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Day to Day Politics. ‘How we pamper the rich and privileged’

Sunday 24 January

1 Have you ever thought about how richly (pardon the pun) pampered the privileged are in Australia? As a cohort they pay less GST tax than any other group. The government takes from the poor and middle class to help them pay for their kids private school education. They can negatively gear as many houses as they want. There are numerous tax concessions. And they, if they so choose, get a 15% tax discount if they put their money into super. Then there are Capital Gains offsets.

Negative gearing is costing the Federal Government about $3.7 billion a year in lost revenue, while the 50 per cent capital gains tax discount wipes off $4 billion.

In two years’ time the tax breaks on Superannuation will cost as much as the pension $50 billion a year.

And of course many of them with family businesses pay no tax at all.

But did you know that the taxpayers of Australia actually underwrite Private Health Insurance companies to the tune of $11billion annually.

‘I don’t think that I can recall a domestic policy that is so outrageous as the $11 b. annual cost to the taxpayer of the subsidy to private health insurance (PHI) companies’. John Menadue.

2 In the house one is expected to call a Minister by his title. Despite the criticism, I will continue to call the Treasure ‘Gunna.’ Gunna was out and about all this week. Firstly on Skye then Bloomberg TV and then the ABCs AM programme. On all three he talked about what the Government is gunna do. Nothing at all about what they were doing or indeed had done. Didn’t even define what it is their gunna do, just talked and talked. Even if that only took a sentence. I know he hasn’t been in the job long but someone has to take responsibility for their period in office.

Gunna makes no effort to inform the public as to why he is gunna do whatever he is proposing to do. There is no concerted effort to take the public into his confidence and explain just what the economic problems are and how he intends addressing them.

Howard was defeated in 2007 it is now 2016 and we are still waiting for a policy from the LNP.

3 Yet another leadership poll. You can expect an avalanche from now on. This one from Reach TELL shows 80.8 per cent of voters nominated Mr Turnbull as preferred PM and just 19.2 per cent nominated Mr Shorten, whereas on November 26, 71.3 per cent of respondents had nominated Mr Turnbull and 28.7 per cent chose Mr Shorten Read more:
4 I notice in The Australian that former Treasurer Peter Costello is going to tell Gunna Morission that cutting everything will fix the budget. That he would fix it like he did in 96. Doesn’t mention that he had the biggest fire sale in our history to do it. And a never to be repeated commodities boom.

5 The federal government says it will consider backing Kevin Rudd for the top United Nations job. He has the intellect and diplomatic experience and unlike at home, respect on the international scene.

6 An observation.

”Change sometimes disregards opinion and becomes a phenomenon of its own making. With Its own inevitability’

Change inevitably happens. I clearly remember as a small child hearing reordered music for the first time on a wind up gramophone with replaceable needles. Sometime later 78 rpm records improved and the things on which we played then were grandiose pieces of furniture. Then along came 45rpm vinyl records, followed by 33 1/3 rpm LP and EP recordings with multiple tracks and then stereophonic sound.

Tape recorders appeared. The Walkman gave music mobility, with cassettes and tape recorders. They in turn were replaced with CDs which are now becoming redundant with the advent of USB sticks, tablets, ipods and mobile phones.My ipod is now a relic of the past DVDs will be obsolete in the next few years.

What will replace them is anyone’s guess but the certainty is, something will. At present you can stream almost the entire world catalogue of music on your mobile phone for a small monthly fee.

Change is determined by many factors, health, consumer demand, science and many other things. Change, as much as we resist it, is innate in us. It’s part of our DNA whether we like it or not.

7 Clive Palmer spent a lot of money for a seat in the House of Reps and one in the Senate. Power is a very costly thing. He is unlikely to repeat it. Highly inflated I should think.

8 Only in America.

Republican Presidential candidate Ted Cruz says.

”I’m a Christian first, American second conservative third and Republican forth” Imagine the outcry had a Muslim or Jewish politician said that.

My thought for the day.

