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The consummate hypocrite

It’s all over the news that Julia Gillard is considering increasing the Medicare levy by roughly $300 a year to help pay for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). Even before this announcement, Tony Abbott has been telling us that the NDIS is only possible, or plausible, after the Government (presumably his) can return us to a surplus.

When the Gillard Government proposed the Flood Levy in 2011 to assist (mainly) Queenslanders, you may recall that Tony Abbott opposed the levy as he claimed we did not need it as our economy was strong and we could save the money in other ways. He claimed there was no need to inflict the public with another levy.

Thanks to Shane, a fellow author at the Cafe Whispers blog I would like to point out the hypocrisy of his comments in comparison to the ‘levy for everything government’ (Howard’s) he was a member of between 1996 and 2007.

In 1997 our budget deficit was $5.4 billion and a gun buyback levy was imposed as a result of the tragic massacre in Tasmania. While this was a tragedy and the removal of guns fully supported by myself, there was no natural disaster or infrastructure decimation. The levy imposed simply bought back guns people owned. The Levy went from Oct 1996 to Sep 1997. We were in deficit, so OK we needed a levy for a one off event.

In 1999 our budget surplus was $4.3 billion and a Stevedoring Levy was introduced out of ideological determination to break the MUA and Industrial Reform. This levy lasted from 1999 to May 2006. We were in surplus so under Abbott’s rulings this levy should not have been introduced as we had enough money collected as taxes already.

In 2000 our budget surplus was $13 billion and an 11c a litre levy was introduced as a result of ideological determination to deregulate the dairy industry which forced thousand of farmers off the properties to pay them an exit grant. This was supposed to reduce milk prices to the public. It simply reduced milk prices to the farmers sending thousands of them to the wall. This levy was in existence from 2000 until it was abolished by the Rudd Government in 2009. This was an extremely expensive levy placed on the public as milk is a staple. We were in surplus so under Abbott’s rulings this levy should not have been introduced as we had enough money collected as taxes already.

In 2000 we also had the East Timor Levy at a time when our budget was in surplus by $13 billion. We were in surplus so under Abbott’s rulings this levy should not have been introduced as we had enough money collected as taxes already.

In 2001 our budget surplus was $5.9 billion and a levy of $10 per return flight ticket was introduced to compensate workers who lost their entitlements due to the collapse of a privately owned business who did not provide allowance for employee benefits. This levy lasted from Sep 2001 to June 2003. In addition $100 million of the funds raised was used for airport security and nothing to do with Ansett employees. We were in surplus so under Abbott’s rulings this levy should not have been introduced as we had enough money collected as taxes already.

In 2003 our budget was in surplus by $7.4 billion and a 3c per kilo levy on sugar was introduced as a result of ideological determination by the government to deregulate and reform the sugar industry. This levy ran from January 2003 to November 2006. Once again a savage levy on the general public. We were in surplus so under Abbott’s rulings this levy should not have been introduced as we had enough money collected as taxes already.

So while the ‘levy for everything government’ had massive surpluses they slugged us via levies with a summary as follows.

1996: Gun Levy
1997: Gun Levy
1998: No levies
1999: Stevedoring Levy
2000: Stevedoring Levy, Milk Levy, East Timor Levy
2001: Stevedoring Levy, Milk Levy, Ansett Levy
2002: Stevedoring Levy, Milk Levy, Ansett Levy
2003: Stevedoring Levy, Milk Levy, Ansett Levy, Sugar Levy
2004: Stevedoring Levy, Milk Levy, Sugar Levy
2005: Stevedoring Levy, Milk Levy, Sugar Levy
2006: Stevedoring Levy, Milk Levy, Sugar Levy
2007: Milk Levy

In addition, other than the gun buyback and Ansett Levy, the other levies were political ideology deregulation levies. Not one levy was as a result of a social need like the NDIS or a natural disaster like the Queensland floods, both effecting hundreds of thousands of people, but rather ideology busting.

Now Tony, please re convince me of your argument. Or are you still just the consummate hypocrite?

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  1. J.Fraser

    Be aware that “Slick” Abbott does not answer questions.

    Be also aware that “Slick” Abbott treats the Opposition Leaders job as something he has to do in between riding his bike.

    I also note that John Pilger is embarrassing the Liberal News ltd Party (LNP).

    I wonder what Mal Brough has to say / ….. whoops sorry Mal Brough doesn’t say anything either.

  2. Ricky (Tory Torcher)

    so the Prime Minister is calling Abbotts bluff and said she will prepare the legislation, and what did he do shit himself…

  3. molly

    so why don’t the govt. remind the general public about these levys. why do they keep allowing the opposition to run the debate (if that’s what it is??).

  4. Robbie

    Abbott believes that you just say things: true/false or indifferent doesn’t matter: just say it: people will believe you (just like his mentor Dr Joseph Goebels observed, Minister of Propaganda in the Nazi Government of the Third Reich). The sad thing is that people are not very sharp in their thinking, but don’t despair. People like what the Labor Government has on offer. Good ideas! Like the NDIS; NBN; a price on Carbon; Mining Tax; Gonski reforms. They will also remember the first real pension increase for pensioners of all sorts. Tony Abbott would like the NDIS to go through Parliament now rather than have it as an election issue for obviou reasons. People broadly support it and might choose Julia Gillard over Tony Abbott. Abbott has very little on offer, which will become more obvious with time.

