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Day to Day Politics: Reducing tax for those who don’t pay any.

Thursday 24 March 2016

1 My headline doesn’t make any sense but then not much does with the Abbott/Turnbull Governments. The tax office tells us that a third of large privately owned businesses didn’t pay any tax in 2013-14. It went out of its way to say that a degree of legitimacy may have been involved.

Really. Let me repeat that. ‘A third of large privately owned businesses didn’t pay tax’.

So my answer to that is that if it was legitimate under existing rules, then change the bloody rules. How on earth, in an election campaign, which will also involve a budget, can you expect people to accept tax cuts for businesses who don’t pay any?

In addition we have dozens of multi nationals who don’t pay together with hundreds of public companies who don’t pay either. They of course aren’t breaking any laws because business only salutes the God of capitalism. The CFMEU might be continuously in court for good reason but it makes one wonder how many tax evaders should be fronting the courts.

It may be the case that if companies paid their fair share of tax the budget might be brought back to surplus.

Let’s face it. Giving Australia’s most wealthy companies a tax cut is simply unjustifiable on many levels. And he might face a revolt from the State Premiers.

Jay Weatherill:

‘If the commonwealth is to pursue cuts to company tax when we think the first call on the nation’s resources should be health and education funding, then they should expect a fierce campaign to be run against them during the federal election.’

Conversely, it is a time to get tough with our tax laws and get rid of the unfair tax breaks. Then we could start on unfair subsidies.

Speaking of courts read this from Bernard Keane:

‘The rich irony of yesterday is that while the Prime Minister was declaring that he was prepared to go to an election on the issue of “criminality in the building and construction industry”, the CEO of the Australian Stock Exchange, Elmer Funke Kupper was resigning in response to allegations relating to a massive bribe to the head of the Cambodian regime, Hun Sen. And then there are the continuing revelations about the scandalous behaviour of the Commonwealth Bank in relation to insurance, and the open clash between business figures and the head of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission over toxic corporate cultures’.

2 The Safe Schools program continues to draw headlines. Cory Bernardi sends an email to a concerned mother.

The point he makes about links in his email is a furphy. Anyone with any internet experience will attest to the fact that if you type in the words boy-girl into Google you are likely to be taken to the most outrageous pornography. I’m sure Cory and George have taken a peek otherwise they are relying on hearsay.

What is missed in all this nonsense from the Bernardi/Christensen camp is that the schools involved could select in whole, or different elements of the program relevant to individual needs? The right often argues for more independence for schools. Here was an opportunity. Having said all that I read yesterday that the program will be defunded in 2017.

3 In an effort to place a demarcation line between him and Abbot the Prime Minister will retain the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency. Abbott of course sought to abolish the two agencies in line with his belief that Climate Change was a Socialist plot. Regardless of motive this is a good decision.

He might further try to differentiate himself from Abbott by reinstating some of the health and education spending cuts in the 2014 Budget.

4 Tuesday’s Essential Poll came in at 50/50. The combined major Polls have the parties neck and neck.

5 Every day I write my opinions on a variety of subjects. They are my own thoughts based on my political philosophy, many individual and collective influences, and my world view based on 75 years of a living experience.

On some Facebook pages it’s astonishing just how many on the right of politics swear blind they never read would never contemplate reading my work, so abhorrent it is to them. Then they go on to opine about it.

Whatever intelligence I might have affords me no understanding of this.

It is an endless fascination as to how people can have an opinion of something they have never read.

6 Senator Eric Abetz a rabid supporter of Tony Abbott now reckons Turnbull is showing leadership and has a plan for Australia’s future. Begs the question as to why he’s been hiding it for so long and is reluctant to share it.

7 Presidential aspirants respond to Brussels.

Donald Trump.

‘We have to be very careful in the US, we have to be very vigilant as to who we let in this country’.

‘If they could expand the laws, I would do a lot more than waterboarding’.

You have to get the information from people.’

He means waterboarding.

If I were being tortured I would disclose whatever people wanted to know. I would even embellish with all the believable creative flair I could muster. I would become the world’s greatest story-teller, or bullshitter.

Ted Cruz:

‘Our European allies are now seeing what comes of a toxic mix of migrants who have been infiltrated by terrorists and isolated, radical Muslim neighbourhoods.’

‘We will do what we can to help them fight this scourge, and redouble our efforts to make sure it does not happen here. We need to immediately halt the flow of refugees from countries with a significant al-Qaida or Isis presence.’

