Mrs ARMITAGE ( Launceston ) - I, too, say 'ditto' to all the previous speakers. It is interesting when you hear from the Leader in the second reading speech about the statistics in Tasmania that we are far behind, below other states and territories. As was mentioned by the member for Nelson, so are our wages and many other things in Tasmania are way behind other states as well.
We are constantly hearing the Premier saying, when she is out and about, that we have to talk up the state. We have to say what a great place Tasmania is, so that everyone thinks this is really good. The glass has to be half full and not half empty, yet we are putting up the costs and making it difficult for people to live, for people to insure their cars and their houses, as has been said.
If people cannot afford to insure their car or their house, is that something they are going to let slip? They will leave it for a month or so and all of a sudden they have forgotten until they have that accident and they discover they have not insured the car, they could not afford it this month. They left it. We have also been talking about how many people already drive uninsured and unregistered cars and what an impost that is on someone they happen to have an accident with, some innocent person they crash into, because they simply could not afford to insure their car.
The member for Windermere will probably remember local councils deciding to increase parking fines because they wanted extra money. Sometimes they do not raise any extra money at all because people become more careful. I wonder what will happen to this bill if the money that they are expecting to raise is not raised because people do not buy houses because they cannot afford to. I know that many young people in particular when they are buying their first home do not even factor in the stamp duty because they do not even think when they have paid $200 000 or $300 000 for their house that they have to add on that little bit extra. There are lawyer's fees and stamp duty on top of the price and many people forget that that is the case. I wonder if the money that is predicted will come in.
Mr Hall - You are quite right. When looking at the insurance spectrum where you have a portfolio of insurance matters that you have to attend to, they will probably tick many of those off and they may say they are not going to insure them anymore, they cannot afford to.
Mrs ARMITAGE - Exactly; that vehicle is not worth that anymore.
Mr Hall - Therefore, it won't benefit state coffers.
Mrs ARMITAGE - That is right. The predicted amounts are only there if people continue to insure the way they have and they possibly will not. I find it interesting to read on the final page of the speech: 'They will assist the government to manage the impact of falling GST revenue on the state budget', and I think we could add to that and say, 'and poor financial management'.
I will not continue as most of it has been said. Obviously we cannot oppose this bill because we have not opposed the budget and this is part of the budget, but I do wonder whether their predicted amounts will come in. I also wonder how people in the community, the average Tasmanian, will manage with power bills going up and now insurance. They might not all have stamp duty, particularly the ones who have their own home already, but they have insurances, they have registrations. I do not know how they will cope, or what the government will do if they have to increase it yet again.