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Scott’s trickle-down fairy dust blown away

The recently released GDP figures for the December quarter put another nail in the coffin of Scott Morrison’s economic plan.

Despite a 16.5% rise in private non-financial corporations gross operating surplus (GOS), compensation of employees (COE) fell by 0.5% this quarter reflecting a decrease of 0.9% in average earnings per employee. This is the first fall in COE since September quarter 2012.

During 2016, full-time employment fell by 40,100 persons while the total Civilian Population aged 15 years and over increased by 290,300 persons. Trend employment to population ratio, which is a measure of how employed the population over 15 years is, decreased by 0.4 percentage points to 60.9 per cent.

So while businesses continue to make large profits, this has not resulted in more people being employed or any growth in real wages. And that is without the proposed cuts to penalty rates.

Time and again we have seen that cutting taxes does not result in jobs.

Getting rid of the proposed changes to the FBT on business vehicles did nothing to save the car industry.

Getting rid of the carbon and mining taxes did nothing to save manufacturing or attract greater investment.

As profits have risen, so has the number of people who are unemployed and underemployed.

Scott’s answer?

  • Cut taxes to businesses – again.
  • Cut regulations for businesses.
  • Cut wages and freeze the superannuation guarantee.
  • Cut government services.
  • Borrow hundreds of billions to spend on war toys which increases GDP whilst contributing nothing to our standard of living.

The inevitable result of this approach is to accelerate the ever-widening inequality gap.

Will they ever be prepared to concede the blindingly obvious fact that demand is what fuels job growth and that lifting people out of poverty boosts productivity?

Not with this lot in charge.


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  1. Katte Ahearne

    Thanks, Kaye. Reminds me of Einstein’s definition of insanity – keeping on doing the same thing while expecting a different result.

  2. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    They are happy to continue in this downward spiral coz they think it provides a servant class for their rich overlords.

    History tells us that the peasants do rise up and they will bring their pitchforks.

  3. Terry2

    After ducking and weaving on the penalty rates issue and refusing to acknowledge that for some workers this is a pay-cut, Turnbull this morning says this :

    “………….. we certainly welcome transition arrangements that mitigate as far as possible or offset the impact on the take-home pay packet,” he said.

    “As the base pay goes up every year with the minimum wage … the employee’s overall pay packet increases and offsets the phased in reduction in penalty rates.

    “We’re very supportive of the commission managing this transition in a way that ensures the take home pay is as far as possible maintained.

    “The important thing is [the Commission has] both the intent and the tools to sure that the changes are phased in so workers are as far as possible not worse off.”

    Isn’t this exactly what Labor have been saying all week in Question Time and what Turnbull has bee fudging all week : workers should not be worse off as we transition away from penalty rates. But why wasn’t that obvious to Turnbull from day one as it was to almost all of us out here ?

    Has he, like Trump, got a new adviser and speechwriter ?

  4. jimhaz

    [“As the base pay goes up every year with the minimum wage … the employee’s overall pay packet increases and offsets the phased in reduction in penalty rates.]

    This statement has zero meaning. It is obfuscational lie designed to confuse the more ignorant.

  5. Klaus Petrat

    Spot on Kaye and Katte.

    I truly wish that Labor could prosecute the multitude of arguments against a 50 Billion dollar tax cut. They seem to even struggle with these unbelievable arguments they could use.

    Turnbull simply says ‘ You (Labor) are standing in the way of Jobs and Growth’. And this is always unchallenged by the MSM and ABC.

    Why does Labor stand in the way of Jobs and Growth?

    First, there have to be jobs! The argument that the massive child care package gets mothers into work is useless. What work? (I am not arguing against child care assistance, I am only arguing that jobs are hard to come by)

    So, you find jobs by investing aggressively in renewables and even try and set up an export industry as this is the ultimate growth environment.

    Turnbull tries to sell the fact that Bill himself established the review of penalty rates. This line alone is echoed by the MSM.

    Sometimes I begin to think, that Labor doesn’t cut through with their argumentation as it should.

    The Australian voting public needs smashing arguments, not technical ones.

