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The Coalition governs for those that have, and the have-nots are left far behind

A problem exists, and a plan is devised to fix the problem. Generally speaking, both sides think it works well, except down the track it is found that one could drive a truck through the rules, and companies do.

It is called “JobKeeper” and is designed to hold onto the link between employer and employee during the pandemic. When the rorting of the rules is noticed, the public becomes angry when companies decide to retain the taxpayer’s money they have been given.

The Labor Party also becomes angry and insists that the parties doing the rorting be exposed by the Tax Office.

The haves are delighted – when their accountants inform them that they haven’t broken the rules – and are entitled to keep the money.

The man who sees the world through the prism of his cash registers, Gerry Harvey of Harvey Norman fame, keeps a staggering $22 million is among the worst, but who knows. The government has told the Taxation Office not to reveal those companies who have kept the money. Keep them in the dark seem to be the call.

All because in their rushed need to put the JobKeeper plan in place, they failed to add a little clause that may have said that they would have to pay the money back in the event of any anomalies occurring.



The double standard comes in when 12,000 people have been issued welfare debts worth a total of almost $33m due to JobKeeper payments, as revealed by Guardian Australia this week.

One such person identified as Jan Raabe and quoted by The Guardian, said:

“I’m just a little person, I don’t have a very large income,” she said. “I don’t own my house. When I heard that certain churches and Harvey Norman and many other people pocketed millions, I feel it is disgusting they just won’t pay it back.

“Why are they allowed to get away with it? Why don’t they have to pay it back?”

Nor did she understand why large companies and non-profits who had projected a loss to claim jobkeeper but then turned a profit, and in some cases paid out dividends or executive bonuses, were not being chased by the government in the same way.

Those with a will, or should I say a moral line in their accountancy principles which have said they will pay the money back include Adairs, Toyota, Rebel Sports, Super Cheap Auto, BFC, Nik Scali, and Dominoes.

Those who have greedily accepted your money are listed in this article by Matthew Elmas in The New Daily.

The Federal Opposition has withdrawn its support for changes that would have required companies to reveal how much JobKeeper funding they received, however:

“Labor initially supported the amendments from independent Senator Rex Patrick after it was revealed at least four-point-six-billion-dollars in JobKeeper support went to businesses that recorded profits.”

Nobody is disputing the timely release of this policy and its effectiveness. However, what is disputed is why the government isn’t demanding that the JobKeeper money taken from the public purse be put back in the same way they are asking ordinary people to do.

The insipid answers they give don’t cut it with the many Australians who are outraged. Indeed, transparency is of the utmost importance in government, as are business ethics and morality. Still, in all fairness, Labor couldn’t put it ahead of families and businesses, who are hurting incredibly.

There will be many who disagree with that decision but Tanya Plibersek has assured supporters that Labor is “still committed” to naming businesses that profited from JobKeeper, despite voting down amendment, she told Patricia Karvelas on RN Drive.

Although I find it hard to agree with, the last thing we need in today’s COVID climate is the side attraction of two parties having a philosophical fight over who is ripping off the people.

Let me make a final point. Finance Minister Simon Birmingham rather gratuitously said that:

“We don’t think it’s appropriate to create a circumstance where now they are vilified with some sort of pretence that they weren’t eligible when they were eligible.”

The straightforward and unspun answer to this is that had they drawn up proper legislation, they wouldn’t have been in those circumstances.

My thought for the day

Economics and society are so inextricably interwoven that we cannot ignore the human cost in our decision making. Conservatives should consider that.

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  1. BB

    Nobody should be surprised there are different rules for rich people and different rules for the poor, that nothing ever changes.

    The Golden Rule is a moral which says Treat others as you would like them to treat you. That is what it is supposed to mean.

    Ha ha ha. Welcome to reality folks. What the Golden Rule really means is, Those that own the gold make the rules

  2. Josephus

    At the next election these points must be made again and again. Solutions made by ethical lawyers and companies need to be cited and their suggestions made public. Enough of rorting our taxes.

  3. James Cook

    To paraphrase Anatole France … The laws apply equally to rich and poor in that they prevent either class from sleeping under bridges, begging in the street, and stealing bread.
    Seems appropriate here.

