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Day to Day Politics: The table’s a mess. Clean it up, Malcolm.

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.

An observation.

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.

An observation.

‘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’.


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  1. ella

    Whilst I am Not an LNP supporter I wonder how much white anting is going on in the LNP . I do believe that MT is being hogtied by the far right in the LNP. He may have had big dreams and was excited at the thought of implementing them… BUT the deals he had to make to become PM are now going to suffocate him.
    To me that is the only explanation that makes any sense and explains why MT does not seem to know what he can can’t do.
    Anyway bring on the DD and I will be numbering every number for the Senate

  2. roaminruin

    “He removed Abbott pledging to transform the Liberal Party. Instead they transformed him.”
    Very nicely put.

  3. John Kelly

    How quickly our expectations of something radically exciting have evaporated.

  4. Salstarat

    Messy table? Ever since Abbott crawled across the electoral line, our whole country, our environment and our democracy has become a dog’s breakfast! I have never seen such a morally bankrupt, totally inept, cold blooded fascist government as the current non-achieving, self entitled parasites that line the front cabinet of the WORST government in living memory! The damage these Grim Reapers have undertaken on our nation, our environment and our international reputation will take DECADES to undo and repair! The LNP have not created a SINGLE thing of benefit to ordinary Australians since they misled millions of gullible Australians at the last federal election .. I am proud I was not one of them! Since the day this pack of LIARS, cheats and thieves rose to power, they have defunded everything we value including our children’s education and future job prospects, targeted scorned and condemned the most vulnerable people in our society, adhered to the most callously savage and inhumane mistreatment of innocent asylum seekers to the point where they delegated torture and looked the other way whilst the children of asylum seekers were being raped and traumatised! This loathsome, despicable government go on and on destroying, annihilating everything in their path. They operate under an intolerable undemocratic atmosphere which lacks transparency, defunding the ABC and stacking the board with LNP/Murdoch cronies who will ensure that people will only hear what THEY want us to hear, have sold off every square inch of the land to predatory multinational corporations who don’t give a rat’s behind about this country or the working rights of our people, kowtowed to British imperialism and elitism, lied and lied and lied, broke EVERY promise they made on a stack of bibles before the last election, their constant relentless corruption, blatant nepotism, remorseless cronyism to the top 1% and the parasitic mining industry who take, take and take and give NOTHING back is malignant and self serving. The LNP have a history of internationally embarrassing faux pas, inappropriate and Abbott’s offensive Captain’s Picks has become the stuff of notoriety around the world! The sooner these terrifying, unapologetic depraved mongrels get kicked to the kerb, the better!

  5. Jagger

    As Keating said about Turnball “all fizz no bang” , I can’t believe how many people thought Turnball was going to change anything, he’s only ever been interested in himself. A narcissistic show pony.

  6. Pilot

    KUDOS Salstarat!!

    But you forgot that Ol’ Tones boosted the flag economy with his endless purchasing of “Announcement Flags”. He stopped the boats, maintained our freedoms from terror attacks…….. I think I’m going to throw up……..

    Australian politics have never been the same since Tones slithered out of the mire and into fed parl. He’s always been a liar and always will be. The fascists and bigots he surrounded himself with have a firm grip on the LNP MT on the other hand is a prestidigitator, a banker and a liar. He has his “holier than thou” attitude and the right to rule. He assumes he knows what’s good for Australia, seeing as he grew up in a working class household in Vaucluse (for those who remember his speech when he became opp leader), his dad being a hotel broker, ffs. The bloke’s nothing more than a freaking LIAR.

    The libs, nats, IPA, and Murdoch are leading the Australian people away from prosperity and on to serfdom, cap in hand employment free of human and worker rights, and ensuring the fists full of taxpayer dollars are thrown at their wealthy backers.

    Fascism and bigotry are alive and well, prospering in Australia, thanks to the Lying Nasty Party!!!!