  6. Don A Kelly

    Attached is a copy of a letter that I have sent to the editor of my local newspaper;
    The ABS has announced that the latest wages growth has set a new record low. Wages growth continues to zig-zag across the zero growth line. The main reason why household debt levels are now at record levels is because wages have lagged behind productivity growth.
    Productivity growth over the last five years has been well above the growth of wages. Where does the income that the worker’s lose by being unable to gain wages growth in line with productivity growth go? Mostly to profits. Some may claim that investment will be stimulated. Some of the redistributed National Income has gone into the massive and obscene executive salaries.
    Recent labour force data has revealed on-going weak employment growth – 2.1 million Australians are either unemployed or underemployed. With household debt so high – the Reserve Bank has limited capacity to raise interest rates – further, any government policy that undermines wages growth – like changing penalty rates for weekend workers, etc, will inflame mortgage stress.
    With wages growth so low – there is no income bracket creep happening (people paying higher tax because they move into higher brackets) and tax receipts are falling well below forecasts.

  7. Dave

    But they have a plan!

  8. stephentardrew

    Simple and factual Kaye. Morrison has no mind of his own his religion makes sure of that.

  9. Kaye Lee

    I agree that Labor are remiss in presenting their arguments.

    I saw Bill Shorten interviewed today. He made some good points but when asked about his pre-election promise to abide by the independent umpire’s decision re penalty rates he deflected when he should have owned it.

    What Bill should have said….

    “It is true I said in a radio interview that my leaning was to abide by the Commission’s decision but in the current context of falling real wages and rising inequality, now is not the time to be cutting the wages of our lowest paid workers whilst giving further tax cuts to big business. There is no evidence that tax cuts result in increased employment and lower wages leave consumers with less disposable income.”

  10. Klaus Petrat

    Yes Kaye,

    that is exactly what I meant. He must own the fact that under the circumstances, he changed his mind. No apology needed. What is so difficult to admit, that you didn’t foresee 0 wages growth?

    I don’t get it. They squirm when asked. That comes across dreadfully

  11. Katte Ahearne

    Does this decision have anything to do with the individuals who have been appointed to the Commission? Are they Labor or LNP appointees?

  12. Terry2

    Kaye Lee

    In parliament I understood Labor to be saying that they accepted the independence of the FWC but that this decision was neither fair nor balanced and that the Commission should endeavour to ensure that workers affected by decisions (including on penalty rates) must not be disadvantaged.

    I agree that Shorten is sending out mixed messages as is Turnbull.

  13. Peter F

    Kaye, you make a good point about increased profits having failed to produce more jobs: What will reduced taxes result in other than increased profits?

  14. Kaye Lee

    Credit where it is due. Bill made the very good point that the government has interefered with all sorts of independent umpire’s decisions

    eg the EBA negotiated by professional firefighters and the ruling about pay rates for truck drivers.

    They completely ignore all advice from the independent bodies that were established to advise them about climate change and renewable energy. And the Human Rights Commission is not only ignored but is under active attack from the IPA talking heads that have infiltrated government to push their own weird brand of control. It is a faux argument that the government abides by the independent umpire – only when it suits them.

  15. Matters Not

    KA In the main they are Labor appointees.

    The difficulty is they listen to arguments, speculation and the like as to what might happen and then make a decision. They don’t do independent modelling apparently. Or if they do, why don’t they reveal same?

    Not a good way to make important decisions. By the way they don’t ‘sit’ on Sundays.

  16. Zathras

    There is something certainly trickling down onto the poor from the lawmakers and the wealthy above – but it isn’t money.

    As for Shorten’s statement – the fact remains that the Government deliberately did not make a submission to the FWC as they are entitled and expected to do. They could have argued on the basis of cost-of-living, poverty levels or several other aspects but they stayed silent.

    It seems Turnbull wanted this outcome while washing his hands Pontius Pilate style from the wings.

  17. Paolo Soprani

    Attacking ‘penalty rates’ is nothing more than an attempt to reduce the wages of working people. This is what Conservative Governments do. If is were possible for them to have workers work for nothing that is also what they would do. They do not give a rat’s arse about us, the people.They just don’t care. And you keep voting them in.

  18. Jaquix

    Kaye, I saw a different interview where Bill Shorten said pretty much what you advised he should be saying. He must have been caught on the hop on the one you saw. Klaus – you have to realise that Bill Shorten isnt in charge of what/how/when media outlets report what he says. Murdoch sets the pace, the rest follow incl the ABC.

