Scott Morrison called on to show “guts” on tax reform

Treasurer Scott Morrison needs to have the “guts” to make the call on tax reform.

Scott Morrison called on to show “guts” on tax reform

According to Chris Richardson from Deloitte Access Economics, increased revenue through tax reform is needed if the Government is going to repay Australia’s budget deficit and the Treasurer, Scott Morrison, needs to have the “guts” to make the call.

Mr Richardson believes that the main cause of Australia’s budget woes is the squandering of opportunities presented by China’s resources boom. "Turned out that it [China's resources demand boom] was temporary though, and we made permanent promises, and that has made life a lot harder, both for the economy but especially for the budget," he explained.

While spending cuts could go some way to addressing the budget deficit, more revenue is needed, with increased taxes the best way to deliver such increases. Increased land taxes and GST would deliver the biggest benefit to the budget, and cause the least damage says Mr Richardson. "[At] the state level – that might include things like land taxes – at the federal level and forgive me if I call the GST a federal tax, the GST and fuel taxes are perhaps the things that cause the least damage."

And whether the rate of GST is increased or the range of goods and services it applies to broadened would make little difference according to Chris Richardson. What is clear, he says, is the need to make major change, and soon. "Somebody somewhere has to have guts and you need the politicians to be willing to do things rather than to rule things out," he concluded. 

Read more at ABC.net.au 

Opinion: Is Mr Morrison the man for the job?

Understanding that the task is indeed a daunting one, Treasurer Scott Morrison has opened the discussion to anyone who wants to have a say. The number of white papers on tax reform that are produced and quoted in the media is confusing to say the least. Surely there comes a time to stop deliberating and start acting? So, is Mr Morrison the man to see through such reforms? 

When asked about tax reform, Mr Morrison notes it’s a possibility but seems unwilling to commit to any one pathway. Speaking to Sky News yesterday, he said, "There are a range of opportunities all the way along throughout the year for these things, I think, to be articulated and worked through."

That the Government wishes to canvass as much public opinion as possible before implementing changes to the tax system, is commendable. However, if leading economists are to be believed and a global financial crisis bigger than that of 2008 is indeed bearing down on us, then something must be done. We no longer have the luxury of a buffer from our resources sector – that has been squandered. We must now look to other avenues of revenue and a simplified and effective tax system seems an obvious choice.

Whether it’s an increased and/or expanded GST, increased land tax, superannuation tax reform or stopping multi-nationals’ tax avoidance, the time to do something is now.

Mr Morrison has never been one to shy away from reform and action that may not have been the most popular, often delivering where others have been perceived to fail. So, it’s time to embrace that steely resolve for which he is known and make the tough economic decisions that the country needs.

Will tax reform be the basis of the next budget? Or will the Government need longer to assess the impact of proposed changes? Do you think tax reform is needed and if so, what is the single biggest area of gain with least pain for Australians?