  4. Matthew Symnott

    It is easier for this government to bully into submission less fortunate members of society, their number is large and they are less likely to put up a fight, (witness the disgrace of Robodebt), than the wealthy among us who are more likely to possess the means and the will to resist government threats. Not that they come under threat, that cohort are more likely to vote conservative so are a protected species. Easier to extract huge sums from the underclass and powerless segment.

  5. ajogrady

    The modern conservative is engaged in one of man’s oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.”

  6. David Stakes

    Alot more will be clawed back from the little people if they are returned next year, you have been warned.

  7. Pete Petrass

    Consider there are about 11,000 people being chased for overpayments under robodebt 2.0, and only a few dozen companies that received jobkeeper and turned profits. Since they have no issue chasing 11,000 then how on earth can they justify not chasing a few dozen, especially when the optics on this are horrendous???

  8. pierre wilkinson

    “Indeed, transparency is of the utmost importance in government, as are business ethics and morality.”
    Sorry John, someone forgot to tell our government that, or perhaps Scotty lost the memo?

  9. Mr Bronte ALLAN

    Sadly, the fucking lying COALition mob & now, even Labor, do not want to chase any of these companies who did not pay back any of the monies they were handed by the government! I originally thought that it was the liberal lot who were not chasing these monies, but now it appears that the Labor lot are also unconcerned about recouping any of these monies either! WTF?? I always thought that at least Labor would be on the “little peoples” side, but not now! Are there ANY largish companies who DO have a conscience? It seem not, bugger! So much for “fair & equitable” treatment by ANY of the major Federal Parties, lets just get as much money as we can from the long suffering bloody taxpayers! BASTARDS the lot of them!

  10. Lawrence S. Roberts

    The Labor Party are part of the problem, Mr Bronte. Either they wish to lose the next election or hope they will get a term and a half to siphon off whatever is left.
    Rex Patrick seems to be the opposition at the moment. He’s working his way backwards through coalition misdeeds until he arrives at wheat for oil and Saddam Hussein. He may well find a cowering accountant looking for a pencil and sharpener and a silver tailed South Australian sipping G&T’s in a bunker somewhere beyond Burke. The corruption seems endemic at the moment. I’m wondering if we should bring back capital punishment for miscreant politicians on the theory that it will encourage the others.

  11. BB

    Why alternative truths? is a brilliant article and if you haven’t read it, do so, because otherwise you are missing out.

    Which has inspired me to pull out my soapbox. I make no apologies, in fact I’m feeling really pissed off with certain people.

    Labor is not the government at this time, people need to remember that. To be able to effect any change Labor needs to be the government. But if Labor say yes, they get wedged, if Labor say no, they get wedged, what are Labor to do to appeal to enough people to get their vote and form government? Do people seriously want another 3 years of Morrison &co? Wake up please and consider all the adverse comments we hear about Labor are reminiscent of the underhand tactics of the L/NP… Kill Bill, Juliar is a witch, Kevin is this and that, Albo is weak and ineffectual, bla bla bla, etc.. So what do people expect? For the Greens to form government, that would be nice, but on only 10% of the vote it can’t happen, although I do wish that the Greens and Labor would bury whatever hatchets, as together they can easily roll the L/NP, but common sense is a rare sense these days. That all the Independents will all somehow magically come together to oust the L/NP? Again pigs will fly. So the L/NP along with the insidious collusion of the MSM, Murdoch &co, Costello, etc., etc., and helped by duplicitous or/and willfully ignorant naïve bloggers and other silly stupid morons, continue the avalanche of negative propaganda about Labor, white anting Labor, casting aspersions, knowing full well that the only party big enough to take government off the L/NP and show Morrison the exit door is Labor. That’s the reality folks, so wake up! Put the L/NP LAST when voting at the next Federal elections. Really what I am saying needs to be said, loudly and clearly, and I make no bones about it, I am so totally fed up with reading little snippy remarks about Labor. So, if folks have any sense at all put Labor 1st, or the greens 1st, giving each your 2nd preference, followed by independents 3rd, 4th, 5th, etc., etc.. Your choice ok, but vote wisely this time. Don’t be fooled like last time with propaganda by pseudo rich fat bastards, eg Palmer. Please folks, stop with all the bullshit about Labor, because at this rate Australia will end up with the L/NP for a 4th term and the damage they do then will be horrific, compared with the crap they have dished out so far, we ain’t seen nothing yet of the real destruction that the L/NP will do if they remain in government! Neoliberalism is a dying beast, time it got the final chop! Show your support for Labor, post comments that are positive!

