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Sunday, June 20, 2021

ACT Election 2020: Alistair Coe speaks

Prior to election day on Saturday 17 October, Canberra Liberals leader Alistair Coe writes of his “fresh vision” to make Canberra “the best place to live, work and raise a family”.

The Canberra Liberals have a fresh vision to take our growing city forward. With lower taxes and better services, we can reduce pressures on families and help more people get ahead. In just a few days, the future of our city will be decided.  

The choice for Canberrans this election could not be clearer. Canberrans can choose our fresh plan to make Canberra the best place to live, work and raise a family with lower taxes and better services or they can face another four years of  tired and weary Labor who only knows how to tax and drive up the cost of living. 

Every day for the past five weeks we have openly laid out our fresh vision to grow Canberra’s economy with lower taxes and better services. We’ll do this based on the fundamental belief that if you grow the economy, you can reduce pressures on families and you can help more people get ahead by enabling them to focus on the things that matter to them. 

That’s why a Canberra Liberals Government will return $7,200 to household budgets in the next term of government. We’ll do this by saving Canberra families and households $1,800 every year through lower rates, healthcare, car rego, childcare and extra-curricular costs. 

By freezing rates for four years, all households will save on average $1,000. With more gap-free bulk-billing services, families will save more than $200 a year on visits to the GP. Reducing the cost of car registration will return $200 to a family household budget every year. We’ll also provide $200 Active and Creative kids vouchers to support young children’s participation in sport and extra-curricular activities. Families with children in before and after school care will save $800 every year with free vouchers to close the gap between fees and Commonwealth subsidies. We know how important these cost of living measures are to reduce pressure on families.  

We will finance our cost of living measures in the immediate term to stimulate the economy, households and local businesses while we grow our economy, grow our pie in the long term. 

In sharp contrast, ACT Labor and the Greens, who are in open discussions about forming government together, have made more than $2.5 billion worth of election commitments without being transparent about how they will pay for it. Labor alone has more than $1.5 billion worth of election promises and their only solution on how to pay for it is through increasing debt. Unlike the Canberra Liberals, Labor has no long-term plan to grow our economy to pay for the services that rely on. 

Labor can’t keep borrowing forever. $2.5 billion worth of debt has to be paid eventually. Labor’s record is clear; taxes will go up and the cost of living will go up to pay for the Labor-Greens agenda. Labor’s story always ends with taxes. The only way Labor will pay for their promises is with more and higher taxes. It’s in their DNA, it’s just what they do.  

And yet despite Labor’s record high taxes, services are worse than ever before. Canberra has among the worst elective surgery and emergency department hospital waiting times, children are waiting four years to see a specialist, education outcomes are steadily declining, there is less green space and fewer trees and Labor has cut fundamental services that families rely on like dedicated school buses. 

The Canberra Liberals believe there is better way. 

Our fresh vision for Canberra will deliver lower taxes and better services to make Canberra the best place to live, work and raise a family. And because we want to ensure every Canberran has the opportunities to work and live in Canberra, we will make Canberra the best place to do business to turbocharge our economy through the COVID-19 recovery. 

It’s these real and practical solutions that will reduce pressures on Canberrans and return more than $1,800 per year back into family budgets. Our holistic approach to stimulating household budgets will importantly help stimulate the local economy and help more Canberrans get ahead.  Labor’s approach of taxing families and businesses out of existence then crying poor is unsustainable. Labor has the wrong priorities to get Canberra families back on track.   

Our positive plan to bring down the cost of living will future-proof our city, reduce pressures on families and local business and help more Canberrans get ahead. 

Alistair Coe is the Leader of the Canberra Liberals.

Disclaimer: The opinions and views expressed in this ACT election 2020 article by Canberra Liberals Leader Alistair Coe belong to the author and do not reflect the views of Canberra Weekly. This opinion piece has not been edited or fact checked by Canberra Weekly.

In addition Canberra Weekly has approached both ACT Labor and the ACT Greens to provide opinion pieces during the election.

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