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    COMMENTS

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    Saalbach
    27th Jan 2016
    10:33am
    Taxes on land, petrol, GST affect everyone included the poor. A better way would be to reduce the ability for anyone to claim unreasonable deductions when paying tax - that would affect the wealthier section of our community and not the poor. Whilst the wealthy would then have less, they could still afford to live. Another approach is to tax superannuation above a certain amount - not the amount saved whilst working, but the amount taken after retirement. If $60,000 odd is considerable to provide a comfortable life, then tax any amount above say $70,000 using a sliding scale much like normal income. The amount of tax raised by this would be considerable. If super contributions are considered to be an issue, then only allow a reasonable amount to be put away each year via salary sacrifice - anything above say $10,000 should be treated as if it is normal savings, and come out of after-tax funds and not be tax deductible.
    MICK
    27th Jan 2016
    11:18am
    Don't hold your breath.
    mogo51
    27th Jan 2016
    10:36am
    Whilst he might not be the person in your view to make the decision, whom do you suggest
    Bill Shorten! what a debacle that would be.
    I am for GST increase and broadening, Rich Super Tax reforms, Abolition of tax rorts ie.
    trust funds etc, International companies to pay tax in country of earnings, in other words, all of the above.
    MICK
    27th Jan 2016
    11:22am
    Not sure how Shorten would go and if he would have the guts to make the hard calls. He does seem like a bit of a whimp.
    Much of what you say thereafter has merit but you fail to recognise the form of the current government which has clearly demonstrated that poor and average citizens are in for higher taxes and that the rich are getting lower taxes....as if they pay too much currently!!
    Don't expect this leopard to change it's spots. Not happening. Only thing which will change is faces and rhetoric as this bunch try on their new form of 'work Choices' as well as tax average citizens more with the next slogan: "repair the deficit". Well I'd like to see the deficit repaired by raising revenue for whom it is now optional and the doing away of many dodgy deductions. Won't happen.
    libsareliars
    27th Jan 2016
    1:39pm
    I agree with Mick the LNP only slog the less well off - they will not bring in any of the changes that people have been talking about because these companies donate to LNP coffers. They won't bight the hand that feeds them, hence they go after the people with the least clout.
    particolor
    27th Jan 2016
    4:30pm
    Sure Do !! Libsareliars.
    Anonymous
    30th Jan 2016
    7:11am
    Mogo, broadening of the GST is almost a certainty - unless public resistance makes it impossible. It will hurt the poor, so it WILL happen. The rest? Not happening! Not under this government's watch, that's for sure.

    There's one thing you can count on while Morrison is treasurer - and even when his successor takes over if this LNP is still in power - and that's that tax ''reform'' will mean the battling lifters (the REAL lifters, that is - the working backbone of the nation), pensioners, struggling self-funded retirees, etc. will carry a much bigger share of the total tax bill, and the wealthy will be more generously indulged.

    And no, I'm not a ''leftie''. I voted LNP all my life - until now. But this government is a disgrace.
    dobo
    27th Jan 2016
    10:38am
    morrison is certainly the one to make the hard decisions as he has proved in his other positions, but i do not agree the average taxpayer and the poor must pay for them all he and the pm have got to look at the multinationals and the australian rich too.
    MICK
    27th Jan 2016
    11:23am
    Morrison has front but the Party is not owned by him. He is just a puppet and the Party's owners (big business!) direct policy. Not Morrison.
    Anonymous
    27th Jan 2016
    2:48pm
    Morrison hasn't either the power, the will or the comprehension to do anything that will benefit the nation. He will slug the battlers yet again, and if his ''reforms'' are anything like the last stupid pension change, they will INCREASE the deficit, not reduce it. The claimed savings are impossible to achieve over the medium to long term because you simply cannot reduce pension expenditure by making more retirees poorer. It's dumb, illogical and seriously unfair when examined logically, and not with the green eyes of envy.

    This is a prosperous nation. All we need to do is ensure the wealthy pay their share and there will be no deficit problem, but it will never happen, because the wealthy bribe both sides of politics to indulge their greed and anyone who seeks real reform will be ousted very quickly - unless they can be shown to be totally toothless and no danger to the ruling elite.
    Anonymous
    27th Jan 2016
    4:15pm
    You are saying what Shorten is saying dobo and, like Shorten, you are all talk and no solution. How do you make the multinationals pay more tax? And who are these so-called "rich". Swan put the figure at $180,000, do you agree with that or do you have another figure in mind.

    Mick used the term "puppet" and I get annoyed with Labor puppets dropping in here, making sweeping statements (some of which are lies) and dropping out. If you want something changed please tell us exactly what you want changed, how the system works now and what you would do to change it.
    MICK
    27th Jan 2016
    4:52pm
    Solutions? Like more taxes from average citizens and less for the rich when the gao has been widening for several decades? That is your solution?
    Labor are much less puppets than the Liberal Party. Do not even try to run the spiel about 'government'. This crew are not interested in government but rather just lowering taxes on the rich and driving down pay and conditions for everybody else. YOU WON'T SEE THE RICH TAKING A PAY CUT! Never happens!
    I have already said how to fix the mess Old Man:

    1. close all loopholes and Tax Havens.
    2. revise tax items which are tax deductible for the the rich and remove the rorts.
    3. collect the right amount of tax from the wealthy and multinationals.
    4. make tax deductibility on superannuation contributions a thing of the past.

