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We’ve been taken for a ride

By Terry OBrien

The LNP, so called conservatives, bought themselves many terms in office on the back of a con job; lower taxes. Using peoples’ seemingly innate dislike of taxes, they have controlled the economic, and therefore political, agenda billing themselves as the superior economic managers and the party of lower taxes, voters have taken that at face value, not questioning the validity of their claims.

While they have cut taxes, they have commensurately cut services.

Labor governments by contrast, the conservatives tell us, are high taxing governments. They have all these expensive programs and need to hike up taxes to pay for them. That’s what Labor governments do, they say.

We are constantly being told that governments can’t afford to build major roadworks, so we enter into private public partnerships (PPPs) and now every major road construction is a tollway and will remain so for 40 years, typically. The tolls go up, as a minimum, by the CPI. Canadian Superannuation funds can see value in these government guaranteed investments.

Sydney is now one of the most tolled cities in the world. Every time you pay a toll, much of the money now flows oversees. Some people now pay hundreds of dollars a week in tolls, these pseudo taxes. It wasn’t that long ago that governments borrowed money to build this kind of infrastructure. The Harbour Bridge and Snowy Hydro come to mind. Sure, we were paying it off through our taxes for many years. Now we do it by paying tolls. But the taxes we paid for our infrastructure were far cheaper per person than the tolls.

Conservative governments have divested themselves of services and palmed them off to private enterprise. At a cost; a cost that we all pay. These governments no longer see themselves as service providers. They see themselves as managers. Now, every time we want money for schools and hospitals they ask; “Where’s the money coming from?”.

In Britain they have run down the NHS to such an extent that a nonagenarian felt compelled to do laps of his London backyard to help raise money for it. We may not have yet sunk to that level, but thousands are sleeping rough because we’ve cut funding for affordable housing, women and children escaping domestic violence are sleeping in cars because governments can’ afford to shelter them. Queues grow bigger at food banks because they can’t afford to feed themselves.

Governments, their departments, and councils are now outsourcing many of their services because it’s “cheaper”. City of Sydney Council is currently struggling with their garbage collection services because they outsourced their collection services to Cleanaway. Cleanaway’s TWU employees are striking for higher wages and now garbage piles up, threatening to become health risks. The Council has ceded control of its garbage services to Cleanaway.

Changes to superannuation for those with $3m+ stashed away in tax friendly accounts. This tax lurk was set up by Howard and Costello providing reduced taxes putting away savings for their retirement without ensuring that the money was not being set aside for tax evasion or estate planning. Dutton, Ley, and now Angus Taylor are now regurgitating their scare mongering line that Labor are coming after your money because they’ve run out of their own, conveniently ignoring the fact that those that can afford to stash up to $50m into super can also afford to pay fair tax on that money.

In rural areas roads and bridges have still not been repaired since the floods, and people are waiting for homes to be returned to liveable states, while others are still waiting for their bushfire-ravaged homes to be rebuilt. Why? Because governments claim they haven’t got the money to pay for them. Why? In large part, because we’ve been bribed, yet again, into voting them back into office with dubious tax cuts.

We have been conned.

 

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17 comments

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  1. John Hanna

    The services you speak of were in many cases introduced after WW2 when there was low employment and poor wages. I left Glasgow as a young boy where I was still receiving subsidised meals at school. Then along came Maggie Thatcher, Ronald Reagan and neoliberal economics to unpick all the government provided services that had reconstructed the post war economy. The last fifty years has seen a succession of right leaning governments around the world continue their work such that the prosperity we once enjoyed and the self sufficiency has been exported (called ‘globalisation”) to make us a service economy reliant on the banking system as the mainstay of the economic structure in replacement of self reliant manufacturing. We need value adding technologies in Aus so we don’t continue to just dig stuff up and sell it (cheaply) then buy finished product back as an expensive commodity with the profits going offshore into another country’s economy

  2. Michael Taylor

    John, you’re Scottish. 😀 My opinion of you just went through the roof.

    Ah, Scotland. The land of lefties, lochs, kilts and coos.

  3. GL

    I imagine the cries of outrage and the end of civilisation as we know it from Angus at his 3pm press screamference (and the rest of the LNP and their rich mates) will be like a fart in a cyclone. How long before The Spud starts wailing and crying about the nasty Labor party?

    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/tax-on-superannuation-balances-over-3-million-to-double-20230228-p5co7o.html

    And so the outright lies from Angus have started flowing like a herd of diarrhetic cattle.

    @ roughly five minutes ago and still counting

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/live/2023/feb/28/australia-live-news-marles-china-defence-politics-supply-chains-voice-to-parliament-referendum-nsw-vic-albanese-weather

  4. Kerri

    The public need an education or re-education program to make them understand that big items are cheaper bought in bulk or paid for as a group and that when the government pays for stuff like roads, hospitals, policing, education no one makes a profit from it. If you want to pay lower taxes then all that stuff has to be done by private industry who need to make a profit to benefit shareholders and CEOs. Case in point; QANTAS and JetStar!

    #GL Why are the media not digging into Taylor? 90% of what he says makes zero sense! He’s an idiot, which everyone knows except Dutto and the people of Hume.Challenge him on the math and force him to put his hands visible while he answers.

  5. leefe

    “While they have cut taxes, they have commensurately cut services.”

    I would argue that the cuts to services have been far in excess of reductions to tax.

