When Scott Morrison announced his intention to just ignore a “stupid vote” on medical evacuations, I sort of presumed that he was simply saying that he wouldn’t rush off to an election just because he no longer controlled the House of Representatives. This would be the first time sitting government had lost a legislative bill since before you were born, unless you’re one of the ninety-year-old people who’s reading this. However, on closer reading, I’m not so sure. He seemed to be suggesting that Parliament was just there to make suggestions and it was up to him as PM to decide whether to implement them or not. And if that’s the case, then I could envisage the Liberals arguing that a successful motion of no confidence doesn’t mean they have to resign; it’s merely an example of how dangerous the Labor Party are’ what a risk to our economy they’re creating and why we need to start ignoring Parliament and to do “whatever it takes” to continue to govern. That’s only one step away from suggesting that if the election goes the wrong way, we can just ignore it and have Bill Shorten arrested for sedition. Or possibly even before an election is held.
No, we could never have a sitting government who simply ignored an election result and used the AFP or ASIO to hold power. This is Australia, isn’t it? Even though we did have a sitting government, who got sacked by the Governor-General simply because they couldn’t get supply through the Senate, that was different, because… well, it was just different.
Yes, it’s far-fetched and I don’t believe it for a moment, but I am beginning to wonder if we all got it wrong when we thought, “At least, it’s not Peter Dutton.” I suspect that Scott Morrison has no more empathy than his leadership rival but, unlike Dutton, is emboldened by the idea that God has chosen him to lead Australia and this is part of some divine plan so whatever he does, God will protect him… I probably should add here that by “God” I am referring to “God” as Scott Morrison understands him and not Alan Jones. There is no need to explain to me either that “God” doesn’t exist; nor is there a need to complain about the ridiculous amount of power that he has… By that last “he”, I mean Alan and not God, because if you believe in God, it’s sort of a given that He has a ridiculous amount of power. However, even if you believe in Alan, you probably occasionally worry about the amount of power he seems to have.
Yes, it’s even more far-fetched than believing that Morrison ignored the security warnings on moving Australia’s embassy to Jerusalem was because he actually hoped it would prompt a terrorist attack and that would be his “Tampa” moment.
But it’s not as far-fetched as Tim Wilson’s suggestion that he has no conflict of interest when he’s heading the committee on franking credits, as well as coordinating its sitting to coincide with the protests.
While there’s been a lot of misinformation about the franking credits and stories that have literally told us that the Labor party plan to take money from Nana. Yes, Nana. Not your grandmother, not even someone else’s grandmother, but Nana. All I can say is, “Nana, thank God you died all those years ago so you won’t feel the pain when that grave-robber, Chris Bowen steals whatever you’ve got left in the cold, hard ground!”
Anyway, I thought it might be good instead of case studies with the poor people who’ve paid tax all their lives and managed to start a self-managed super fund in order to minimise tax and look at how the principle of government largesse is applied to others. As an aside, I read a story about someone who was going to lose about twenty thousand a year in franking credits under Labor’s proposal. He complained that he’d paid tax all his life, including over a million dollars in capital gains. Wow, that means that he has made in excess of three million dollars in capital gains alone. Poor chap, I’ll start a GoFundMe page to ensure that he doesn’t go without!
Let’s take some case studies:
Mythical Case Study 1: Joanne has worked hard all her adult life and has forty thousand in the bank and an income of thirty thousand a year from share dividends. She loses her job. She applies for Newstart but is told that not only does she have too much money in the bank to qualify, but her income from shares means that she is above the cut-off limit. Using the franking credits arguments, her assets shouldn’t matter.
Mythical case study 2: Andy is a student who works part-time earning $17,000 a year. He has work-related expenses. However, he can’t take these of his tax because he doesn’t pay any income tax. Applying the franking credits argument, he should get a cash refund equivalent to what he’d get if he were paying thirty cents in the dollar or more in income tax.
Mythical case study 3: Rupert owns several Newspapers and TV companies, even though they pay no taxable income, this makes him ineligible for a pension. Of course, he wouldn’t be eligible anyway, because he renounced his Australian citizenship.
Now, as I’ve said, I’m sure that there will be a number of people who aren’t wealthy and who will be hit by this. However, when I say “hit”, I mean, they may have to adjust their arrangements to maintain their current lifestyle. And by “not wealthy”, I mean it in the sense that they don’t have a private jet rather than they may need to go to a food bank in the next ten years. As the guy from Wilson# Asset Management told us people won’t pay the franking credit, they’ll just move their money offshore. And when I say “a number”, I mean something above ten but less than a billion. In fact, “The Financial Review” had a headline story telling us that en ex-teacher would be now voting against Labor in the coming election. I’m not sure why this was worth a whole story unless it was because it was the only person they could find who changed his vote as a result of the proposal.
Whatever your point of view, the fact remains that the media are spinning it a totally dishonest way. This is not taking money away from people. If Medicare payments are a handout and unemployment benefits are a handout, then franking credits are just as much a handout. Watch how we’ll hear stories of people with taxable incomes of less than ten thousand having their franking credits ripped from their hands.
Of course, we won’t be told about their connection to the Liberal Party in some cases.
And we certainly won’t be told about their non-taxable income.
# No relation to Tim Wilson, who’s chairing the Parliamentary inquiry into this. And by no relation, I mean it’s only a distant one and they haven’t even met apart from when they did a number of years ago and the fact that Tim has investments in managed funds with the company is another one of those things that happen from time to time which Labor use to sling mud… You know, like the way they attacked the banks for populist reasons.
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