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Wave a flag and see who shoots

Scott Morrison has told the Murdoch press he is keen on doing a deal with the states where the federal government gets one third of the GST in return for the states getting one tenth of income tax.

No wonder he wants to raise the GST and offer a sweetener of income tax cuts – it’s a win win for him.

Whatever happened to making things simpler? This could get very complicated about who gets how much.

In typical Liberal Party fashion, this has been leaked to the Australian before it’s been discussed with the Premiers. Wave a flag above the parapet and see who fires.

The premiers will have little choice but to agree as they have to find some way of getting funds to replace the gutting of health and education funding carried out by the Abbott/Hockey debacle and Morrison won’t agree to any other suggestions like raising the medicare levy. He has effectively held the states to ransom.

There has been no modelling done on this. It has the potential to create a nightmare in the future for any changes in income tax with states unlikely to support any decrease to their funding through rate cuts.

Would it be too much to ask that the government actually gets modelling done before they start discussing alternatives? This policy by polling is ridiculous.

Scott has always relied on his army of media spin merchants but now finds himself in a portfolio that actually takes some understanding, expertise, and hard work. The man who dislikes being questioned seems way out of his depth and unwilling to take advice from the experts. His blustering scattergun approach is being increasingly exposed as hot air with no forethought or cohesive direction.

I am starting to think that Scott’s just not that bright. Combined with his naturally aggressive dog-with-a-bone attitude, I doubt his term as Treasurer will be a stellar one.



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  1. Sen Nearly Ile

    spot on kaye, his drivel answers show he is a weaker link than robb and they are likely to be exposed on murdoch press by labor oops silly me exposed on the ABC by little billy.
    Surely all health issues would be finished by putting the 2% levy on all earning before deductions. If we put it on all company earnings before deductions and on private school income wow health and education flush.

  2. Matters Not

    leaked to the Australian

    The Australian is the new Daily Telegraph now that Paul Whittaker is the new Editor.

    While The Daily Telegraph, as the favoured drop’ point was useful, it didn’t have the national ‘reach’. It’s all changed with the appointment of Whittaker. The Libs’ editor of choice.

    Chris Dore may have just accepted a hospital pass by following Whittaker.

  3. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Has anybody ever heard why he won’t reduce super tax concessions?

  4. Terry2

    Why did the phrase ‘robbing Peter to pay Paul’ come to mind. Or perhaps ‘shuffling deckchairs on the Titanic’

    Is this the best they can leak !

  5. brickbob

    You are correct,Morrison is clearly out of his depth,as he was in immigration and social services and every thing else he has tried,just look at the ”” Where the bloody hell are you? campaign,an unmitigated diaster,the man is just plain stupid.”””

  6. Matters Not

    could get very complicated about who gets how much.

    Indeed! This notion of changes to tax arrangements is the ‘tar baby’ that Morrision is desperate for the States to ‘touch’, in particular, Victoria and Queensland whose governments were elected on promises of no change to GST. I know that Annastacia Palaszczuk hasn’t the ‘political capital’ to entertain any ‘back down’.

    As for:

    There has been no modelling done on this

    I find that hard to believe at both the State and Federal level. But if the detail hasn’t been calculated at this point, then it will be sliced and diced by very capable public servants with all types of scenarios entertained as soon as a firm proposal is put.

    As you say, this is a very big change which will require much consideration and certainly not to be implemented until after the next Federal election.

  7. Terry2

    “In the strongest hint yet that the Turnbull government plans to swap income tax for more goods and services tax, the Treasurer Scott Morrison has promised that any switch won’t increase the total tax take.”

    Clearly, I’m no economist but does any of this make any sense or are they overdoing the Christmas Cheer in Canberra ?

  8. Florence nee Fedup

    Better idea Morrison. Allow the states to set rate of income that you collect on their behalf.

    Something fishy about say they can have a share of income tax. A tax that you intend to cut.

    States have responsibility under constitution to provide services. States are sovereign governments in their own right.

    States should be DIRECTLY responsible for the raising the money they spend.

    The Federal government should have no role to play.

    States originally had powers to collect income tax. They handed them over to the Federals during the war.

    Since then the Federal government has used the situation to interfere in states matters over time.

  9. z

    the substance of Tax Reform is a deal between Scott Morrison and states leaders. they can put anyone as tax objection but they are all have forgot to look into the 600 corporate paid no tax in year 2014 .

  10. Kaye Lee

    Why don’t they just give the states back the $80 billion they took from them? Apparently defence has more money than they can poke a stick at. Cut their budget by $8 billion a year for the next ten years and make them hatch that nest egg for important things rather than strike force fleets of submarines and fighter jets that may arrive in a decade or two….or not. By the time we build twelve submarines drone and robotic technology will have made them obsolete and we only really use them for war games anyway.