‘We dislike and resist change in the foolish assumption that we can make permanent that which makes us feel secure. Yet change is in fact part of the very fabric of our existence’



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  1. John Kelly

    It’s surprising that a government so intent on producing a surplus budget, is so unwilling to look at tax concessions as a means of achieving it.

  2. babyjewels10

    I read and weep for our lost country.

  3. terry

    be good John if change was for quality , not how can we do it cheaper and make more profit , think that’s the difference from a earlier Australia

  4. Sen Nearly Ile

    What really makes my blood boil is they avoid the medicare levy. This should be levied on gross income before minimisation and on all companies, despite double dipping on wages before deductions. Welfare recipients, superannuants and retired politicians ‘allowances’ included.

    The rich, like turnball, can avoid, the megarich like packer ‘pay all the tax my accountants tell me to’.
    Politicians employ these accountants so there is unlikely to be ‘movement on the station.’
    The seasprite debacle brought Dick Smith to threaten to join the ‘avoiders’.
    “Mr Smith yesterday told The Weekend Australian he and his wife had donated $1 million a year to charity and “I still pay more than $1 million a year in tax”.

    “I’m not in the rich list, but I am well off and have never complained about paying tax,” he said.

    The Sydney businessman said he changed his attitude because $1 billion of taxpayers’ money was lost in the failed Super Seasprite helicopters project.

    “Michael, do you understand that $1 billion could have given us a completely new Royal North Shore Hospital (in Sydney)?” Mr Smith asked the commissioner in his letter.

    “It could increase pensions to people who are suffering at the moment and be put to better use in thousands of ways.

    “Why shouldn’t I minimise my tax in every way I can see when I see the waste that is taking place from decisions made by your fellow bureaucrats in Canberra?”

    I cannot understand why, when the rich buy extravagantly like mariah’s ring the tax office doesn’t ask where the money comes from and hits him for tax.

  5. Douglas Pye

    …………………. ‘How we pamper the rich and privileged’ ….. may i suggest that to say ….. ” How we Allow the rich and privileged to PAMPER THEMSELVES ! … is more to the point ! ….. we have little say in the matter of pampering, except by our pathetic inertia combined with our fostered desire ( aspiration ) to gain an edge for ourselves!

    We are encouraged to ” aspire ” , and fudge the system, ( e.g. minor tax avoidance etc. ) which then, in it’s fashion, condones wholesale cheating by those capable & able to fund major rorts!

    After all, decades ago the then Lord Chief Justice of Australia declared it was every Australian’s right to pay as little tax as could ‘ be arranged ‘ ! …. and the band plays on !!

  6. Martin Bryce

    I’m afraid we got what our smugness, complacency, selfishness, nationalism, political stupidity, racism, environmental desecration, religious extremism, bigotry of many colours, glorification of war, xenophobia, paedophilia, privileged entitlement, media monopoly, tenth rate politics, embedded corruption, flag waving domestic terrorism, fox sly governance, social cowardice, constitutional immaturity and superannuated irresponsibility deserved. If I had to draw a portrait of an Australian it would be a tattooed, bare chested, beer bellied bogan wearing australian flag shorts and worn out thongs. He/she would have a can of VB in one hand, a bong in the other, a used condom at his/her feet and his/her head in the sand. What a pathetic excuse for a so-called community Australia is.

  7. Florence nee Fedup

    “”I’m a Christian first, American second conservative third and Republican”

    Nowhere is he a politician that represents and governs on behalf of common good of the people.

    People say Abbott has done nothing. Not true. He has put in place the most massive social engineering, social change that has not been seen since the days of Whitlam.

    Maybe it is time to revisit Marx to get some idea of what is happening today.

  8. Florence nee Fedup

    John, would be surprising if they had any interest in the economy. They don’t. They are focus on their neoliberal dogma/ideology that demands small government and low taxes.

    Yes, unfretted businesses that are not held accountable in any way. Businesses that pay low or no taxes.

    Very little welfare as it leads to people not being self sufficient or standing on their own feet.

    Seems they will go ahead with their aims, regardless of the harm caused to society and economy.

    The market will provide all.

  9. Florence nee Fedup

    What is happening in this country, is happening across the globe.

