Apparently, we should all be shocked: There is a liar in the Lodge!
Now, I know that some of you are thinking that – after the years from Abbott to Morrison – it’d be a much bigger shock to find that there wasn’t a liar in the Lodge, but that’s not what I’m finding so perplexing about the latest attempt by the Coalition to gain some political traction.
It’s the fact that they want us to be so shocked about it when they’ve just spent the past couple of years telling us that we couldn’t trust Labor and that Anthony Albanese lied to the Australian people because he told us 295 times that power bills would come down by $97… Or was it the other way around.
And, of course, there was the broken promise not to touch superannuation and then Labor increased the tax on superannuation accounts worth more than $3,000,000, making it harder than ever for those on the minimum wage to pay their fair share of tax.
Not to mention all the other broken promises…
And yet, now we’re supposed to be shocked. It’s almost as if the Coalition weren’t serious about all the other times they said that Albanese was lying.
Of course we all know that there are times when it’s ok to break an election promise. Here are some examples:
- Tony Abbott’s no cuts to the ABC, Health or Education
- Tony Abbott’s maternity leave scheme was completely affordable in Opposition but too expensive in government
- Scott Morrison’s promise that the Budget was back in surplus next year
- John Howard’s non-core promises
- Abandoning the net zero commitment would have been just fine and some Coalition MPs have been urging the government to do that
- Similar, it was a terrible mistake for Albanese to hold the Voice Referendum even though that too was an election promise.
The list is potentially much larger but you get the idea.
Anyway now that the government has abandoned the Stage 3 tax cuts we’re discovering some remarkable things. For example, while it was wrong to change them, the changes are terrible because they don’t come into effect until July 1 and people need help now. This is like saying we didn’t think that you should call an ambulance for Jerry but now that the ambulance is on its way, aren’t you concerned that he’ll have to wait in the emergency room and shouldn’t you have fixed the hospital system first!
We’re also told by Peter Dutton that the changes are “bad policy” but he’s going to support them because the Coalition “won’t stand in the way of families doing it tough”, even if it’s “bad policy”. And they won’t be reversing the changes in government but they’re not “absolutely not” walking away from the “principles of Stage 3”. So to paraphrase, we’re completely committed to something that we’re not going to do in government and not going to oppose in opposition. For some reason this makes me wonder why I never watch “Married At First Sight”…
He told us: “We had stage 3 there, which was fully funded … they have taken the money from the stage 3 tax cuts and they have applied it to their own policy.” Their own policy being giving more of it to people earning less than $150k. How dare they!
I’m still unsure about what “fully funded” means when one is talking about tax cuts. I mean if you’re talking about a plan for something like nearly a billion dollars for a rail upgrade in a seat facing a by-election, fully funded means we’ve put aside money from the budget to pay for it. And the revenue from the budget comes from taxes. But when you fully fund a tax cut, does that mean you’ve put aside the money that you were going to spend on something like say Health or Education?
And if there’s any serious criticism that can be mounted about the changes it’s that they don’t go far enough with the redistribution. People earning less than $100k probably need more assistance than they’re getting, and even some up to $150k may be finding it harder than a year ago, but that’s not a criticism that you can make while being “committed” to the principles of Stage 3, which was politicians like us earning more than $200k a year should get a whopping pay cut and bugger anyone not paying enough that they can donate to our re-election fund.
Dutton went on to remind us that when someone is a one-hit wonder that pretty much means that no public appearance can finish without them trying an encore of that hit. He suggested that, even though the Referendum on The Voice was last October, the detail that Albanese had promised was still not forthcoming… Now maybe it’s just me, but I would have seriously doubted the Prime Minister’s sanity if he’d stood up and said, “Here’s the detail of the legislation that we’re not proposing owing to the Voice being defeated. We’d like you to examine this before we don’t vote on it in Parliament. There are several pages outlining who won’t be eligible to part of the Voice which are now irrelevant because, owing to its defeat, nobody is eligible to be part of the non-existent body, but please read this anyway as we’ve spent quite a lot of time and energy working on it so it’s a shame if people just ignore it.”
Whatever, the tax cuts are going to be waved through because the Liberal Party are the party of lower taxes and they have to vote for this broken promise because if they don’t then Labor would be the party of lower taxes but now that they’re voting for the Labor change, then the Liberals are still the party of lower taxes… Not sure where this puts the National Party.
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