  19. Miriam English

    I’m amazed that there can be any belief in trickle-down economics when you consider all the evidence against it. This inept government doesn’t even seem to pretend anymore that it works. I think this is why they’re so focussed on blaming other people — unions, Muslims, poor “leaners”, dole “bludgers”, single Mums, renewable energy… They have no evidence their policies help (in fact evidence works against them) so, as agents of the very wealthy, they try to distract people instead.

    There’s 12 cookies on a plate, and a CEO, a middle-class worker and a poor person are sitting around the table. The CEO takes 11 cookies and tells the middle-class person that the poor person is going to eat his cookie.

  20. Katte Ahearne

    Thanks, Matters Not. Do we know what prompted Fair Work to consider the matter in the first place? I haven’t been able to pay attention these last fair few days, so my questions are probably about things everyone knows but me.

  21. Matters Not

    Anyone who does any reading knows that there are massive changes on the horizon and while we can’t ‘know’ that future in any detail, we can be fairly certain that technology will feature strongly. The technology now developed is all designed to displace labour. Yet that ‘reality’ is absent from the ongoing political debates.

    Politicians talk about job creation as though that can be achieved by a little tinkering here and there. It can’t. And won’t. And neither should it.

    KA, they considered the matter because Shorten, when he was driving the political bus, requested they do exactly that. Every 4 years.


  22. Matters Not

    The political arrangements we have at the moment are not designed with the future in mind. Rather they are concerned with the here and now. Or at best, a timeline of a parliamentary term. Indeed, there’s no incentive to do otherwise. By and large, the citizens don’t want to know about it. Until it’s too late. Until they are personally crunched by the wheels of time.

    In the 1980s, Barry Jones The Minister for Science and Phillip Adams were responsible for the Commission for the Future. Professor Ian Lowe was CEO and tthey:

    chose the greenhouse effect, as this fatal phenomenon was then known, as our focus. We published documents, convened conferences, imported experts, held meetings in town halls across Australia. There was a dramatic response from scientists and public alike but a negligible reaction from our politicians.

    At the time the problem wasn’t denial. The climate change conspiracy theorists were yet to emerge. Nor was it a question of party-line hostilities—they, too, would emerge much later. Indeed, more concern was shown for the issue on the conservative side. The problem was just that it was early days for anxiety. What the Commission for the Future was shouting about belonged to … the future

    Maybe it’s time for something like that to be resurrected by perhaps the Labor Party so that people can see what’s coming and then take action to create a desirable future rather than simply inherit what those in power make for us.

  23. Terry2


    Under the Fair Work Act the Commission is required to do four yearly reviews : this one on penalty rates is just one review – I assume – of reviews that they will be doing across the board, see section 156 of the FWA :

    Sectio 156 4 yearly reviews of modern awards to be conducted

    Timing of 4 yearly reviews

    (1) The FWC must conduct a 4 yearly review of modern awards starting as soon as practicable after each 4th anniversary of the commencement of this Part.

    Note 1: The FWC must be constituted by a Full Bench to conduct 4 yearly reviews of modern awards, and to make determinations and modern awards in those reviews (see subsections 616(1), (2) and (3)).

    Note 2: The President may give directions about the conduct of 4 yearly reviews of modern awards (see section 582).

    What has to be done in a 4 yearly review?

    (2) In a 4 yearly review of modern awards, the FWC:

    (a) must review all modern awards; and

    (b) may make:

    (i) one or more determinations varying modern awards; and

    (ii) one or more modern awards; and

    (iii) one or more determinations revoking modern awards; and

    (c) must not review, or make a determination to vary, a default fund term of a modern award.

    Note 1: Special criteria apply to changing coverage of modern awards or revoking modern awards (see sections 163 and 164).

    Note 2: For reviews of default fund terms of modern awards, see Division 4A.

    Variation of modern award minimum wages must be justified by work value reasons

    (3) In a 4 yearly review of modern awards, the FWC may make a determination varying modern award minimum wages only if the FWC is satisfied that the variation of modern award minimum wages is justified by work value reasons.

