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Day to Day Politics: Lies, lies, lies, lies, lies … fundamentally a dishonest bunch of liars

Thursday 11 January 2018

It is little known that just before the Labor Party announced its plans to reform negative gearing and capital gains the Liberals had planned to do the same thing.

Labor’s timing left the Liberals with little option but to dice the announcement and start a scare campaign based on a load of inaccuracies and blatant lies. You might recall just how hard Turnbull, Morrison and many others in the Coalition deliberately set out to shout from the top of the mountain that this would-be a sledgehammer on Australia’s economy.

Remember how Turnbull was so desperate to win the election, that he would say anything including that Labor’s plans would “devalue every home, every property, in Australia”?

Peter Dutton, speaking on radio said:

“I think the economy will come to a shuddering halt and I think the stock market will crash.”

“I think once people realise how dangerous Labor’s economic proposal is I think they’ll be happy to see an election and deal with it.

“Labor’s essentially said they want to lower house prices and they want to increase rents and I think that would be a disaster.”

“Stock market will crash”! Well at least you can say that Dutton the dill uses language befitting his intelligence. For the duration of the election campaign, on a daily basis, the Prime Minister and his tardy crew of conniving liars sought to mislead the Australian public on a policy that had major implications for the Australian economy and their personal finances.

Now we know it was all lies. As Chris Bowen said at the time:

“That is just a pathetic and malicious scare campaign from a desperate government.”

“Scott Morrison has a personal case to answer here as to why he not only ignored this Treasury advice but suppressed it.”

Documents released under FOI by the ABC clearly show that the Government was demonstrably lying at the time and are still doing so. If the Government has done well at anything since it was elected it has been the ability to lie over a long period. Lying is profoundly wrong at any time but to do so when it effects such a vital part of the economy is deeply disturbing.

Treasury documents stating Labor’s policy to tighten tax breaks for property investors would have had a relatively small impact on house prices.

Treasury had spelled out its reasoning in a memo delivered to Treasurer Scott Morrison. When the 2016 documents contradict the Turnbull government’s claim the negative gearing changes would be a “sledgehammer” to Australia’s economy in such emphatic terms one has to wonder why more transparency isn’t enshrined in law.

For its part Treasury have been fighting tooth and nail to authentic the document as fair and reasonable, reflecting its genuinely held opinion.

Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen said the document exposed the government’s attack on Labor’s housing affordability policies “as little more than outright lies”.

He accuses Treasurer Scott Morrison of choosing to “selectively leak Treasury advice when it suits him,” claiming this is the reason why the document has only been made public now.

The document cites changes to negative gearing in the 1980s, as well as the introduction of the capital gains tax discount in the 1990s, as having “little discernible impact on the market.”

Why, we might ask, do they lie to the extent they do? It maybe because they are desperate to stay in power or it might be the issue of owning property in the national capital while claiming a $273 per night “travel allowance” from taxpayers to cover the costs of staying there, which led to accusations that politicians were “double dipping”.

Nearly 40 MPs or their spouses own property in Canberra, including senior government ministers:

Former Treasurer Joe Hockey’s wife owned a house she bought for $320,000 in 1997, which her husband used when in town. It sold last year for $1.5 million. During his time in parliament, it’s estimated that Hockey claimed around $184,000 in travel allowances over 18 years to stay there.

The $273 allowance is not counted as income. The ATO handed down a ruling saying MPs renting in Canberra from a spouse or family member are allowed to essentially negatively gear the property and claim income tax deductions on a range of costs, including mortgage interest, rates and power, on a second property. Even better, it’s capital gains tax-free when sold.

Among the data analysed by the ABC, it revealed that 226 politicians owned 264 homes they listed as “residential”. Those second residential properties are based in Canberra.

Finance minister Mathias Cormann, owns two residential and three investment properties.

A Queensland LNP senator, Barry O’Sullivan, a former police detective, grazier, and property developer, topped the list, with 33 properties, although that figure is well down on 2014’s 50 properties a year after he’d replaced the now Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce in the Senate.

O’Sullivan’s portfolio includes 11 agricultural, two residential, eight investment, seven commercial and five industrial investments properties.

NSW Nationals MP David Gillespie, the Assistant Minister for Health, who took former independent Rob Oakeshott’s seat in 2013 is second with 18 places, including 10 commercial investment properties in Port Macquarie and six investment units in the same town.

