Pretending a debt levy is not a tax grossly insults voters' intelligence
It’s not bringing the budget back to surplus that is the problem. It’s what we are learning about sharing the pain
Lenore Taylor, political editor
Now that the prime minister has confirmed the government is considering a “debt levy” and Sydney’s Daily Telegraph is telling us it is likely to be 1% for those earning between $80,000 and $180,000 and 2% for those earning over $180,000 it is possible to calculate the extent to which Australian voters may have been duped.
Tony Abbott spent four years in a hi-vis vest telling us over and over about the “almost unimaginable” hit on families’ cost of living from the carbon tax and how the average household would be $550 a year better off when he “axed the tax”. He somehow forgot to mention another tax that for many families would take all, or most, of that money away again.
(And if a three-year fixed carbon price is a tax, prime minister, as you told us it was, and if the Gillard’s government one-year flood levy was a tax, as you told us it was, then it really beggars belief that you are now claiming a “temporary debt levy” wouldn’t really be a tax at all on the grounds that it won’t last forever.)
Let’s take a single income family with a couple of kids on $150,000 a year. Under the detailed calculations Labor provided with its carbon tax plan, they would have paid around $760 a year in extra bills as the tax flowed through at its original $23 price, and would have received $77 in compensation, leaving them $683 a year worse off.
If that family did their sums before they voted last year, and believed what Tony Abbott was telling them, they would have assumed they would be about $837 a year better off in real terms – because they’d keep their compensation but they would not be paying the tax any more. But according to the Tele they’ll now be hit with an $1,500 debt levy, eating away everything the coalition had promised them and another $700 besides. (If the $638 a year hit to their cost of living was unimaginable, it must be truly terrible to contemplate what a $700 impost might do).
Or take a dual income family with kids where both parents earn $100,000 a year. They didn’t get any compensation under the carbon tax and – according to the former government’s tables – wound up $1,000 a year worse off. Under the debt levy they’d be paying $2,000.
In the middle ages, alchemists spent time trying to turn lead into gold... Had they got a cyclotron at their disposal, there was buckley's chance it would even happen... Our budget dumb wizards are at a loss on how to make cash out of their brew of old turds...
Somehow my toon this morning is very crass and infantile... But in the light of day, Tony is crass, deceptive, idiotic, manipulative, nasty, lying, infantile, stupid, etc... He thinks he can get away with shitting on voters for just a bit longer... Hopefully, he will get thrown out by whichever means out of politics... Malcolm it's up to you, though you know what I know and the MMMM knows... Please commit to a bit of decency, even if this means the end of your political career...
Of course, for those who don't know, the nanny tax is in regard to Tony's desire to lessen his misogynist image, nothing more:
The Prime Minister has backed down on the generosity of his signature paid parental leave scheme, dropping the maximum payment for six months from $75,000 to $50,000.
Tony Abbott's controversial scheme has been under fire from some of his colleagues because it was open to women earning up to $150,000 a year.
Mr Abbott has now reduced that threshold to $100,000 a year.
The PM has been facing pressure from within his own ranks to dump the scheme, which would see new mothers paid their full wage for six months after the birth of their child.
It would cost the budget $5.5 billion per year, and the ABC understands a handful of Coalition senators had been willing to cross the floor and block his policy.
Commendable to want to give women some cash for raising kids... But there is a lot of subtext, in which the Primal Minster wants to also pay nannies for high powered women to stay in the work force... It would be a fantastic idea if everyone got the same treatment... Including paying students a wage. But the small print and the hole in the budget and the destruction of other decent proper social services and other good Labor policies, including NDIS, show the duplicity of Tony Abbott and his ignorance of science when it comes to his USELESS "direct action" to replace the carbon pricing... Idiot.
Has the Government doubled the budget deficit? [YES!] Treasurer Joe Hockey is the "Masterchef of cooking the books" according to his Opposition counterpart Chris Bowen, who has repeatedly accused the Coalition of using "voodoo economics" to create a sense of crisis to justify dramatic spending cuts in the May 13 budget.
"Now what's happening here is that Joe Hockey has doubled the deficit, adding $68 billion to the deficit by changes to Government spending and changes to Government assumptions, and now he's asking the Australian people to pay for it", Mr Bowen told journalists in his electorate on April 27.
ABC Fact Check examines whether this statement is correct.
Mr Bowen accurately quoted changes totalling $68 billion in the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook.
The MYEFO forecasts a budget deficit twice as large as it was in the PEFO. The economic assumptions in MYEFO are different from those used in the PEFO, and there is spending in the MYEFO that was not in the previous forecasts.
It remains to be seen how the two sets of forecasts stand the test of time, but as of today, Mr Bowen's claim checks out.
See toon at top...
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