    Ok Old Man, there you have a good start. Do these and you will not need to attack the poor.
    Anonymous
    27th Jan 2016
    5:32pm
    Thanks mick, just help me out with a couple of things. OK, I agree about closing the loopholes but I don't know how a Tax Haven can be closed because they aren't under Australian control.
    Which tax items are solely deductions for the rich and don't apply to the poor?
    What is the 'right' amount of tax that multinationals should pay? They are taxed at the same rate as all other companies in Australia as we don't give concessions like the Republic of Ireland does.
    Your last comment is too vague for a slow person like me to understand.
    Lastly, please define 'rich'. Everybody wants to have a go at 'rich' people but I don't know who they are. I own a house and a car, am I 'rich'? People living on the streets may think I am.
    MICK
    27th Jan 2016
    6:40pm
    Tax havens can simply be DISALLOWED by the ATO. They only exist because they have been allowed. Easy to change I would think.
    Most not even known to average people. Things like diesel fuel rebate and putting items through a business which are being mostly used as 'private use' items.
    Sounds like you are being silly Old Man and playing games. Rich is a relative term and the line in the sand has to be determined. I have no intention of trying to define that one! Probably talking about personal wealth of around $5 million+ but this needs clarification.
    Well off is not rich. There is a difference.
    Anonymous
    30th Jan 2016
    7:16am
    Old Man, one very simple change would yield mega-millions in extra tax from rich corporates who don't pay their way. That's to make it illegal to claim tax deductions for interest you DON'T pay on loans effectively lent to yourself from funds borrowed abroad at low rates. That change has been proposed and debated, and the benefits of making it are clear. But this gutless government won't make it.

