As with so many of his categorical promises, when Tony Abbott said “the GST won’t change – full stop, end of story”, he lied.
Having ruled out any form of revenue raising, and with the debt and deficit growing, he was in a dilemma – well not him personally because he finds economics dull. Someone else can worry about that.
And then along came Mike, good looking popular Mike who, having just won an election, won’t have to face the polls for another four years.
I know, we’ll cut funding to the states, get Mike to propose raising the GST, ignore any alternatives, and then blame it on the states who have no other option while we cut income tax and company tax to compensate for the 50% rise in the tax on everything. We come out smelling like roses. Perfect!
At one of those hideously staged camera shoots, Tony was applauding the Premiers for laying down arms to have “a conversation rather than a scare campaign” – which was somewhat in contrast to the hysterical campaign being waged by Greg Hunt about Labor’s renewable energy target and the emissions trading scheme which the Coalition insist on calling a big scary carbon tax that will drive up electricity prices. Why hasn’t anyone pointed out that raising the GST to 15% immediately drives up the price of everything including energy?
When questioned by Leigh Sales, I held my breath hoping he wouldn’t – please just once, don’t. But there it was – counting on his fingers Tony’s first answer was “we’ve scrapped the mining tax, we’ve scrapped the carbon tax, we’ve stopped the boats, we’ve got three free trade agreements in place, we’ve done a lot of budget repair.”
When asked “aren’t you one of the Parliament’s worst offenders when it comes to scare campaigns?”, Tony replied that their campaigns against the carbon and mining taxes were “truth” campaigns.
When asked if he was fear-mongering by saying “Islamic State is coming for every one of us”, he said this is exactly what they want to do – “Go out and kill the unbelievers” in countries like Australia.
On the subject of rorting entitlements, it was an error of judgement, everyone makes mistakes, and they have already tightened up the rules. I wonder if Joe Hockey charging $20,000 to go and visit his Queensland farm 13 times while shadow treasurer was an error of judgement because it too was “within guidelines.”
I am starting to think the guidelines are like when you put bumpers in the gutters at ten-pin bowling. You can’t make a mistake because when you go near the gutter you bounce off and keep on rolling – unless you are Peter Slipper of course.
I can only hope that Mike Baird extracted something good for NSW in payment for being the obvious patsy. The smile and good looks are increasingly wearing thin and he is playing a dangerous game being Abbott’s messenger boy.
Where is the outrage at the Federal government slashing funding for health and education? Where is the compensation package for this suggested hike in GST? How can we believe any promise made by Abbott?
This “retreat” seems more like a surrender to me.