‘We need to empower law enforcement to patrol and secure Muslim neighbourhoods before they become radicalized. We need to secure the southern border to prevent terrorist infiltration. And we need to execute a coherent campaign to utterly destroy Isis.’

The days of the United States voluntarily surrendering to the enemy to show how progressive and enlightened we can be are at an end. Our country is at stake’

Bernie Sanders:

‘We offer our deepest condolences to the families who lost loved ones in this barbaric attack and to the people of Brussels who were the target of another cowardly attempt to terrorize innocent civilians. We stand with our European allies to offer any necessary assistance in these difficult times.’

Today’s attack is a brutal reminder that the international community must come together to destroy Isis. This type of barbarism cannot be allowed to continue.’

Hillary Clinton called the attacks ‘deeply distressing’ but said closed borders were not the answer, and the ‘dream of a whole, free Europe … should not be walked away from’.

She opposed torture. Security officials ‘do not need to resort to torture, but they are going to need more help’, she said.

Same old black and white solutions to highly complex problems.

Bernie Sanders came closest to the answer with this sentence:

‘Today’s attack is a brutal reminder that the international community must come together to destroy Isis.’

An observation.

It is only when the world seriously combines its international strengths, be they monetary or military, with a commonly sought desire to rid itself of this threat to world security will the problem be resolved. To do so would require the laying aside of deep-seated, often historical grievances. But it has to be done.

My thought for the day.

‘Any meaningful resolution to the problems in the Middle East (and elsewhere for that matter) cannot be resolved without the transformation of the minds of men and consideration of the effect religion, any religion, has on people’.

PS. I am away until Tuesday.


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  1. John Skene

    PS. I am away until Tuesday.

    Have a good break John and enjoy the weekend with your family.

  2. Michael Lacey

    By the way I read your work, it’s always very thoughtful and informative!

  3. richard grant

    indeed have a eel earned break.

  4. Terry2

    As an individual person we are subject to PAYE/PAYG tax, we have it taken from us before we get paid. From what is left over we run our family ‘business’, we pay our mortgages and we feed and clothe our families. We don’t go back to the tax office at the end of the financial year and tell them that we’ve spent more than we earned so can we opt out of paying tax : of course we don’t, we expect to contribute to the public services and national defence that help to make our society safe and attractive to live in.

    I am appalled that companies are allowed to opt out of paying tax based on how they manage their business affairs and how many deductions they can find.

    Taxation is a fixed charge that every member of our society, corporate or otherwise, has to pay as part of the social contract we have with our governments : fix it Malcolm that’s why we’re paying you !

  5. Carol Taylor

    Ted Cruz on “securing Muslim neighbourhoods”. Perhaps instead of a yellow Star of David painted on the person’s door and sewn onto all outer clothing, Cruz could choose the crescent moon. After all the Star of David as an identifying symbol worked so well in Nazi Germany so as identify Jews, this method should work well for Cruz in today’s America.

  6. Kaye Lee


    I meant to mention to you and Michael, when Jacqui Lambie was being interviewed the other day she said she would change the name of her party after the election and she suggested she might use Australian Independent Network.

  7. johnlord2013

    Is that what she said. I thought I has misheard her.

  8. Michael Taylor

    Thank God she’s not into media!

    Actually, she could have a bit of difficulty as our name is registered, so she might have it knocked back because of the similarity.

  9. Michael Taylor

    Who said you were allowed to take a break? ?

  10. Kaye Lee

    JACQUI LAMBIE: No, I – after this election we’re going to look at hopefully changing it to something like the Australian independent Network because, look, it’s just easier because I have that brand name now. I don’t have enough time to change it over. I’ve only had a short period of time but as soon as I can off load “Jacqui Lambie” out of it, I will be very grateful for that. I just think it opens it right up for anybody. They’ll feel more comfortable walking into a network and having a fair go at politics.

  11. Michael Taylor

    She’s in for a surprise.

    Though I’m not sure if registering a business name is the same as registering the name of a political party. We’ll find out in due course.

  12. Kaye Lee

    Then we could allow independents (or former micro party candidates) all over the country to run under our party 🙂

  13. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Thanks John,

    have a good Easter break. Same goes for all AIM people!