    And then there's transparency. Debated. Motions passed. LNP voted to allow rich corporations to hide their wealth. Why? Risk of kidnapping! What utter crap! What it's really all about is a corrupt government looking after those who fund it.
    Oldie84
    27th Jan 2016
    11:05am
    Reform has to be comprehensive and thorough. I get annoyed when certain aspects are are picked on and singled out depending on your interest group. Reforms must extend to the workplace and all aspects of business to take into account the change in Economies. And don't forget a Senate where individuals push their own barrows and make it nigh impossible to get anything passed. I guess that is our fault for voting in the likes of Palmer, Xenophon et al. I would also suggest instead of constant harping get involved and change things from the grass roots level. So there, I've got that of my chest....
    MICK
    27th Jan 2016
    11:31am
    Are you kidding Oldie. The problem is that we do not have enough Independents to break up the corruption game in politics. And Xenophon has done more good in the parliament than any other MP I can think of. I find it incredible that you put him in the same boat as Palmer.
    If you want to talk about pushing a barrow please explain the repeal of the Carbon Tax (handing fossil fuel industry $8 billion a year of taxpayer money), the repeal of the Mining Tax, the scuttling of the Banking Bill to protect investors and of course the scuttling of gambling legislation and alcohol regulation. All of this list and more were scurrilous acts from THIS GOVERNMENT as it set about paying back its financial backers for election funding. Looks more like corruption than government. And they all appear to be tarnished with the same brush.
    libsareliars
    27th Jan 2016
    1:41pm
    Spot on Mick!
    Anonymous
    27th Jan 2016
    2:51pm
    Oldie82, heaven help us if the LNP do manage to get control of the Senate. The only thing that has saved us from the hideous damage threatened by the worst of the LNP's self-serving extremes is the fact that our system imposes some controls by allowing us to elect a Senate that might force some moderation. I'm with Mick. We need a lot more independents with the guts and intelligence to say ''NO'' to the LNP's dangerous extremism.
    roy
    27th Jan 2016
    3:12pm
    Vote independent, the only way forward.
    Happy Jack
    27th Jan 2016
    11:15am
    Spot on Mogo 51, BUT bet it won't happen. All this procrastination over the white paper is a result of this hard hitting conservative LIEberal party govt squirming around endeavouring to draw up a hit list that will protect their mates whilst pretending that we'll all make a contribution. On another note; Germjerk69 should be due to start contributing again today- I do believe the LIEberal party offices have re-opened, or maybe he'll hide under a new alias.
    MICK
    27th Jan 2016
    11:33am
    Jack: make no mistake. This government is after average citizens. Don't believe anything they say. If you follow the money trail it'll all be clear: tax cuts for the rich and their businesses, new taxes and tax increases for everybody else. Does that sound like the last 2 years playing out?
    particolor
    27th Jan 2016
    4:28pm
    YEP !! :-(
    Anonymous
    27th Jan 2016
    6:20pm
    typical contribution of a jackass, HEE-HAW, HEE-HAW
    Anonymous
    30th Jan 2016
    9:00am
    Heemseeker, you are the jackass! Anyone who endorses this government's corruption is a jackass, and a very dangerous one at that.
    MICK
    27th Jan 2016
    11:17am
    Richardson reinforces what I have been saying for some time. Australian governments need to collect tax from multinationals and rich Australians who use tax shelters to reduce their taxes, often to zero. The rest of the nation is (of course) not permitted to use the outs from the tax system.
    I have little faith in Morrison who after all is the next puppet in a government elected on large scale lies and which has already shown us that it's prime intention is to tax average people more and redistribute this money to the rich. Not rocket science. My prediction is that Morrison will go after more GST (hit the poor!!!), will decrease company tax (already foreshadowed) and he will refuse to touch multinationals, tax shelters and the superannuation tax rort for the rich.
    Auction Girl
    27th Jan 2016
    12:03pm
    Are we referring to the tax shelters like the Cayman Islands ? Isn't that where Turnbull has his funds ?
    MICK
    27th Jan 2016
    1:26pm
    It is! There are more. Many more. Here is a link to study up on how it's done:

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-10-16/lanis-govendir-malcolm-turnbull-and-tax-avoidance/6861606

    Turnbull does not have a Cayman Islands tax for the fun of it. He and other corporate crooks have these to avoid paying the right taxes. And this man is now our PM. God help us...Dracula in charge of the blood bin!
    libsareliars
    27th Jan 2016
    1:45pm
    "He and other corporate crooks have these to avoid paying the right taxes."
    They are such greedy hypocrites aren't they? How much money is enough?
    Anonymous
    27th Jan 2016
    2:57pm
    Huge corporations based in Australia are borrowing mega-millions overseas at less than 2% interest, effectively lending it to themselves at 9%+ interest, then claiming the interest that they aren't really paying as a tax deduction. One company named by the ATO was dodging $235 million per annum in taxes by this device. Imagine how quickly we'd wipe the deficit if this practice were banned. But guess what? The Business Council says it would prefer that company tax cuts were considered WITHOUT ANY STRINGS ATTACHED. They say a tax cut is useless if accompanied by changes to rules on claiming interest rate deductions and the net effect of such reform would be that companies would pay more tax.

    Many would. Surely that's the objective? But I'll bet the Business Council, and not the battling ''lifters'' of this country, ultimately influence the government's decisions on tax reform.
    MICK
    27th Jan 2016
    6:43pm
    I agree Rainey. The spokesperson (Kate Carnell) with her continual bleats about the 'poor businesses' in Australia defies belief. Always the same garbage: lower taxes for business with never a call to collect taxes from the biggest corprate cheats.
    Batara
    27th Jan 2016
    8:33pm
    Mick,

    You would not expect Morrison to tell the voters what he is doing would you? That is an operational matter. Or is it an on-water matter? Maybe he needs a new excuse like no comment, that is a budget matter.
    downunder
    27th Jan 2016
    11:27am
    Australia certainly needs a tax reform, but start at the top (multi nationals, high income earners, superannuation benefits), not at the bottom dwellers like pensioners, single mums etc. But of course that will hit your own chums and therefor is a 'non solution'. He certainly will not tackle that. Tough talk and threats to the less fortune is easier.
    MICK
    27th Jan 2016
    11:34am
    ANd there's the rub downunder. The top is getting tax decreases. The bottom is getting tax increases. Robin Hood in reverse methinks!