  11. Kaye Lee

    In 2013–14, taxes on income represented 57% of total taxation revenue for all levels of government and taxes on provision of goods and services, including the goods and services tax (GST), represented 24%.

    If GST went up by 50%, and even more if they broaden the base, and it was accompanied by a cut in income tax rates, it seems to me that the states would be worse off if they gave up a third of an increased GST for tenth of a decreased income tax take.

    It seems so pointless.

  12. Kaye Lee

    A very inaccurate exercise, but assume the take from GST went up by 50% and income tax stayed the same due to whatever compensation cuts they are considering (ignoring other taxation revenue)…..

    GST = 36/112×100= 32%

    Income tax = 57/112×100 = 51%

    One third of GST = 10.7%
    One tenth of income tax = 5.1%

    I hope the premiers do their sums before they consider this deal.

  13. miriamenglish

    “Watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat. Nothing up my sleeve…”

  14. miriamenglish

    Maybe Morrison thinks the state premieres are as stupid as he is…
    And maybe now we’ll find out if they are…

  15. Graeme Henchel

    Morrisons ability is in inverse proportion to his own inflated opinion of himself. He is a very weak link and one that labor should target. He can not hide behind “on water matters” though he is trying to avoid scrutiny with the “everything is on the table line”. The reality is the coalition’s agenda is still outsourced from the IPA and Neo -cons planted in treasury, the productivity commission and fair work. He does not have the ability to have any genuine ideas himself. He is just a parrot and it won’t be long before his fate is the same as the parrot in the Monty Python sketch.

  16. kerri

    I agree Kaye Lee! Scott is simply not that bright! When you look at his history? The whole “where the bloody hell are ya?” debacle was merely a warning shot to his ill judgement and calamitously out of touch bully boy tactics.
    He will not suceed as Treasurer. He hasn’t a fracking clue! All he knows is punishment! Fire and brimstone! Frack off and don’t ask questions! I’m in charge and it’s none of your business! I really want the media to hound and hound and hound this pretentious arsehole until he cracks big time. Somewhere under the bluster is the REAL Scott Morrison, and it is not a pretty sight!

  17. Peter f

    Just imagine where we would be if these fools had been in charge when we were faced with the GFC.

  18. Kaye Lee

    My favourite Scott Morrison clip was him fronting up to his weekly press non-briefing when there were reports of the boat load of Tamil asylum seekers at sea.

    QUESTION: So could you clarify sir for us at what point does an event become a significant event involving a boat on the water?

    SCOTT MORRISON: When you see me here standing and reporting on it.

    QUESTION: And you are standing here reporting.

    SCOTT MORRISON: I am not. I am saying there is no such report for me to provide to you today. There is therefore no significant event for me to report at sea.

    — Sky News, 28th June, 2014

  19. Matters Not

    Read the following written ‘distillation’:

    that Scott’s just not that bright … he is a weaker link … out of his depth, as he was in immigration … man is just plain stupid … are as stupid as he is … ability is in inverse proportion to his own inflated opinion of himself …

    Sorry, but Morrison is a ‘political standout’, and has been for years. He is not stupid, He is a successful politician writ large. Remember that Rudd et all said the ‘turn back the boats’ policy was a ‘crock’. He proved otherwise. ‘Egg on faces all round’, so much so, Labor’s now adopted same.

    Not only successful at the ‘macro’ level but also successful at the ‘micro’ (interpersonal) level as well. Remember how he sucked in Ricky Muir described by refugee lawyer David Manne as, this was a victory for “head-lock politics”, pure and simple.

    As a political operator, Morrison is in the highest bracket. He should never be underestimated. He does his ‘homework’. Big time. He is not floating taxation changes without being aware of the longer game.

    Further, he is not just a ‘tactician’ but also a ‘strategist’, vitally interested in the long term, at least when it comes to his own place in history. Barring a ‘disaster’ he is the next leader of the Liberal Party and Prime Minister in waiting. And it’s certainly not beyond him to cause a disaster for Turnbull.

  20. Kaye Lee

    Matters Not,

    ” But if the detail hasn’t been calculated at this point, then it will be sliced and diced by very capable public servants with all types of scenarios entertained as soon as a firm proposal is put. ”

    This is what frustrates me so much. What is the point in discussing changes to the GST is you haven’t worked out your compensation package yet? What is the point of discussing how you will slice up the pie without detailed modelling?