Liberal Karen Andrews has 10 properties, including 9 investment properties in three states.

Prime minister Malcolm Turnbull’s portfolio is a modest four, including his home in Sydney’s Point Piper, a Canberra apartment, the Hunter Valley farm he inherited from his late father, and a commercial investment in Sydney’s Potts Point.

Opposition leader Bill Shorten only has his home in Moonee Ponds in Melbourne.

In Peter Dutton’s case it might have something to do with his ever-increasing portfolio that with his latest acquisition takes his portfolio to six houses.

So in terms of negative gearing, and if you were a Minister, why would you want the rules changed?

My thought for the day

“Have we reached the point in politics where TRUTH is something that politicians have convinced us to believe, “like alternative facts” rather than TRUTH based on factual evidence and sound arguments.”


26 comments

  1. Möbius Ecko

    226 Federal politicians own 525 properties with around half owning investment properties.

  2. Roscoe

    dont forget the fat, double dipping leaner was also sub letting to his pollie mates and you can be sure he would not have been letting them stay for no rent

  3. Terry2

    A Liberal politician on radio the other day – Kelly O’Dwyer I think – said that what we need is more housing stock, not fiddling around with negative gearing and capital gains tax concessions.

    The interviewer pointed out that the Labor policy would encourage investment money into new housing stock whilst the coalition policy merely encouraged the shuffling of existing housing stock in an obscene game of monopoly subsidised by the taxpayer.

    She (O’Dwyer) then reverted to the Mum & Dad argument saying that the majority of the people negatively gearing second homes were on salaries of $80,000 or less p.a. and were made up of teachers, nurses and ambulance drivers. Personally I don’t believe that !

    As negatively gearing is a strategy designed to reduce income tax by offsetting losses on other investments, do those on $80,000 or less really have a need to reduce their tax and is it in the public interest ?

    The coalition are on a loser here and in the meantime the real estate market is being gamed.

  4. Lesley Garrett-Jones

    Watch the muggins tax payers vote for these greedy, lying politicians in the next election!!

  5. bearbrooke

    Truth (political) has become a form of entertainment created, moment by moment, so that we may enjoy what politicians consider we ought to enjoy. Likewise facts. Facts are often untidy. Present day politicians are like housemaids who sweep the untidiness of the world under the carpet and pretend (to us) it isn’t there. I am afraid John Lord you will have to stop complaining and adjust your thinking to contemporary paradigms.

  6. wam

    What a great start, lord.
    You not only blaming labor for giving a focus of negativity but a thought confirming two ‘TRUTH’?
    At last the realisation that truth is dependent on facts and sound argument.
    What I believe as a fact is true what you believe as a fact is true. If your truth has no account of my truth then sound arguments will decide on the truth or we could agree to differ.
    Do you know if hockey’s wife paid tax on her earnings from joe? (Remember nick sherry? if he had paid the money to his mum there would be no probs but he was just doing the political rort.) Hockey’s wife should be hit for tax on earnings and capital gains???
    ps bilyk has 3 investment properties in tassie and residential properties in tas and act? Not worth a mention the slimy fitzgibbon has a claim to be included?

  7. Rossleigh

    The Liberals after repeated the statistics telling us that a large number of people negative gearing were low INCOME earners! Well, dah! When you’re using investment properties to reduce your taxable income, you may well end up a low income earner. That doesn’t mean that you aren’t better off than the average Joe… the average joe being Hockey because it’s hard to get more average than him!

  8. Egalitarian

    The LNP still think think they can use the (Howard Orwellian Slogan); Mum & Dad Investors to hoodwink voters.Yes they probably can.

    Though may they have to change the language to Dad & Dad investors and Mum & Mum investors or Ze &Ze or hir &hir and sie & sie or Zir&Zir or Zig and Zag; Heeby &Jeeby and any other pronoun seem fit for the modern Residential housing investor/accumulator.

    I’m sure if they get and a great advertising team on to it now they will be able manipulate the Electrates in a new Ulta Modern Political Correct campaign.