    27th Jan 2016
    11:39am
    How about we cut back on some of the welfare being handed out when you have about one third of the population on some kind of welfare it becomes ridiculous.
    Mygasheater
    27th Jan 2016
    12:48pm
    Yes, cut the corporate welfar, like the subsides to the mining industries. These greedy "leaners" are the leaches that are bleeding the country dry.
    MICK
    27th Jan 2016
    1:30pm
    Who are worse robbo? The rich who have no need to steal from the rest of us or the bludgers who make an artform out of rorting. Both are rotten but I for one find the dishonest rich quite irksome.
    The only way forward is to NOT ELECT ANOTHER LNP GOVERNMENT. For those people who cannot understand.....the wealthy 'own' this side of politics which is why the thing Liberal governments always rave about is reducing taxes for the rich and paying Australians wages similar to destitute Americans. That is the game.
    libsareliars
    27th Jan 2016
    1:46pm
    Hear hear!
    Mygasheater
    27th Jan 2016
    2:13pm
    Mick,

    The rich steal from us every day. They employ battalions of accountants and lawyers to identify every loophole and then squeeze and squeeze. They are the real bludgers who have made an art form out of rorting the system.

    The rich have a mindset and a sense of entitlement that makes ordinary, decent, people stare in amazement, like looking at a freak show and trying to understand how the became to be like that.
    Anonymous
    27th Jan 2016
    2:59pm
    Give me a break you lot its either the Libs or Bill Shortens mob we can"t afford to have him he"s a complete idiot and so are his henchman.
    Anonymous
    27th Jan 2016
    3:03pm
    Robbo, the amount Australia spends on welfare is tiny by world standards, and very small as a proportion of GST. Since the number of welfare ''bludgers'' and cheats is quite small relative to the total number of people claiming welfare, honestly, clamping down on cheats and bludgers would save virtually nothing in the scheme of things. We'd save more by merely cutting pensions to filthy rich retired politicians, actually.

    Stop beating up on the underprivileged. Wake up, for heaven's sake! Nobody CHOOSES to struggle on welfare if they have valid alternatives. It's NOT a good life. And if you have a welfare system (and surely nobody wants to leave ALL the sick, aged and disabled out in the cold?) you will ALWAYS have a small percentage of the population taking advantage of it. That's as unavoidable as losses to shop-lifting for stores that display goods where people can reach them. It's a cost you suffer.

    Corporate and middle-class welfare payments to the rich and greedy, however, are a cost we CAN avoid and SHOULD put an end to. We also CAN stop a lot of tax avoidance. And we can tax superannuation more fairly. All of these measures would increase revenue without destroying anyone's lifestyle. They would simply take a little back from greedy, self-serving mongrels who have far, far more than they need.

    Leave the battlers alone. They are NOT hurting anyone, and attacking them will achieve nothing.
    Sundays
    27th Jan 2016
    4:22pm
    Well said Rainey
    Anonymous
    27th Jan 2016
    4:24pm
    Rainey I must have hit a raw nerve I never mentioned anything about the Sick and old just the Welfare system in general but in saying that we had a pensioner on here the other day saying that he can save a fortune on the old age pension so why can"t you.
    MICK
    27th Jan 2016
    5:03pm
    robbo: your political leanings are well known.

