Don't you love it! We're going to have another 'conversation'.
Peter Jones and his No Land Tax 'not-a-party' mob got in early for their two bobs' worth in last weekend’s NSW election.
Maybe Jones is just the colourful character he purports to be, but the cost of candidates in every electorate, 4.3 million pamphlets, plus placards and vests, on top of $30 an hour payments to hundreds of pamphleteers at the NSW election, is not to be sneezed at. Perhaps the bills won't be paid, but if they are, where is the dosh coming from?
The party supports an increase in the GST, though they didn't spread that around. But the big banks, multinational accounting corporations, real estate interests and big developers love these policies, especially two days before a new tax report.
And so does Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey. Gets our minds in gear for the big sell.
According to Guardian Australia's Katharine Murphy, Hockey wants to cut Australia’s corporate tax rate, increase both the rate and reach of the GST, and overhaul what she describes as 'generous' superannuation concessions.
Ms Murphy reckons, “The Abbott government’s conversation on tax reform will begin with the launch of a 200-page report which poses 66 questions about whether Australia’s current tax system is supporting growth, labour market participation and economic efficiency.”
Shortest conversation of my life
How do you chat with a tax report? Or a government? Last time I had a chat with a prime minister, police were removing me from the doorway of his car, the week before he declared war on Iraq. I had to settle for telling his wife to pass on the message. It may have been the shortest conversation of my life.
Perhaps politicians pop in to your place for a cuppa, but not mine. A friend said Mike Baird kept ringing her at dinner time for the last week before the election, but he always hung up before she got in a word.
Good and Bad!
Apparently we're old fashioned tax-wise, stuck back in the 1950s. Globalisation and “profound economic transformation” have passed us by. That must be why Twiggy Forrest hasn't paid tax in years.
The report is full of happy words, and Ms Murphy seems pleased to quote them without comment. Take these, “reform...opportunity to significantly improve productivity and foster jobs, growth and opportunities.” (“Opportunities” twice in one sentence!)
And there are equally terrible words! “Decline...uncompetitive...exemptions which detract,” and “complexities and distortions” because we don't charge GST on things like...like...food.
And the report reckons if they cut all the taxes to corporations they'll end up paying more, because they won't need all those tax dodges like transfer pricing, profit shifting or debt loading.
“Monday’s launch is part of a three stage process,” says Ms Murphy. “This first paper contains no formal recommendations but is designed to spark a period of consultation. It will be followed by a green paper released in the second half of this year, and a white paper in the lead up to next year’s federal election.”