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Thursday, 11 May 2017
Page: 3407

Senator LEYONHJELM (New South Wales) (12:57): I rise to speak on the Crimes Amendment (Penalty Unit) Bill 2017. The major parties want to increase your taxes and they also want to increase fees and fines. Their desperation to take more and more of your money knows no bounds. Today, the major parties are waiving through the Senate increases in fines that will rake in an extra $90 billion of your money over the next three years. Fines will be increased by 17 per cent, far in excess of inflation, since the last increase in fines two years ago.

Today's increase in fines overrides existing indexation arrangements, which adjust fines every three years in line with inflation. The next adjustment is not due until 2018. It is an ad hoc increase that undermines our legal integrity. When the parliament has introduced fines into the law, it has done so with the view that the fine matches the offence and that the punishment fits the crime, but, with the passage of this bill, fines will be harsher than the parliament intended. I encourage the courts to take this into account when they next impose a fine. I oppose this bill.