    rainey: the issue goes wider than professionals engaged to rort the system. It extends to loopholes which are no accident. The Bottom of the Harbour Scheme was one such scheme. The superannuation Tax Shelter was another. I'd be willing to bet the next one is already in place and being milked by those in the know. Average people only find out years later as rorts are well hidden for as long as possible.
    Never changes.
    Anonymous
    29th Jan 2016
    2:33pm
    Robbo, I love the way you make wild assumptions to try to justify nonsense statements! Why can't I ''save a fortune on the old age pension''. Probably because I don't receive one! And it has nothing to do with what anyone saves or doesn't save on the pension. I made a statement in response to yours about cracking down on welfare. Morrison loves to tout that line - kick the disabled off the pension and all will be good. Well, superannuation tax concessions cost us billions - and they benefit the richest 20%. Corporate tax dodges cost us billions. And they benefit billionaires.

    I repeat: LEAVE THE BATTLERS ALONE. Attacking them will save a few pennies at the cost of social problems and more ill-health (that will negate any savings anyway. Only a greedy fool looks at welfare to strugglers to save money when billions are being wasted on the rich. It's a bit like Dad cutting the baby's formula while holidaying in Bali every year and retaining membership in the most elite golf club in the city!
    Adrianus
    29th Jan 2016
    2:49pm
    Rainey, I would like to see a 15% company tax rate for small to mediums. This would do away with the Super advantage and give those people less reason to save for their retirement.
    I would like to see a G20 crackdown on multinationals and give them something at the negotiating table as well. Say 5%? But it would need to be balanced by a transaction tax in country of origin.
    Anonymous
    30th Jan 2016
    7:22am
    So then companies hoard profits at low tax rates and the well paid put money into super at low tax rates and the tax burden is carried by the battling workers who don't have access to these rorts? Is that how you think it should go, Frank?

    I wonder if maybe we should look at a very generous individual tax threshold and then FLAT tax on everything after that. Someone I know has been arguing this for years but I disagreed. Seems the only nation in the world that implement this is booming! The additional essential component is that businesses can't deduct more than an ''averaged'' cost of doing business in their industry without a special audit to verify their claim. Reinvestment is also monitored via a special audit. It's an interesting concept. No doubt businesses would scream blue murder at even a hint of introducing it, but could it be the solution to our woes?
    Adrianus
    30th Jan 2016
    10:53am
    Rainey, in a well developed capitalist country most enterprises look to expend so when a government drops taxes on business guess what happens?
    We have seen this happen in the US and Canada.

    However in Australia only 20% of small to medium businesses wish to expand. I've known a lot of small business owners over the years and this figure seems to be accurate.
    Why is that so?
    These enterprises together provide the majority of jobs and generate a big wack of tax revenue but most don't want to grow?

    Shouldn't our challenge be,
    "how do we stimulate growth in this sector?"
    How do we get these small to medium enterprises to be less defensive and more aggressive.
    How do we change their collective attitude?
    For crying out loud Rainey.
    They are carrying the burden and all we do is weigh them down with threats and discouragement followed by imposts and more red and green tape.
    What's so wrong with enterprise?
    What is wrong with the good old Aussie "having a go" custom???!!!
    Anonymous
    31st Jan 2016
    7:38am
    Frank, nobody wants to stop business expansion. But you don't get business expansion by allowing huge corporates and the filthy rich to take more and more and destroying the incentives for the workforce and the consumption power of the people.

    Corporate tax cuts are a great idea - FUNDED BY CLAMPING DOWN ON TAX EVASION AND RORTS. Not by crippling society and destroying spending power that drives consumption that drives profit growth.

    I don't see anyone objecting to tax cuts for small business - FAIR tax cuts matched by tax cuts for honest workers, AND by increases in welfare and public services, PAID FOR BY THE GREEDY AND DISHONEST who are NOT currently paying their share.