  6. andy56

    tell me, whats better. pay an extra $10 in taxes or $20 a day in tolls? Australians are a bit thick, i have been on message for 30yrs but i have been called all sorts of names. Thankfully, the libs are so full of their own BS they proved that lower taxes does end up a zero game.

  7. Phil Pryor

    Privatisation means some anus who is inside or in with a government group, invariably conservative greedite profiteering filth, will make money by hacking it out of your arse, unfairly and often unluckily. I had student friends in the Blacktown area (Sydney) who unluckily had to fork out huge sums per week for tolls, parking, bridges, motorways, petrol. Rents went up in the district, as happens again these days, and whole families had to drop out, leave, seek alternatives. I had it easy in comparison, but they had no alternative than to shell out for liberal/country party coverup bullshit noneconomics to get “westies” to pay what others had already obtained, including better public transport. The greedy riggers, fixers, coercers, political perverted peanuts of right wing raiding and robbing STINK.

  8. Michael Taylor

    You’re on to something there, Phil. Your finger is definitely on the pulse.

  9. wam

    labor have no guts to go the man. For all of my political aware life the LNP murdoch and the media have taken the ‘words’ to labor.
    Slimes like the lying rodent, t6he rabbott, susson everthing, the beetroot taylor and the bandit appear on the morning shows to exacerbate the published bullshit and fan the controversy for the advertising fraternity.
    Albo could smash any one of phil’s arseholes with the morning shows and papers lapping it up.
    Is gutless or mindless appropriate, Albo??? I love the reference to the $trillion debt ‘with little to show’ How about show up the outsourced costs wasted over the last 10 years?
    ps
    remember how gillard almost changed the bandit blackmail carbon tax to an approprate ‘price on carbon’ the ABC and the morning shows used the term but the rabbott kept pounding away at ‘tax’ and the sad juliar faltered.
    Don’t falter Albo keep hammering the gifts the government gives to the little irisher and his ilk.

  10. Malt

    Kerrie “Why are the media not digging into Taylor?” That would be like the a snake devouring its own tail.
    The Libs (snake) are the self-serving puppets for, and lackeys of the wealthy.
    MSM (snake) is their self-serving megaphone and guiding hand, or craw, of the wealthy.
    One snake under one god, money-greed.

    Terry, so true, for decades the public have been conned by an industrial scale psy-op directed by msm on behalf of the wealthy.
    When the LNP reduced Capital Gains Tax by 50% back in 2020, the race to lock-in advantage forever via tax breaks was on.
    Labor cannot change much given the pushback by MSM & an uneducated voting block who cannot see they are being gamed.

    The rot set in 100s of years ago when people began to delegate decisions to others in the village. Over time, shysters set up shop in these political roles with no intention of serving the public. The rest is the history of corruption.

    Many people default to pointing the finger of blame, but that’s no substitute for self-determination. We are near the end of a failed self-destructive phase of evolution. Anyone following declarations of the UN & WEF see they are intent on profiting up until the very last minute. Their beautifully crafted statements hide their real plan, they want it all. These psuedo-oligarchs might ‘succeed’ but at what cost.
    Their drive to create a society more resembles a rotting body-corp of slavery. It is bound to taste bitter even in their mouth soon enough.
    The spirit of humanity can still win the day but the list of casualties is long. For what’s its worth, I’m backing humanity.

  11. Stephengb

    We have indeed been conned, and unfortunately, articles like this, only cement the biggest con of all.

    Taxes DO NOT PAY for any federal government services. The federal government pays for everything by spending.

    This results in more money (IOU) in circulation, which in turn is used by everyone to carry out everyday transactions.
    However, the federal government can not just keep adding money into circulation without consequence. The primary purpose of taxes are to counter those consequences.

    Federal taxes:
    1. Create a demand for the countries legal tender, by demanding that taxes are ONLY paid in legal tender.
    2. Counter the potential consequence of inflation.
    3. To influence behaviour (tobbacco, alcohol excise).
    4. To distribute wealth fairly (curb extreme wealth accumulation).

    The myth of taxes enabling governments to pay for services is due to a narrative that seeks to justify tax increases, which is in reality pure baloney.

    I would suggest that anyone talking about taxes should read and understand MMT. (Yes I know – groan !)

  12. Malt

    GL, Spudito and the Caviar Club down to their last $3M-400M, and hyper-ventilating.
    Quick, call the waaaah-bulance, they need an ambo to give the paper bag treatment.
    What it is about the well-off, they could be grateful or gracious.

  13. New England Cocky

    @ stephengb: I cannot hep wondering why discussions about taxation always only consider getting more revenue without considering the poor expenditure, especially to foreign owned corporations that pay no income tax. Many mining corporations deliberately conflate mining royalties as income taxation and wrongly claim to be paying income tax.

    But consider the ”gifting” of Australian wealth to:

    1) petroleum exploration corporations when petrol products are allegedly being phased out;
    .
    2) overly generous government subsidies to private schools to buy the votes of aspiring middle class persons;
    .
    3) the high social cost of negative gearing on socially disadvantages persons unable to afford the Australian dream because prices have exploded due to foreign ”investment”.

    The list goes on …..

  14. Stephengb

    NEC

    Yes the tax avoidance, minimisation, concessions, loopholes and laws specifically designed for the top 20% have multiplied tenfold over the last 25 years.

    Notably the LNP have been in power (federally) for 19 of those 25 years

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