: : crazybrave has moved to <a href="http://crazybrave.net">http://crazybrave.net/</a>: They are always with us, but the truth will set them free

Thursday, December 01, 2005

They are always with us, but the truth will set them free

I don't usually get to watch Lateline since having a child has ruined me for late nights. But after Bumblebee-sitting last night while Ampersand Duck went out to celebrate her wedding anniversary*, I caught Lindsay Tanner pointing out something sensible and important. Talking about the appropriateness of Rob Gerard's appointment to the RBA while his company was involved in a massive and prolonged tax dispute, he said:

There's a really fundamental question of values here, Tony, and it's at the core of the Liberal Party and it goes back a long way, and that is that there's a blind spot about tax avoidance by rich people. They reckon it's OK for rich people like Rob Gerard to get away with whatever they can get away with, it's just all part of the game. We had it when John Howard was Treasurer, with bottom-of-the-harbour schemes, and they think that's alright. There's a deep vein of attitude in the Liberal Party that that sort of thing is OK, yet ordinary hardworking Australians are getting taxed till the pips squeak and they don't care about people like Mr Gerard getting appointed to the Reserve Bank board while they're in the middle of a giant tax scam case.

It's the core of my rejection of vile Toryism - it's all about making room for people to become hugely wealthy. It's not about ensuring no-one has to be poor. (Obviously my heart doesn't bleed for AWE taxpayers like Tanner's does. The needs of people poorer than them is what weighs on me.)

You can see the same attitude in the assertion made by John Humphreys who proposes, through the CIS, a new tax plan which deals with the issue of high effective marginal tax rates at the lower end of the scale but at the expense of a minimum wage protection.

I offer no apology. We distribute more of our welfare budget to the poorest 30 per cent of households than almost any other country, and support for groups like single parents is generous by international standards.

A slightly lower welfare payment is a small price to pay for better incentives, more job opportunities, fewer bureaucratic hassles, a stronger economy and higher long-run living standards. If cutting unemployment benefits seems inequitable, how much more inequitable is it to continue with the current policies that keep people unemployed?"

A slighter lower welfare payment can cruel a kid's chance to go on an excursion at school. A low wage shit conditions job doesn't help them much either.

* While Ms Duck is an exemplary mother, I am considering reporting her to the welfare for allowing an 8 year old boy to go to sleep every single night listening to Queen. Every. Single. Night.