    (4) Work value reasons are reasons justifying the amount that employees should be paid for doing a particular kind of work, being reasons related to any of the following:

    (a) the nature of the work;

    (b) the level of skill or responsibility involved in doing the work;

    (c) the conditions under which the work is done.

    Each modern award to be reviewed in its own right

    (5) A 4 yearly review of modern awards must be such that each modern award is reviewed in its own right. However, this does not prevent the FWC from reviewing 2 or more modern awards at the same time.

  24. Terry2

    Matters Not,

    Bill gates observed recently that as jobs disappear to robots and other electronic functions, they replace people who were taxpayers when they were employed. He said that we must take this into account as 50% of jobs currently done by humans will soon be done by robots : we have to reconfigure how we generate tax income particularly as we are in a race to the bottom globally on corporate taxation.

    Worth thinking about :

  25. Matters Not

    Terry2, yes what Gates is talking about has been occupying the minds of ‘futurists’ for some time. But there’s some conceptual problems that need consideration as well. When does a ‘computer’, for example, become a ‘robot’. Years ago the grocer, with pencil in hand wrote out a bill that detailed what I purchased which was accompanied by his/her mathematical calculations. Did the emergence of the ‘cash register’ displace and deskill some of his/her labour? Now the ALDI store I go to has me selecting, packing, unpacking and collecting my purchases. The attendant has virtually no skill other than to run them past some blinking lights that are read by a computer somewhere. Lots and lots of deskilling there. But perhaps not a ‘robot’ in sight.

    I thing it’s inevitable that technology will displace labour – just like the machines in the past displaced the ‘weavers’. That’s great. But, and it’s one hell of a but, how do we distribute the wealth generated. Any economy needs buyers as well as sellers to function.

    I agree, the race to the bottom re corporate taxation has probably been lost. Compounded by the reality that too many of large corporations pay no tax at all. They are simply able to ‘magic’ themselves into non-existence. And our political leaders have neither the wit, the wisdom, and perhaps more importantly, nor the motivation to do anything about it. It’s such problems that should occupy the day to day political debate, rather than who is holding hands (or glands) with whom. Easily distracted by things that matter not.

  26. Miriam English

    Yes, Matters Not, we definitely need something to try to push the politicians (and the general population) into thinking more about the future. Movies and TV shows and short stories and novels help, but we need something that can directly influence government policy.

    I’ve been very interested in displacement of jobs by computers for about 50 years, ever since I incredulously read a scientific journal article in which futurists worried about it. I was incredulous because they thought the loss of jobs was a bad thing. I think it has potential to usher in a utopia, although if done badly it could be an utter nightmare.

    I saw a couple of TED talks recently which spoke of things which surprised me:

  27. Klaus Petrat

    Matters Not, I almost completely agree with you and yes, technology will replace, even in the medium term, many of the traditional work places, we have come used to. They will be gone.

    But new ones will inevitably be created, in new technologies, using new methods of manufacturing. And Australia is missing out. Because to take part in the new work future, you need

    a) an industry that is investing locally into new technologies, such as battery storage, renewables, 3D printing etc.
    b) an educated work force. We need to educate. We need to educate every child in Australia and that for free.
    c) We need to get rid of obscene C-level executive salaries and Politician entitlements. Particularly the latter, as they are meant to serve us. Of course, legitimate expenses are ok. But double dipping on pension and lucrative jobs, or secret donations and back room deals, must stop. Bring the federal ICAC
    d) We need a complete attitude change, which is generational and won’t happen overnight. This class war fare, which the LNP engages in, has to stop.
    e) Climate change has to be concern number one. Hell, it even made it into Defence Force White Papers.
    f) The Asylum Seekers on Nauru and Manus must be resettled and compensated in Australia now. By all means, turn boats back but don’ incarcerate legitimate refugees.

    and on and on and on. I am starting to ramble. Sorry

  28. Katte Ahearne

    Thanks,Matters Not, Thanks, Terry. It’s been interesting to notice a couple of things while I’ve been reading about the penalty rates issue. Some businesses are refusing to lower rates for Sunday workers. Basically, they can afford not to, because Sunday is the biggest turn-over day of the week, and they don’t want to lose experienced, reliable staff. There has also been the suggestion that a small surcharge could be applied to coffees, lunches etc. on Sundays for hospitality staff. This might work for retail, too.

