tax slug.