  7. Carol Taylor

    John L, I found myself nodding in agreement; Turnbull came to power promising a new era, but instead of Turnbull transforming the Liberal Party, it has transformed him.

  8. Dragon

    Ella I have no sympathy for Turnbull on the contrary I have nothing but disdain for the man who from all accounts sold his soul to the devil to be the PM the man is a grown up with choices – as Prime Minister it is his responsibility to LEAD for all Australians allowing himself to be “Hogtied” by his own party shows he his either a pathetically weak coward and or having the title of PM is all he wanted; the people and Australia be damned!!!

  9. Linda

    Thank you Salstarat….you said it all, there’s nothing that I could add to your comment.

  10. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Thanks John Lord,

    for the daily reminders of what a bunch of no-good bastards the LNP are.

    I agree that Salstarat’s passionate disgust at their deliberate attempted destruction of our Australian spirit and conditions, speaks for my disgust too.

  11. Wally

    John Lord

    “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.”

    I totally agree that we need to do something to make home ownership more affordable but I don’t believe changes to negative gearing will make enough difference but it might help a little. House prices falling is the desired outcome and this could impact on home owners who are already over extended, no point battling to pay off a debt that is greater than the value of the property.

    Will existing home owners be affected and how many will lose their homes? We can all have an opinion on what we think the outcome will be but until the changes have occurred no one can be certain, increasing disposable income is the only way to be guarantee there is no outfall from negative gearing changes and to capitalise on the benefits.

    “to halve the capital gains tax discount on assets held for more than a year from 50 per cent to 25 per cent.”

    Increasing capital gains tax is a good measure that will increase tax revenue, if people decide to avoid CGT by holding onto investment properties income will eventually be greater than costs so they will pay tax on the profit.

    “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.”

    Of course the LNP would not want any increased tax burden to be born by those who can afford it so lets make a change that will affect everybody and of course have more impact on those who can afford it the least.

  12. margcal

    “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.”

    At the point of purchase (private sale or auction), regardless of the $ numbers, the price is cheaper for an investor (tax deductibility of interest and other expenses) than for someone who wants to buy the property to live in and make a home (all expenses, including interest to be borne by the buyer).
    That makes a huge difference to a first home buyer in a competitive market.

  13. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Spot on, margcal.

    Reducing or abolishing those tax advantages for multi-property owners would make it a far leveler playing field for genuine home-buyers.

  14. margcal

    Anyone who is disappointed in Turnbull as PM could only ever have been deluded about him.
    The words coming out of his mouth change to suit the circumstances – the intent has always and only been to become PM – “whatever it takes”. That anyone hoped he had ideals or plans or anything else of merit – sorry, you were sucked in by the smooth persona.
    That he can’t now manage what he coveted for so long and finally attained through manipulation, machination and mendacity rubs salt into the wound but it too is unsurprising.

  15. Thursday

    Turnball answers only to the greed factory.They will guarantee longevity of power provided he comes through.Turnball is a weak and vain man and he’s here for a good time not a long time,Just enough time for enough photo shots of him with important people from around the world to line up his mantelpiece. Turnball, a waffler bullshit artist extraordinaire. Wait until he gets onto his next love; Nuclear Energy.Watch the waters get muddy then.Whats a stupid country we live in.

  16. Ella

    Drago; “I have no sympathy for Turnbull”
    Neither have I Dragon, I was just trying to come to terms with what is going on in the political arena.
    I am starting to wonder whether MT is the puppet and far right of the LNP and vested interests are pulling the strings.

  17. Salstarat

    All the gullible, dumbed down Libtards lived in hope that Turnbull would change the screaming lunatic fringe of the fascist extreme right wing LNP … instead THEY changed Turnbull! Now we have yet another whimpering, non-achieving sycophant to the regressive, unspeakably hypocritical xenophobic and misogynistic members of Abbott’s Flat Earth Society …. a pack of raving bible thumping lunatics who are totally corrupt, morally bankrupt and without one iota of insight.

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