  5. Fed up

    Russell Broadbent. Capital Hill, complaining today, that Abbott had to come out and address what the PM is saying. Seems, she has said something every two hours. Not too sure what he sees wrong in that.

    That bike cannot be getting much of a workout. In fact Abbott said he will be making announcements tomorrow.,

    Appears that the PM might just be the best poker player.

    Wonder what the answer tomorrow will be. He says he supports NDIS.

    Surely it is not hard to decide whether one supports a modest levy or not.

    The levy is not due to begin until July, 2014. Rest of money around 2018. That is five budgets and two terms away.

  6. Michael Taylor

    Molly, even if they did, what are the chances of it being reported in the media?

  7. Möbius Ecko

    Wouldn’t be so sure Migs. Australia’s previous levies

    And Channel 10 The Project really hoed into Abbott this evening having a go at some of his bullshit statements but especially his bike stunt.

    The images of Abbott with a bed ridden young disabled person whilst pretending to be caring and concerned were especially cringe worthy and even topped the vomitness of his white knight save the fallen bike rider stunt of the other day.

    When Channel 10 starts making fun of Abbott and pointing out his bullshit then surely it go only go down for Abbott from here.

  8. Michael Taylor

    Well I’m gobsmacked, Mo.

  9. andyrob65

    What shits me to the core is that with all the surpluses they had, they squandered them. FFS, by NOW, we should have better broadband, better education, better health etc etc. But they sat on it. Yes it may have helped us though the GFC (but it is a fallicly according to LNP) but if it wasn’t for the current government spending, within our means, this country would be far worse off. Geez, AAA ratings, lowest interest rates in how many years, extremely low inflation……. We, as a country, are on fire but don’t let MSM or the LNP come out with FACTS.

  10. andyrob65

    oooohhhh really. Must find that. Love the project!

  11. Möbius Ecko

    A Howard levy you missed, Medicare levy surcharge, and he had a lot of them hidden away as government charges and fees.

    Don’t forget Abbott is proposing a levy to fund his paid parental scheme.

    Do a Google search for Levies from Times Past and see the plethora of news outlets publishing some of Howard’s past levies and Abbott’s hypocrisy.

  12. Möbius Ecko

    By the way Howard’s plethora of levies, fees and charges were not implemented to fund a need or shortfall but purely to protect a surplus, and that was their stated reason at the time.

    Yet even when a levy was introduced and a surplus came in much higher than predicted Howard kept his levy and sometimes for longer than originally stated, purely for the revenue and not for any beneficent reason, except for bragging rights of having ever growing surpluses.

  13. Fed up

    There is much said about Labor;s contribution to the structural imbalance. They start off with the stimulus spending. I am confused in this. Is not spending that brings about structural imbalances on going.

    Yes, Rudd, keeping his electoral promises to continue cutting taxes, as Howard did, is ongoing. Yes, that has not helped.

    All spending during the stimulus package, was targeted, and all had finished by dates. None was ongoing.

    All stimulus spending has lone worked its way out of the system. Labor has made cuts to old programs, when bringing new. Labor has practiced fiscal Consolidation for years.

    The extra spending such as baby bonuses, introduced by Howard and Costello, are all ongoing.

  14. hannahquinn

    Throughout today, Abbott has been answering questions on his plans for #NDIS and/or if he supports the levy by repeating endlessly what the Prime Minister announced.

  15. Ricky (Tory Torcher)

    I watched Daryl Melham debate Coleman today live on Abc radio in Hurstville. Coleman started using playbook rhetoric and Daryl pulls him up with ” i couldn’t give a stuff about a deficit, i care about jobs,,dont hide behind weasel words and smashed figures back at him. It was priceless and got rousing applause. Then the NDIS stement came out and he run like a rabbit.

  16. andilee

    I’m assuming that “Tony, are you a hypocrite?” is a rhetorical question. As would be other questions, such as “Tony, are you a complete fool?”, “Tony, do you hate women and people from non-Anglo/European background” or “Tony, does your understanding of economics compare favourably with that of the average two-year-old?”

  17. Berny

    Anyone else spot this;

    “In 2000 we also had the East Timor Levy at a time when our budget was in surplus by $13 billion.”….. “In 2001 our budget surplus was $5.9 billion”


  18. Michael Taylor

    Must have gone towards buying votes, Berny.

  19. Möbius Ecko

    By the Timor is challenging the Timor Sea Gas ripoffdeal done by Howard/Downer.

    Rack up another Howard failure. They are mounting up and methinks history will show Howard was a failure on so many fronts, only being successful in raising racial fear and marginalising those who couldn’t defend themselves to win elections.

  20. Möbius Ecko

    That should be, By the “way” East Timor.

  21. Fed up

    Mobius, another mess for the PM to sort out. Hope we do a fairer deal this time. I am sure this country can afford to do the right thing.

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