    Nothing wrong with the good old Aussie ''having a go'' custom. Nothing at all. But how does anyone ''have a go'' when there's no quality in society - no security, high frustration levels, minimal opportunity. Take away public services and the social support system and there is no ''fair go''. And the reason we can't afford public services and a strong social support system and reduced taxes for the real ''lifters'' in this country is because the rich and powerful are taking way more than their share. Big corporations are not paying their dues. They are consuming massive public resource and demanding other people pay for them. Until that stops, we CAN'T talk about better incentives for anyone, because the money isn't there to offer them. Taking it from the poor can't ever work. You can't get blood out of a stone - and the more you take from the lower levels of society the less incentive there is for them, the higher health care costs go, the more crime you see, and the less spending power there is to fuel the consumption that drives profit growth. With poor public education you have less skill capacity for business. The cycle continues - downward!

    Growth starts at the bottom. Get the social structure right to give people confidence, opportunity, incentive, and security and you have capable workers and high demand and that drives business growth. And THEN you can cut tax to allow expansion. Not much good expanding if there's no workforce and no consumers!!!!
    Anonymous
    31st Jan 2016
    8:08am
    Frank, try only watering and feeding the strong thriving plants in your garden and see how well that works! If you don't fertilize and water the weaker plants, they die. Society is no different. If you keep giving to the rich, it will collapse. It's coming.
    Adrianus
    31st Jan 2016
    8:42am
    Rainey, and here I was thinking that we were a developed nation with a great welfare, education, health support. Great social structure. Gee Rainey :(
    Anonymous
    31st Jan 2016
    2:00pm
    We HAD a good welfare, education and health support system until this government started slashing it to pieces. We don't have a great social structure any longer, and we are at risk of it deteriorating further unless we recognize the need to stop attacking the underprivileged and start making greedy corporates and the wealthy pay their way.
    Anonymous
    31st Jan 2016
    6:29pm
    Ask an unemployed youth or someone with a disability how good our welfare system is, Frank. Ask someone whose on a waiting list for essential medical treatment. Ask someone from a struggling family who wants to go to university how good our social system is. Ask a retiree who will lose their pension in Jan 2017 and be left with an income of $25,000 a year or less (until being forced to sell assets in a falling market erodes their savings enough that they qualify for the pension again - but the security they struggled for 4 decades to achieve is gone!).

    This government just keeps destroying opportunity, hope, security and confidence - and incentive. There's only one way for the economy to go when governments do that, and I suspect it's all planned and orchestrated to destroy the middle class and impoverish the lower classes so the rich can again enjoy a feudal-type society. After all, their living standards have fallen with broad improvement in living standards. Fewer of them can now afford live-in servants bowing and scraping and jumping to their every command.

    Businesses will expand when consumer confidence rises, and that won't happen as a result of company tax cuts funded by slugging battlers. It will happen when the incomes of spenders is stabilized or rising. It will happen when more people can access education to improve their earning capacity. It will happen when more retirees have an adequate living income and a sense of security for their future. It will happen when young people feel confident that the retirement system will afford them comfort in old age and they can rely on the rules staying the same so their plans work out for them.