  29. corvus boreus

    Matters Not,
    The automation of supermarket shopping has now superseded the Audi ‘pack your own bags’ model, which at least still employs checkout operators to scan your purchases and conduct the cash-exchange.
    Nowadays, Coles and Woolworth stores are installing increasing numbers of ‘self-serve’ checkouts, where customers queue up in order to scan and pack their own groceries at a bank of semi-automated machines (with telescreen prompting, cash/card slots and change dispensers), with a single supervising staff member being employed both to give on-the-spot training to confused customers and double as security to guard against the obvious opportunities for pilferage.
    As this model proliferates, yet another entry level employment opportunity for job-seekers diminishes, and the customer receives no discount or recompense for doing a job which supermarkets previously employed staff to do..

  30. helvityni

    corvus boreus, I talked to one of those ladies who stand there to help and observe the customers at the self-serve checkouts, she told me that a lot of thieving goes on.

    I told her that it serves them ( Coles and Woolworths) right for not employing more people at the ordinary cash registers… I think Aldi gets it right.

  31. Kaye Lee

    “the customer receives no discount or recompense for doing a job”

    You are talking to a woman who has had to, every month since July 2000, complete a rather complicated Business Activity Statement for no pay. The government made me a feral accountant and a tax collector. I had to go to lots of training courses and did a tech course (at my own expense) to prepare but every time I rang the tax department with a query they couldn’t answer me. On one notable occasion when I asked about which products would attract GST (since I had to reprice them all and reprogramme our tills) they said, and I quote, “use your best guess.” Who would have guessed that tampons would attract GST but condoms wouldn’t, or that shower caps are GST free, or that some Strepsils are GST free and others aren’t?

    Reduce red tape? HAH! They made my life hell.

  32. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    In one of my many salamander lives, I’ve also driven taxis. That makes me one of the esteemed and especial taxpayers who get to pay GST even when there is absolutely no way I earnt even a quarter of the $75,000 in any financial year as a taxi driver!

    Being the outstanding citizen that I am, I wanted to do what I thought was right and one time I remember paying $300+ dollars in GST, when I had no money in the bank and it left me destitute. I might add that I had not been out all night at the casino or with coke snorting toyboys.

    I was merely a low paid worker trying to make ends meet but I still had to pay GST!

  33. Kaye Lee


    You should not have been paying any GST out of your own pocket? You only pay what you collect from customers?

  34. corvus boreus

    Kaye Lee (7:26),
    Strictly speaking, I was addressing Matters Not, albeit in the form of a theatrical shout made in a public forum.
    I was certainly not suggesting that supermarket customers being behaviorally engineered into involuntarily replacing the duties of checkout operators is the greatest of all the socio-economic injustices currently being perpetrated.
    I merely mentioned that ‘self-service’ trend as another way in which corporations are utilizing new technologies and procedures to increase their profits at the expense of both employment levels and customer service.

    As for the onerous obligation of extra accounting generated for small businesses and sole traders by the implementation of the GST and BAS requirements, I have no personal experience of such (not being a stakeholder in any registered business, with status of employee not employer), but I have heard some stories, and none have exactly been paeans of praise for liberation from the shackles of red tape..

  35. Jennifer Meyer-Smith


    considering the hourly rate averaged out as $13/hour, it was impossible to build up enough money to do as you say in realistic bank balance terms.

  36. Kaye Lee

    I do understand cb. I was just bursting a boil of resentment. On every BAS is a question asking how long it took to complete. I once wrote “ever since the last one”. That outburst caused my form to be spat out and it took me months to recoup what I was owed because we had to wait for a person rather than a computer to read the form. With the cuts to staff at the ATO, ‘persons’ are few and far between. I have learned not to be so indulgent.

  37. Kaye Lee

    JMS your comment makes no sense. You charge customers GST and then pass it on to the government. Your wage is irrelevant. No customers, no GST. Plus you wouldn’t be filling in a BAS as an employee. The person who owns the cab would be doing that.

  38. Jennifer Meyer-Smith


    the taxi industry in Victoria is treated differently coz of the owner of the taxi. That was MY experience.

