Wednesday 24 February 2016
1 Malcolm Turnbull came to power promising much-needed tax reform. He placed everything on the banquet table. The GST pie. The outrageously immoral tax concessions on Superannuation to the wealthy and privileged. Negative gearing and capital gains tax. He has promised tax cuts to business and taxpayers in general. On top of these he has floated various recipes of other culinary tastelessness totality out of flavour with the public.
So badly received has the menu been that each day the chef needs to come up with another one.
Take Monday in Question Time.
‘Increasing capital gains tax is no part of our thinking whatsoever.’
He said so while launching into a stinging attack on Labor’s policy. A policy to limit tax deductions on investment properties to new homes and to halve the capital gains tax discount on assets held for more than a year from 50 per cent to 25 per cent.
What a bloody mess the table is in. The following day we find out that there was an error in the printing of the menu. The Government is planning to halve the capital gains tax discount for Superannuation funds.
This has totality thrown a new ingredient into the mix and is at odds with his statement in Question Time. Yesterday I said his right hand didn’t know what his left was doing. Frankly I don’t think he knows the difference between a Carp and a Flounder. Well he may know what flounder means.
Adding far too much pepper to the recipe, the Prime Minister’s office said he was only focusing on tax options proposed by Labor, which concentrate on property. In other words his defence is that he was misunderstood. What absolute crap.
Changes to superannuation tax concessions and tax deductions for work-related expenses are among the few tax reform options that are still available to the Government.
Chris Richardson from Deloitte Access Economics said:
‘We’re now in a world where some of the bigger options in tax reform have been ruled out’.
They have some serious washing up to do. After the clean up when there is nothing left but a blank canvas of white tablecloth the Government will find that real Tax Reform is still whirling around in the dish washer. It’s all starting to remind me of that wonderful song from Les Mis. Empty Chairs and Empty tables.
Probably the only real way to get tax reform ‘for the common good’ in this country is to take it out of the domain of politicians and place it in the hands of an independent body similar to the Productivity Commission.
I think the possibility of young people being able to afford a new home is far more important than anyone making a profit from negatively gearing one.
2 Mathias Cormann was out and about doing his inevitable repair job. You have to admire his tenacity. That’s if you can understand what he is saying. The Government has some exceptional talkers but for waffling speed Mathias takes the cake.
‘It’s a matter of public record that we have been looking right across the whole of the tax system to assess opportunities for improvements’.
He said this so quickly that I thought the blender was over taxed while mixing up company tax reductions with pay no tax deductions.
3 The latest Morgan Poll, which uses both face-to-face and SMS interviews, has found that support for the Coalition on a two-party preferred basis is steady at 52.5 per cent. In contrast, the latest Newspoll suggests that support for the Coalition and the Australian Labor Party is tied at 50 per cent apiece. However, the Newspoll is now conducted by Galaxy Research, which uses a combination of automated “robo-polling” and online surveys rather than telephone surveys.
4 Some politicians unfortunately have physical characteriistics that arouse a judgement of nastiness. Former policeman Peter Dutten is one. He reminds me of the copper you would hate to have you cornered up a dark alley on a pitch black night. His sour facial expression gives rise to a judgement of someone with not an empathetic bone in his body. A nasty bastard as Australians are apt to say.
It makes the accusation that he deliberately leaked details of an investigation by Queensland Police into baby Asha believable.
He is not the only one of this ilk in the Government.
‘I don’t judge people but I do form my own opinion of course’.
5 Malcolm Turnbull came to office grandiosely promising a new era of politics. An era of politeness, of transparency, of openness – a contest and exploration of ideas. He removed Abbott pledging to transform the Liberal Party. Instead they transformed him.
My thought for the day.
‘I think we can often become so trapped in the longevity of sameness that we never see other ways of doing things’.