    The article I read said “Treasury officials are reportedly working on the details of the plan, The Australian reported. The leaking of such details suggests the government may be interested in the voting public’s response.”

    Why leak to the Murdoch press before you have the information? This is policy by polls rather than enlightened leadership. Reform? What a joke! It appears to me they have no idea of what they are doing – or worse still, they have a very good idea of where they want to end up but have to pay consulting firms to produce reports with very limited terms of reference to give the result you are looking for. I think they got rid of public servants that would give fearless advice.

  21. miriamenglish

    Peter f, yes. I imagine Greece would have been able to point to Australia as an example of the destructive nature of neo-conservative policies showing what not to do.

  22. Matters Not

    What is the point in discussing changes to the GST is you haven’t worked out your compensation package yet? What is the point of discussing how you will slice up the pie without detailed modelling?

    policy by polls rather than enlightened leadership

    The point is ‘to put it on the agenda’. To create a ‘common sense’ that it’s an ‘important issue’. An ‘imperative’ that must be discussed. To control and structure the ‘debate’. And so on.

    As for:

    Treasury officials are reportedly working on the details of the plan

    Have no doubt that is the case. Morrison knows the broad outcome of what he wants and now the ‘experts’ are providing the ‘how’.

    As for consulting firms, they haven’t the expertise re the ‘how’ (haven’t the figures, the models and the like), they are employed to advise on the ‘sell’.

    By the way, KL, as you would be well aware, relying on articles from the Murdoch press, is always fraught with difficulties.

  23. Kaye Lee

    “relying on articles from the Murdoch press, is always fraught with difficulties”

    A strange thing happened a while ago. I cannot access any articles in Murdoch online papers. I didn’t do it, so I guess they must have, or it was divine intervention. Same applies to his regional papers. I can only read articles by people writing about articles in the Murdoch press.

    Strangely I feel no loss other than no longer being able to check the quotes for myself.

  24. Ricardo29

    Matters not, I think you give MoMoMo too much credit in suggesting he’s looking at the long game. I see him as a bully boy without the intellect for the task ahead. The idea of him as PM is anathema, but then the idea of any of them as PM, ditto. I wonder why it is that the Australian, apparently, has so much clout, its readership is falling and anyway is only about the equivalent of a small city. If people stopped quoting them, they would continue to slowly fizzle and die, sooner rather than later. Those of my friends who still read it, are down to Saturday only and that’s because of the magazine and Nicki Gemmell. I can’t access any posts I receive through Facebook because it tells me I have to subscribe. In their dreams.

  25. Kaye Lee


    I used to get the subscription blocker. Now I get an error message saying the page cannot be accessed. I found it interesting.

  26. Matters Not

    Ricardo29, I hate Morrison and what he stands for with a passion. But he is very, very successful at what he does, at least in the political sense.

    Counter examples would be helpful.

    Seems to me that he stopped the boats. He was promoted by Abbott. He supported Abbott in the ‘spill’. His loyalty to Abbott is no longer a question’ At the same time Turnbull gave him a significant promotion.

    It’s a contest between Morrison and Turnbull who was the ‘Politician’ of the year with Turnbull (the experienced) winning in the short term while Morrison (the relative amateur) now the power in waiting.

  27. John

    Cancel the F35 order, it’s a dog anyway.

  28. guest

    Matters not,

    The Stop the Boats policy is a “crock”. Remember how the Coalition was very coy before the event about what they meant by “turn back” as distinct from “tow back”. It was a military operation which hid behind the secrecy of “operational matters”. They put refugees into little rescue craft and pointed them back towards Indonesia. Indonesia is not impressed. They did tow them back as well and even entered Indonesian sovereign zones. Indonesia was not impressed. They paid smuggler crews to take the refugees back. No one is really impressed with that. Oz is a signatory to the Refugee convention. They even attacked boats which were not heading for Oz. And have they really stopped the boats?

    As well we must remember that the Stop the Boats policy is linked to the Pacific Solution. It is a policy which punishes refugees for daring to hope for refuge. It is meant to deter people smugglers but punishes the victims. The Coalition decries the presence of children, yet there are still children in detention. And then there is the criminal harm done to people who are trapped in a place where they are too easily exploited. There are questions also about the contracts given to carry out this imprisonment and monies involved, enough tospeed up processing in Indonesia bring these people to Oz in a humane way. Money that could be better spent. Look at the fiasco of Cambodia.

    Morrison was the minister for this disgraceful affair. And we can see how well Dutton is performing in this portfolio. No clue. Morrison has the mental attitude which looks down on vulnerable people. No sign of compassion for foreigners. They are infidels, non-believers – unless of course they are Christians from Syria.