    Also, whatever the metre said at the end of the day, one would need to take 1/11 away. However, considering the insecure casual hours and long hours on the days of work, such as easy equation was impossible to calculate when one considers the inconvenient needs of interim food and rent for low income earners.

    My point is GST is a fraud also to low income taxi drivers who don’t own their own taxis and don’t have the lucrative, regular shifts.

  39. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    My last comment is attempting to say that earnings on the meter don’t translate in real dollars to the pockets of low paid taxi drivers.

    Many have low earning shifts. All have insecure income. All have no holiday or sick pay.

    To add mandatory GST to that is an abomination coz somehow taxi drivers are treated like bogey people.

  40. Alan Baird

    As a number of people have commented, Labor DOES seem to have trouble constructing an cogent argument against the patently absurd line Mal has been running. You get the idea that when Labor falls across the line when the Libs self-immolate there WON’T be a set of actions in place to redress the serious out of whack economy so that the bottom can actually spend enough to not only get by but to create a bit of demand. The Liberals have done more than any other party to bring this about. It is quite clear that Mal’s mob are prepared countenance the current situation or more satisfactorily for them, considerably worse. If Labor can’t cobble something together at THIS time, they really aren’t ready for government. I’ve had this cynical feeling before and lived to have it borne out.

  41. jimhaz

    Looks like Uber drivers have to pay GST now as well. Maybe it has long been the case of taxi drivers, even though earning the 75k wouldn’t be common.

    Uber tax issues: A tax guide for Uber drivers

  42. Kaye Lee


    Once again, your comments make no sense at all. Of course the amount on the metre does not equate to earnings any more than the amount rung up on any till equates to the earnings of the checkout chick/dude. I have no idea what you are talking about when you say “To add mandatory GST to that is an abomination” when you are talking about someone’s wages. They don’t. Were you leasing the cab?

  43. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    I was simply driving the cab, KL.

    GST for taxi drivers is mandatory. Whether I owned it or was a dog’s body driver in any capacity, some government brain in the Lib/Lab duopoly at some point of time decided that taxi drivers were the greatest rip off artists with their takings/earnings and therefore had to pay GST even if their income was pathetically and substantially low.

  44. Matters Not

    Miriam English re:

    we definitely need something to try to push the politicians (and the general population) into thinking more about the future.

    Agree. : in particular re: ‘Thinking more about the future’.

    But as I said above the politicians, doing their current job, have absolutely no incentive, requirement or whatever to do that. At best, all we can expect is that the politicians, in a moment of weakness, create a statutory authority, charged with the responsibility of having the citizens think about the future – what is possible, what is likely and how possible futures might be attained.

    They did it with the Human Rights Commission, for example, re ‘human rights’ so why not with other statutory authorities with specific designations. As I recall, we have a Future Fund charged (only) with the provision of funds for pensions and the like but no ‘authority’ that canvasses possible, desirable futures? Or are we expected to simply inherit a future that results from economically determined ‘market forces’?

    I hope not.

  45. Matters Not

    Klaus Petrat re:

    But new ones will inevitably be created, in new technologies, using new methods of manufacturing.

    Agree – sort of. Currently, for example. the movement of trains moving ore in the Pilbara is controlled from Perth – a long distance away from the action. But as I see it, that ‘control’ doesn’t have to be based in Australia with award wages and the like, it can just as easily be located in … take your pick.

    But I also strongly agree that we need to take strong, positive action in the ‘education’ sector, broadly defined to include training, upskilling, support for innovation and the like.

    But it will require thinking across the broad spectrum that, simply, isn’t being engaged in. And there’s no incentive for our politicians to do just that. For politicians, it’s all about the here and now. It’s about talking big but thinking small because that’s where the personal rewards are.

  46. Matters Not

    corvus boreus re technology and the the ‘cheating bit’. A little while ago we arrived in a five star hotel in Ankara – nice hotel and all that but it had a mini bar which recorded any ‘movement’ of bottles, cans, chocolates – indeed anything in the fridge – and then recorded same on your bill. I had fun and removed all of the above and then replaced all items in the same locations (there were tags).