  10. guest

    With regard to polls, there are those who are fixated with polls showing Turnbull way ahead of Shorten as preferred PM. They are stuck in a rut like one of those needles stuck in a cracked 78 rpm record. What they avoid is mentioning any poll which shows Labor and the Coalition much closer together tpp, such as Essential. The plain fact is that Turrnbull is not the Coalition by himself.

    Then we come to the matter of pampering the rich. If we go back to what Howard and Costello did, we find that the rich were pampered in all kinds of ways. John Hewson has been talking about some of this recently, and suggests that the economy is losing $30-40bn per year as a result. The present Right-wing commentariat chooses to ignore all that as well. Much easier to blame Labor.

    So what has the Coalition done to achieve any kudos? Nothing – just incompetence for the past 2-3 years. And Turnbull? Just stirred the wasps’ nest, kow-towed to Obama with platitudes.

  11. Julian

    If Labor focused on tax reform, collecting the 40B extra a year being lost, not to mention the additional 100B? a year lost to corporate fraud/evasion, they might win the election and we would be out of debt in no time, able to afford public housing, free education, support our innovation, and turn the country around….

  12. Garth

    @Julian, I like the sentiment but the fact is all those things can be provided now. Tax reform (in a true reforming sense) may even the scales in terms of the big end of town being asked to pay as much as the poor but don’t let anyone tell you it’s a prerequisite for our government doing what’s right in terms of honouring the social contract. It just isn’t true.

  13. Selena

    Hockey wanted us all to get a good job that pays good money. Wouldnt it be great if ALL Australians did have a good job that paid good money and then we all minimised our tax by whatever means allowable….Where would the money come from then, to replace the low income earners tax money, because none of us would be paying any tax….Hypothetical, I know, but food for thought.

  14. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Well said, Martin Bryce @10.45am.

    I’d like to say, “Don’t blame ME for Australia’s philosophical and spiritual downfall” but history won’t differentiate.

    We will ALL be blamed for the wrongs being committed by the LIBLAB flipflop duopoly, especially the LNP, coz there were not enough loud voices yelling dissent.

  15. Wally

    Negative gearing is costing the Federal Government about $3.7 billion a year in lost revenue, while the 50 per cent capital gains tax discount wipes off $4 billion.

    Personally I think cutting out negative gearing has the potential to do more harm than good but the entire concept of allowing negative gearing is lost if the government allow a 50% discount on capital gains tax. The question to ask on the fairness of negative gearing – Is it appropriate for a democratic government to tax business profits without allowing deductions for the associated expenses? I say no.

    If the principle of disallowing deductions for business expenses was adopted across the board Australia would lose many businesses because it would be impossible to make a profit.

    The same scenario applies to negative gearing, without deductions for the expenses (keeping in mind that the cost of purchasing the property is not tax deductable) such as interest charges, rates, insurance and maintenance would result in unprecedented changes in the housing market. Any shortage in rental properties will increase rental prices and the increased cost of owning a rental property would push rents even higher.

    How much would it cost the government to supply more rental properties to fill the void?

    It is absolutely absurd that the full amount of capital gains tax is not collected and the practise of selling an investment property and putting the proceeds into superannuation to avoid tax is nothing less than fraud, but since the Howard/Costello era it has been allowed.

    Another rort is for Private Schools to buy unused/old public school properties for rock bottom prices, then obtain government subsidies to revamp them. The public purse would be much better off if the land was cleared and subdivided for public housing or sold off to developers.

  16. brightconcerns

    Australians, like the middle class the world over, rejoice in wanna be social bourgeios vicariously watching exploitation we pamper the rich upper middle class and upper class in the aspiration that we are all headed there one day getting rid of the adjudicating tribunals looking at fair job opportunities because nepotism and cronyism rule the way help a mate help family in need otherwise you would have to give everyone a fair go and that went out when the Paul Hogan show finished! Good old Bernie Fraser and co negotiated fair tax deals even Kerry Packer agreed to a reasonable sum thats all long gone its all head in the sand attitude that prevails bogans moralists environmentalists and religious zealots make grand claims and loud comments with little or no alliance to reality or the general community

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