29th May 1998
Most Australians dream of owning their own home. Currently, many materials used to construct these homes are exempt from sales tax. Today in Parliament I asked the Prime Minister whether or not he will exempt these building materials from the GST. His response was everything but an answer.
In the absence of a reply of substance or any reassurance, my fellow Australians may very well conclude that these building materials that are currently sales tax exempt will be subject to GST. If this is the case then timber, roofing, concrete, plumbing and almost everything else you need to build a house will rise in price.
It is likely the bush will suffer the GST more than most. Howard and Keating policies have helped devastate regional Australia. Seventy percent of Australian farmers now earn less than Au$21,000 per year. They can ill-afford a GST on food, freight, water tanks, or quite frankly anything else.
I have grave concerns about the GST and John Howard failing to answer my question today re-inforced these concerns. Howards response of a carry-on about low interest rates was an interesting twist. Is he trying to say this will make up for a GST on building materials?
Is the Prime Minister willing to make the commitment that he will stop interest rates from rising and therefore make up for what seems to be a plan to increase the cost of building materials? It is more likely Howards answer means the GST will make the great Australian dream a further 10% out of reach.
Statement issued by Pauline Hanson MP, member for Oxley