    The man is supercilious and evasive. He struggles with questions in Question Time, treating questions with disdain, launching into mockery and a cloud of muddle – or retreating into aloof silence.

    So why release brief details about an important policy at a time when people are going about celebrating the Festive Season? Why not choose a more appropriate time and deliver the announcement himself. Not got the ticker?

    Morrison is a dangerous man of the Christian right.

  29. Matters Not

    guest, I happen to agree with all you write. But I was not talking about ‘morality’ above, I was talking ‘politics’ – whatever it takes and all that.

    Morrison knows that he can get away with almost anything, so he does. He’s been ‘over the top’ on any number of occasions but without apparent political damage. He’s a living, breathing reincarnation of a politician as described by Niccolò Machiavelli who:

    emancipated politics from theology and moral philosophy. He undertook to describe simply what rulers actually did and thus anticipated what was later called the scientific spirit in which questions of good and bad are ignored, and the observer attempts to discover only what really happens. (Joshua Kaplan, 2005)

    But, he, like Abbott, is disliked intensely by many, but not all, women.

  30. guest

    Matters Not,

    That Morrison is a dangerous man of the right is the reason “leftie” Turnbull is keeping him close at hand. They have obviously made a deal.

    But Morrison’s ambitions go beyond the sinful, temporal world of Oz politics; he has his eyes on the eternal kingdom. He glows with evangelical zeal.

    Perhaps women like that clean-shaven look.

  31. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Any sane woman would loathe Scott Morrison as much as I do.

    I suppose I will concede Snotty is a successful politician in the Machiavellian sense but what good is that in the big picture?

    As idealistic as I might sound, there always must be consensual perception and acceptance of what the community is prepared to be identified by. The community can only be manipulated so far until it too can smell its own stink.

    Snotty is one example of the putrid smell when ethics and morals in politics and policy making are subordinated by greed, poor political representation and lust for power.

  32. Paul Murchie

    how about Real People Don’t Shit Through Their Teeth at Yous ? Dr. Finkels tells us that there’s little hope for Malcomb, as
    there was not for Mr. Bishop (or his Transvestitist Brother) or, for that matter, what’s-it-called, The Failure, the EPO GIMP …

    from Alan Davies *, the IPA’s 75 point LNP Policy Dictate gives some indication of the “direction” that the DESTRUCTIONS are
    still to take.

    7) Return income taxing powers to the states
    34) Legislate a cap on government spending and tax as a percentage of GDP
    35) Legislate a balanced budget amendment which strictly limits the size of budget deficits and the period the federal
    government can be in deficit
    41) Introduce a special economic zone in the north of Australia including (a) Lower personal income tax for residents
    (b) Significantly expanded 457 Visa programs for workers, and
    (c) encourage the construction of dams
    44) Introduce a single rate of income tax with a generous tax-free threshold
    45) Cut company tax to an internationally competitive rate of 25 per cent

    * []

    without going very far into it (in light of the defunding of Social Services to the States, the continued back-door attacks on Medicare and the Refusal to fund the last two and most critical years of GONSKI), the proposed GST hikes (broadened base and a Tax Increase of 5% which would reportedly raise $46 Billion in revenue, 50% of which would be spent “compensating” the most adversely affected, and part of the remainder of which would “flow” to the States, but NOT to be used as a means of addressing Federal Defunding of State Social Services), it could seem as though the GST Distraction is being used as a Trojan Horse for # “7) Return income taxing powers to the states”.

    as with most of the LNP “implementations” of IPA Dictates, the outcome has been Deliberate Wreckage rather than “actual
    accomplishment” … although that in itself says quite a lot. (to be continued …)

  33. madeleinekingston

    Oh Good Lord not Scott Morrison again? He with an Ego of inflated proportion?

    He is not worth the effort. He will self-destroy without help. No understanding as former Minister for Immigration; made a global fool of himself; then tried to sort out Social Security; and now attempting to perform as Federal Treasurer. Not a bloody clue.

    What is more PM Malcolm Turnbull who appears to be posing as a sheep for all his perceived charm and alleged salesmanship, lacks the natural insight and leadership that one might expect of someone with his alleged training and experience. He deserves all he gets and so does his divided party. As to the remnants of the Old Guard stuck in the Dark Ages; regrettably on all sides of politics, what can one say?

    The Lovely Annabel Crabb may have done her best to promote both the PM and the Treasurer in the best light possible in her ABC Kitchen Cabinet program, arriving with wicker baskets of gourmet delights to augment the home-cooked meals of politicians aiming to present their “softer-side, but the general public are not always easily fooled.

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