    The next morning, I received a very, very expensive ‘bill’ for same; which (superficially) proved we had a massive (and impossible) capacity to consume vast amounts of alcohol in the forms of beer, scotch, wine, raki, ouzo, vodka and the like, eat unreal amounts of sweets, chips, peanuts etc, while at the same time having the resources to replenish the fridge in exactly the same manner as when we arrived.

    While the tour bus was held up for some time, as I pleaded my case, I didn’t pay a cent.

    Sometimes the technology gets it wrong – because it can’t appreciate ‘nuance’. The latest Centrelink fiasco demonstrates that.

  47. Kaye Lee


    “If the driver is an employee, then the driver must not register for GST. The driver is an employee when the driver is not entitled to keep any of the takings and is paid a set amount to drive the taxi. In these limited circumstances, the employer is considered to be the person providing taxi travel and must register for GST.”

    Regardless, any GST paid would be one eleventh of sales minus any input tax credits for fuel and other business purchases. It never comes out of your own pocket. You collect it from the customer on behalf of the government and then remit it.

  48. Jennifer Meyer-Smith


    there are different interpretations regarding taxi drivers. It was drummed into me by the owner of the car I was driving that I was running my own business and I was responsible for GST. You’re right about the GST being part of what the meter reads and working out to 1/11th. As far as I’m concerned, low paid taxi drivers should not be expected to pay GST regardless of what the meter says.

  49. Kaye Lee

    If you were running your own business then you would not be receiving an hourly rate of pay. Once again I stress that you are NOT paying GST. You are passing on the GST paid by the customer. It is NOT coming out of your money.

  50. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Technically you are right, KL, and I am stressing that low paid taxi driver earners should not be responsible for the GST. There should be a cap at the lower end that exempts lower taxi driver earners.

    The hourly rate I referred to was an estimate of the average in a realistic week taking all the different types of shifts and conditions into account. It was not a wage; it was the driver’s proportion of the earnings.

  51. Terry2

    The cute thing that Howard did with the GST was to make “suppliers of Goods & Services” tax collectors for the government. As Kaye notes, the supplier merely collects the tax and passes it on .

    Another clever trick by Howard was that all prices for goods and services had to be inclusive of GST ; any price shown as “plus GST” is unlawful in Australia – you are not meant to notice the GST you are paying.

  52. Kaye Lee

    JMS, paying GST does not make one scintilla of difference to your pay or share of earnings. You say ” low paid taxi driver earners should not be responsible for the GST”. They aren’t. The customer pays it.

  53. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    You’ve made your point, KL.

    Howard’s ‘cute thing’ should not include such an imposition on low earnings workers like taxi drivers, who have limited, low-paid shifts.

    I might also add there should be a minimum wage for such workers especially when they work long hours to earn what they get.

  54. ryan

    australia now has 6.2 trillion in debt almost more then the entire value of our inflated property market howard made the government books look good by moving public debt into private hands with all the associated interest issues.
    before howard got into power our public/private national debt was 1-2 trillion for decades, he more then doubled it and now its 3 times higher then it was 2 decades ago
    how badly do you have to manage a business that despite being the biggest boom in your history you finish boom 3 times more in debt then before boom started ?

  55. nurses1968

    “Howard’s ‘cute thing’ should not include such an imposition on low earnings workers like taxi drivers, who have limited, low-paid shifts.”
    It didn’t.
    It hit the customers,The fares, not the drivers
    I also saw
    Jennifer Meyer-SmithMarch 2, 2017 at 10:30 pm
    the tired old “Lib/Lab duopoly”

    what part did Labor play?

  56. Kaye Lee

    If I have made my point why do you persist in ignoring it and repeating false information?

  57. Kyran

    “Borrow hundreds of billions to spend on war toys which increases GDP whilst contributing nothing to our standard of living.”

    Just on the defence spending aspect, there was an article on ABC that was eye watering in terms of the billions being spent globally on ‘defence’.

    It would seem that the resultant growth in jobs for the foreseeable future will be hospitals, morgues and rebuilding devastated cities. The warehousing of refugee’s may be another growth sector. The sanctioned people trafficking, you know, people swaps, may assuage some consciences in the interim.
    Thank you, Ms Lee and commenters. Take care

  58. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    I am merely stating GST obligations should be exempted for low earnings earners, in this case, taxi drivers.

    If my viewpoint is classified as ”false information’, so be it.

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