Melina BATH (Eastern Victoria) (14:16): I believe that Victorians are a fair group of people. The overwhelming majority of Victorians understand that their hard-earned cash needs to be paid in taxes – proportional taxes – to provide all the services that are so vital: our hospitals, our schools, our roads that are supposedly car worthy, our police force, our ambulance services, and I could go on. They are fair people, but I believe they also have a limit. I believe we are reaching a point now where, with the Andrews government, now the Allan government, since 2014, since Mr Andrews actually looked down that camera lens and said, ‘I will not introduce new or increased taxes’, we are up to the 52nd tax. I believe fair Victorians are quite reasonably and quite justifiably sick to death of these new taxes.
Some will say, ‘Well, this one is only going to apply to the wealthy.’ I think middle Victoria – those mums and dads, those grandmas and grandpas – are getting increasingly burdened with these sorts of taxes. The government’s commentary around this tax is that it will increase housing supply, so let us tax vacant land, let us tax vacant property and let us tax Victorians as a way of increasing housing supply. The government has failed to show Victorians what basis for that modelling exists, because it does not exist. It is an apparition. It is a thought bubble. It is a cash grab of the Treasurer – the poor suffering Treasurer. He has the job of dealing with this government’s incompetence, waste and mismanagement. It is his role to scratch around and find another tax. Well, here he has found one today. There is no modelling to demonstrate how this new tax will deliver greater housing supply.