    I agree. If the big corps are getting away with not paying any taxes despite their immense revenues, Australia must change its tax laws to block the loopholes. Tax turnover for starters. Save small biz from bad repercussions by making the turnover benchmark at the Big Biz levels. Also, watch out for the company subsidiaries and tax any flow of money out of Australia.

  14. Möbius Ecko

    Won’t see this in the MSM nor will we see hit and run Jo acknowledge it in any way.

    Australia has slipped to last on the OECD economic scale. That’s from first in 2013.

    And as with polls on handling security, any poll asking the question on economic management always has the Liberals with a considerable lead.

    Get your shit together MSM and report the facts for once. You are not doing this country a service by deliberately hiding and distorting the efficacy of Liberal government management, indeed you are hurting it badly.

  15. johnlord2013

    Who said you were allowed to take a break. Did I mishear you too.

  16. Möbius Ecko

    On top of us hitting the bottom rung of the OECD economic ladder comes the news that government debt has reached an all time high of $417.5 billion. Up $144 billion since the last election.

  17. jim

    Where not this Liberal party involved in ripping off one of our poorest nation neighbors way back when?, seems there at it again aiding a and abetting the big corporations HERE ;Timor doesn’t really have the capacity to compel Australia to change its position. Labor has made it policy to recognise the median line, so I think their best chance Timor has is if Australia elects a Labor government.”

    Suni told HuffPost Australia it was about more than access to a single oil field.

    “The Timor Sea issue has spoiled the way we think and see Australia,” Suni said;…

  18. You can't be serious?

    Kaye Lee re your suggestion for a party for independents and micro parties. I have had the same idea a few days ago but the success of such will depend on those independents and micro parties to create and join the party (and their members and supporters too) and then the candidates order on the new Party’s ticket can be determined by a lottery like draw. Not much different from the deals done by the preference whisperer now, where whoever gets elected out of those deals is pretty random.
    Are you going to organise this?
    More to the point, why don’t the micros and independents who are in parliament now come together to form such a Party, if they think there is more chance of getting re-elected than going it alone under the new Sentate voting rules?

  19. Kaye Lee

    There would not be time to organise it for this election. And it would be up to Michael if he wanted to use the name. It’s verandah dreaming at this stage prompted by Ms Lambie’s comment.

  20. You can't be serious?

    Mobius, as to Liberals always leading on economic management. Presume you mean at Fed level.

    Here in WA, latest polling shows Labor leads on that measure. A very exciting time to be Labor in (hot and getting hotter) WA.

    Labor SHOULD lead as it only left a debt of $3.7b in 2008 when the Liberal Barnett Government came to power, the debt in December was $25.8b and predicted to reach $39b in 3 years.

    The Premier and past Treasurer were total incompetents, definitely egotists, probably narcissists if not sociopaths who did not care that they were on a path to wreck WA’s finances, quality of life (with the planning 2010 planning law reforms that effectively placed development decision making in the hands of the development industry) and much else ( the environment in particular). Instead of putting money away for slower economic times and spending it then when prices are lower and the local economy needs a boost, they spent like drunken sailors during the boom when prices were highly inflated, stimulating an already over-stimulated economy and to serve their personal needs to leave a legacy and self-aggrandise. The electors bought the stupid slogan of “making decisions and getting things done” at the 2013 election, even though the evidence was plain of their massive economic mismanagement, with the (net) debt already out of control at the end of 2012, when the debt was projected to rise to $24.7b in 2015/16. The writing was on the wall, The voters did not care! While the good times rolled ( for them) the State’s financial future did not matter (to them). Yet they all bear the consequences now with higher charges and taxes to pay back the debt and cover the interest while receiving less or lower quality Govt services.

    No comfort in being able to say I told them so, because I am also inflicted with this joke of a Government and all the negative and adverse consequences. One of the things the WA Liberal Government claims as a major achievement – the new Fiona Stanley Hospital, was planned and paid for by the previous Labor Government.

  21. Möbius Ecko

    The Liberals predilection for lying and the extents they go to to deceive never ceases to amaze me.

    Michaelia Cash claimed that 457 visas doubled under Labor and have gone down under her government.

    What she did was pick the lowest and highest points in the graph for 457 workers in Australia during Labor’s terms. She could just as easily picked two other points and said 457 visas declined under Labor.

    But her greatest deceit, 457 visas declined under her government. Truth is they declined under Labor policy her government continued. It had nothing to do with her government’s policy at all bar the fact they won government during the decline bought on by Labor policy.

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