  9. Diane Larsen

    This mum and dad investor rubbish sprouted by the current government could have easily been neutralised by Labor allowing one negative geared property to a family or investor mum and dad investors on 80,000 would not be able to afford more than one and you take the advantage away from the liars

  10. Hefina

    The reason this awful Government was against this negative gearing was that they ,the politicians and investors could buy as many homes as they liked ,stopping it would spoil their investment portfolios .

    Scott Morrison has more than one home ,Dutton has many investment homes. Michaelia Cash will too .
    Turnbull is among them big time, Pauline Hanson is another one.
    And so on. We need to stop this ,these politicians are there for themselves ,for what they can get out of it,not for you or me ,but greed is rife among these politicians,

    If you haven’t worked it out by now , more lawyers go into government because they are good at telling lies ,
    They go to courts and defend criminals who are guilty of their crimes so lying comes easy to them.

    What you don’t see in parliament are Scientist, why.? Because telling lies about their work would be the end of their career ,
    So I say to the scientist please enter parliament and let hear the truth for once and for all.
    In my opinion anyway.
    Let’s get rid of those lying toads.

  11. Phil

    To a large degree, bordering on 100 percent of politicians will spin, lie, deceive, propagandise, avoid, divert and dissemble. This is what politics is and does, whether in a dictatorship or a liberal democracy. We should stop wasting breath and time on demanding truth in politics, and instead reinvigorate the apparatus of accountability that unmasks and lays bare the politics of deceit and lying. The game is then played out – inevitably messy but progressive enough to adapt to a changing world in which we are all players.

    In a dictatorship there is no independent judiciary, no free press, no human rights, and political power is unfettered and corruption is the norm.

    Not so in a liberal democracy where the judiciary is independent, a free press holds lying politicians to account, and where the state enacts legislation to protect whistleblowers and human rights. This was once Australia. Not any more.

    The Turnbull government is a transitioning administration. It is the last of the neoliberal regimes and it knows it’s days are numbered and so it is striving in as short a time as possible to transition Australia to a quasi-fascist regime where it and its corporate cronies wield unopposed power.

    Think this is too radical an accusation?

    Think there’s anything in the following to support my argument?

    A corrupt and self-serving conservative main stream media; Dutton’s huge, militarised Home Affairs portfolio with more power in Duttons hands than in the entire parliament; new criminalising anti whistleblower laws; an emasculated national broadcaster; a plethora of new government secrecy powers; state sanctioned racial profiling and racist fear mongering; state sanctioned criminalising and suppression of trade unions; using state police to oppress political opposition; relentless attacks on genuine charities; attempted banning of environmental and civil activism and political dissent. And these are just a few.

    The next election will be the big decider. The choice is ours to make or break Australia.

  12. Keitha Granville

    No-one has a problem with anyone owning an investment property – rich, poor, politicians, teachers, anyone – BUT the majority of “mum and dad” investors might have 1 house they rent out, often to family.
    Negative gearing should be restricted to 1 property only. The wealthy who might have 2, 3 or more properties can do so if they wish to wear the tax involved.
    Everyone’s happy !

  13. Florence nee Fedup

    Maybe this mob lie because of their incompetence. They don’t have the knowledge to know when they are wrong. Few seem to be on top of their portfolios.

    They focus on blaming, destroying Labor, Kill Bill to survive. Never take any responsibility for their actions.

    Yesterday they extended this to blaming God in NSW.

  14. Florence nee Fedup

    PM has couple luxury apartments in the US.

  15. Harry

    Phil,

    I both hope and fear that you may be correct. I sincerely hope that this country will ditch the appalling ideology of neoliberalism but fear that the current regime is moving us closer to a kleptocracy.

    However, despite the hand wringing of some progressives, the state is never powerless and a Labor government can take on the power of the corporate cronies.

  16. Chris

    Keep at em, John. Lying grubs.

    I was in the APS for around 30 years. I reckon the rot set in when they created the Senior Executive Service in the 80s and was always dumbfounded when my ability to provide truthful advice or forecasts which reflected the facts was routinely suppressed. To play the game now, you serve the Minister and only put up policy solutions which he/she is going to find politically favourable, or you don’t have a job.

    In my day, the Treasury Secretary was above the politics, no longer. All the senior men and women are gagged from ever speaking truth to power.

