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Hockey says Carr must stop milking the North Shore.

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Monday, December 29, 2004


Senior citizens and small business operators on Sydney’s North Shore are the greatest victims of the “dash for cash” by the high taxing Carr Government, the Member for North Sydney, Joe Hockey said today.

The media report (North Shore Times, 22/12) of a retired Castlecrag couple having to scrape together $10,000 to meet the exorbitant Land Tax charged by the Carr Government on a house they bought 55 years ago shows how arrogant and insensitive the government is now.

The Carr Government announced at Christmas times that this year it will collect a massive $4.03 billion in Stamp Duty (up 13.5% on 2002/3), Payroll Tax of $4.38 billion (up 6.3%) and $1.25 billion in Land Tax (up 10.3%), on top of the NSW Government’s share of all Goods and Services Tax revenue collected by the Federal Government but fully passed on to the States

At a time when people are talking about a Federal Government income tax cut it is also appropriate to call for a trimming in the tax take of State Governments.

“Surely, they can take their hand out of the pockets of pensioners,” Mr Hockey said.

“When the Castlecrag couple bought their house in the 1940s many parts of the North Shore were virtually rural outposts of Sydney. Australian working couples on low incomes - many having recently been demobbed from World War Two service - bought such properties and raised families. The hard work of that generation in building Australia is legendary,” he said.

“Their houses may have appreciated in value, but they are an indivisible asset. Forcing people to sell a house they have lived in for so long is a cruel and heartless act of a non-caring government,” Mr Hockey said.

“Similarly, the State Government is grabbing Payroll Taxes with both hands, now levying it on superannuation, bonuses, allowances, employee share schemes, commissions, unused leave and travel and accommodation allowances,” he said.

“Payroll Tax should be abolished. It is a tax on jobs - reducing the incentive to hire more staff and penalising businesses that aim to grow.

Media Contact: Bob Lawrence 0408 974 349