    I wish that we had a different form of Australian government, maybe a Republic? A topic for genuine discussion, that includes all people of all colour, races and creed, a truly honest egalitarian government, with honest politicians who are there for their constituents, not just to feather their own nests, and also a truly secular government, we don’t need all the hypocrisy that comes with religion, priests in frocks raping kids, the churches a haven for pedophiles, all tax free, the crap that is the ‘lords prayer’ before parliament sits, FFS, I am so sick of all the never ending bullshit. But sad to admit, realistically at this time and place in the history of Australia it is all wishful thinking, and won’t be happening in the foreseeable future, at least I don’t think it will happen in my lifetime, I do try to remain an optimist, but it sure ain’t easy with all the hoodwinked voters we have at present, so Australia needs to elect a party that can give us the best of all possible worlds now, take climate change seriously, treat less advantaged citizens with respect, not austerity and to do away with stupid senseless bureaucratic hoops to jump through….
    And it sure ain’t the Liberal party, Morrison has proved himself as a total fraud, a failure, the L/NP only care for their mates.

    As Gough would have us all remember.. It’s Time

  12. wam

    Lying by using a truth, lord, is accepted normal these days. It give the casual listener the choice of accepting the truth or the lie. The secret is allusion to make the hearer/reader/viewer think beyond the lie to the truth and accept the lie as truth. Conservatives are pragmatic and take no cognizance of collateral damage. Labor conservatives are shocked by such attitudes because they are not of the end justifies the means types.(the loonies are, lord)
    good rave BB but why do the loonies escape your ire? You are like the animal rights mob who are so self righteous but don’t consider the fish on a hook as abuse. Hypocrites in extreme.

  13. BB

    Well thanks wam, a good rave eh, kind of you to say so.

    Please clarify whom you refer to as loonies. Such a vague term.
    Maybe an attempt at being disingenuous, no surely not… lol.

    You’re not talking about yourself by any chance are you?

    Well guess we are all a fish of some kind and all at the end of somebodies hook eh…

    Humans are carnivores not just herbivores, and fish are on the menu.

    We are all some kind of a hypocrite if it comes to that. I read somewhere that plants have feelings. 😉

    Wasn’t so long ago that cannibalism was normal in some cultures, and somewhere maybe some still indulge?
    So Lying by using a truth, lord, is accepted normal these days.

    I ponder what exactly is normal these days? Not cannibalism though….
    The causal listener, as opposed to the discerning listener wam?

    And do you consider yourself wam as exempt from also being labeled self righteous?

    anyway wam, I trust you have a good night’s sleep ok… It’s good to have a clean conscience.

  14. wam

    thanks BB have another read of 10:25 and imagine if you have left any pertinent group out??? The loonies is a term for a party that I respected for their integrity, principles and honesty. When pragmatic decisions compromised honesty and principles and they chose to support the rabbott, ruin a fabulous PM and give unlimited cash to the government, my support waned. When I read the rationalising to support those decisions it waxed into loud objections exacerbated by 9 seat policies.
    As the son of a whiting fisher in the 40s and a long time amateur fisher, I have little respect for the modern loonies who rave about caged chooks and live export but not fish
    A good rave is fabulous but it would be better if it had other truths. Did you support the death of climate action in 2009? 2010 blackmail and 2015 no limit to cash? I sleep the sleep of the honest teacher who speaks truth unless shown to be wrong. ps John Haly’s post was excellent and well beyond this little black duck but I couldn’t resist having a little bet before my efforts here..

  15. BB

    No wam, I’m not playing guess where the donkey’s tail goes! You have your opinion, and I have mine. 🙂

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