    I’m not hopeful of change for the better in my lifetime. When we are forced to vote, with the threat of a fine, many turn up with barely an inkling of what is really happening in this country and, if they ever think about change, they simply go from LNP to Labor and back again. If Labor worked for the working class (which is all of us these days), there would be some hope. But, to stay competitive and be an alternative government, they are just as happy to take ‘donations’ (cough bribes) from the rich and the corporate masters that they serve as the Liberal/National scum.

    Grassroots campaigns to leave the two major parties at the bottom of the ballot fail, and will keep failing. Only a strong, independent, courageous media can counter this, but where do you find one of those these days?

  17. stephengb2014

    I think Phill is indeed correct

    So do not hold your breath for an election this year, this mob are going to take their term to the wire to achieve full corpocracy.

    And do not rely on the next Labor government (if they get in -because anything can happen) the fact is that both Bill Shorten and Chris Bowen talk the neoliberal talk.
    I do not know how many other ALP shadow cabinet members also, but many are in total awe of Bob Hawke and Paul Keating, both of whom turned the ALP on to the, me too, free market, neoliberal path back in the early 1980s.

    We must make sure that we will not stand for a continuation of the neoliberal agenda by the ALP.

    I urge all Labor suppprters to look up the ALP constitution, and remind the ALP parliamentarians that as ALP members they are commited to comply with the ALP constitutional objectives!

    SGB

  18. Michael

    Lying has become a national political pastime without ostensible consequences – how does one expect to teach children the virtue of truthfulness when our very leaders, those, who ask us to look up to, as they keep refining their art of mass deception.

    Just in case, here is a definition from the Virtues Project:

    Truthfulness is being honest in your words and actions.
    You don’t tell lies even to defend yourself.
    Don’t listen to gossip or prejudice.
    See the truth for yourself.
    Don’t try to be more than you are to impress others.
    Be yourself, your true self

    Obviously lost on politicians while we have to cop it sweet and wait it out – another #MalTouch

    Thanks JL

  19. MikeW

    I feel depressed and angry, time to get stuck into the pensioner p#@S while I can still afford it, no doubt there will be an increase in tax coming on it soon.

  20. Kronomex

    When you are a party of nothing then lies are the only thing you can use. As the saying attributed to Goebbels goes, “Repeat a lie often enough and it becomes the truth.”
    This is about all Malfeasance and cronies have left in their armoury.

    Simple answer as to why they’re resisting; the LNP have to keep their corporate mates and donation providers happy and the corporations might, gasp, shock, lose profit until they figured out a way to increase prices.

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/jan/10/sugar-tax-why-health-experts-want-it-but-politicians-and-industry-are-resisting

  21. Jaquix

    The 1st Prime Ministerial lie Turnbull told was in September 2015, after wresting the crown from Abbott, when he said he was going to treat Australians as intelligent. He now lies blatantly, on a daily basis. He must think we are stupid. Those of us with time and interest to follow the shenanigans know what he is up to. The lies are repeated by Lib after Lib. Strategist must be advising them. Best article about Turnbull was this week’s New Matilda article by Ben Eltham. Absolutely brilliant summation of his character. Posted on Twitter too.

  22. Rieslingsocialist

    I await the solution to housing affordability that does include a reduction in the price of housing. Prices are unsustainable and need to reduce, the apparent wealth I have from the value of my house is illusory, if it trade for new house the new one will similarly be inflated.
    We need some policies that do wipe some value.

  23. Chris

    John, two suggestions, brother, and this to your colleagues also:

    Nest the comments. This give people feedback to what they say and a conversation starts; and

    Respond to the people who take the trouble to reply.

    Otherwise, what is the point? If I don’t think I have eyes on what I say, then I will give up and your site will not build, it will fizzle.

    Just sayin’ mate. Come on, I’m busy too

  24. David Bruce

    Seems like the current franchisee for the Australian Government will need to get a press release ready for the imminent collapse? This came in my email yesterday! Hmmmm….

    We are currently in the process of switching bank providers in Australia.

    Due to a last minute surprise change by our longstanding AUD banking supplier, this is happening earlier than we expected.

    This will mean that there will be a temporary service disruption. Your ability to add Australian dollars to your account with Kxxxx will be unavailable until the move is completed.
    We will inform you when the service is back online.

    We’re sorry about the way this impacts the good work we do.

    Our best regards,

    The Team at Kxxxx

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