At what is rapidly becoming their ABC, Andrew Probyn has labelled Labor’s compromise on tax cuts a “dog’s breakfast”.
“By splitting hairs on splitting bills, the Labor leader will now simply be accused by Scott Morrison and the Coalition of standing in the way of Australians getting a tax cut,” says Probyn.
No economic analysis. No mention of a weakening economy that may not be able to afford to be stripped of $95 billion in six years’ time. No mention of the value of bringing forward the stage 2 bracket change to help provide stimulus and address bracket creep.
Probyn categorises Labor’s offer as a “retreat on their threat” to block some of the changes rather than as a reasonable step towards a negotiated compromise.
“It’s a mess,” declares Andrew who seems unable to understand what Albanese is proposing despite having it explained in detail to him and including that detail in his article.
“Clear? Thought not. It’s a dog’s breakfast,” writes the man who seems far more interested in the optics and political manoeuvering than he does in the substance.
As does the increasingly self-serving Joel Fitzgibbon who Probyn hastens to quote.
“You can’t deny the punters a tax cut from Opposition, particularly so soon after an election where we had our backsides kicked,” Joel said. “And we can’t afford to give our political opponents the opportunity to blame us for a bad economy. The only option then, if we are unable to force a decoupling — which should be our first objective — [is] to support the whole package or support none of it.”
“But Labor’s opted for neither. It doesn’t support the Coalition’s tax package as a whole, nor does it propose rejecting it.”
Since when did negotiation to make something better become a weakness?
And why on earth does a tax cut that will not come into force until after the next election (or two) have to be legislated now?
Why is it considered irresponsible to wait and see how the economy is doing?
Where is the modelling about the economic outcomes of the three stages of the tax cuts?
Where are the questions about what spending cuts will be made to compensate for the loss of $158 billion in revenue?
The Grattan Institute released analysis during the election which outlined the government would be forced into making $40bn in spending cuts to meet its forecast surplus and tax cut promises, which the government immediately rejected yet failed to come up with any evidence to counter the institute’s research.
Whilst commentators like Probyn may revel in the intrigue of the Game of Wedge and thrive on any perceived party disunity, what he serves up is more like a gossip column than journalism.
The Australian people are sold short by the dishing up of such tripe. But as we saw with Emma Alberici, factual analysis is no longer welcome at the ABC.
Did it ever occur to you Andrew, that by refusing to split the tax bill, it is actually the Coalition who is blocking tax cuts?
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