    This government has done a brilliant job of destroying consumer confidence and the capacity of consumers to spend. And now they want to make it worse.
    Moovers
    27th Jan 2016
    11:42am
    I would agree to a 25% GST is they scrapped ALL other taxes, ie fuel, land, wine, income tax, etc. This will get rid of the Tax Office at considerable savings.... Give the pensioners and all others on benefits a pay rise to cover the cost of an increase in GST plus a little more. Superannuation needs to be looked at and politicians should not be able to drawn down their pensions until retirement age just like everyone else. Politicians need to lead by example and stop a lot of their lurks and perks. They need to bring their benefits into the 21st century and not keep the laws that benefit them most. They also need to close the loop hole on off-shore companies and stop overseas workers coming in and taking our jobs. People on the dole should be made to work one or two days a week for their payments. Overseas immigrants should also be put to work straight away and not be handed out mobile phones, etc, etc because they are refugees. Sure help them with housing, etc but make them work, ie we can put an above ground pipeline down the middle of Australia to help drought proof our nation and this will help our farmers. Stop the sell off of our farms to overseas investors and maybe put some of these refugees on the farms. Maybe look at the 3 levels of Government - are we over governed? Federal, State and Councils, I would be interested to know how much each layer is costing the PAYE earner as they are the only ones who seem to be propping up this country. How do you think people such as Malcolm Turnbull, Palmer, etc become multi-millionaires - obviously they and their companies do not pay much tax. I could go on and I am sure that most of you will have other suggestions but I can tell you one thing for sure the Treasurer will not have the balls to do anything that all of suggest, he won't touch anything that will hurt them.....
    libsareliars
    27th Jan 2016
    1:48pm
    Well said.
    Mygasheater
    27th Jan 2016
    1:54pm
    When a refugee is granted residency status, the government gives them $800. That money is to find accommodation (THEY DO NOT GET FREE HOUSES OR FREE PHONES OR FREE ANYWAY HING ELSE NO MATTER WHAT THE SHOCK JOCKS TELL YOU) set up a household,buy furniture, pots and pans, sheets, blankets, buy clothes, buy food, etc.

    Now tell me where can you find somewhere to rent, put up bond money, set up a house and feed your self with a one off payment of $800? You can't. Charities and NGOs assist refugees to settle into Australia.

    When a refugee becomes a permanent resident they are entitled to claim the same benefits that any other permanent resident/citizen is entitled to.

    And former refugees do work and create businesses that employs others. And become Australian of the Year like that young man from Sudan did.

    Work for the dole, where are the jobs? Or are you suggesting that they take the jobs of those people already working, move full time employees to part time work. That will help how?

    Politicians remuneration and entitlements reined in? I'd like to see that but it will never happen. Lead by example? To see who gets in first at the trough and how deep they can get their snouts.

    We have lousy politicians because we voted for them. We have lousy government because we, the voter, don't hold them to account. If you don't like what your local member is doing, pick up the phone and tell him. Politicians love to hear from their voters.

    Federal taxes pay for federal government, state taxes pay for state government and rate payers pay for local councils.

    The very rich and the mega rich get richer by buying governments and having those governments pass laws that enable them to get richer, like getting taxpayer subsides to run their businesses and by cutting and reducing company tax rates. And the best one, reduce wage rates by doing away with penalty rates, demonising trade unions, by reducing the minimum hourly rate such as $7.25 in the US and £6 in the UK. That's how the rich get richer.

    Increasing the GST to 25%. Be careful about what you wish for. Pensioners may get a one off top up bonus but you will pay every time you buy anything. The rich done not buy a luxury car or mansion every week like you buy bread and milk.

    Ah the pipeline to drought proof Australia. Now that kind of monumental infrastructure would require politicians who had real vision about the future of Australia not the short sighted, self interested, self serving, egotistical lot thet we currently have. The current crop of politicians idea of a long range view is what will get a spot in the 6 o'clock news tonight.

    Stop selling the farm to foreign companies? I couldn't agree more. I remember in the dim, dark, distant past a politician name Whitlam said something similar and tried to do something about it.

    As for Morrisson having the "guts" to reform the tax system. He has the guts alright but the reforms will be for the benefit of the few elites not the many like you and me.
    MITZY
    27th Jan 2016
    2:55pm
    Mygasheater: Well put, not much more to add is there!
    Anonymous
    27th Jan 2016
    3:08pm
    Moovers, I agree with much of what you say, but how does a self-funded retiree living on their existing savings cope with an increase to 25% GST? They aren't paying much tax anywhere else because they aren't earning. So they will effectively lose 1/4 of their savings with no compensation. Given that many of those people just lost some $14,000 a year in pension benefits (due to a change in the taper rate) and have probably lost up to $40,000 a year due to falling investment returns, I wonder how ''fair'' it would be to slug them yet another 25% of their savings (some of which might have been very hard won through going without a lot in their working life).

    GST reform is regressive. It hurts the battlers and the savers. It feeds the rich. Therefore, we can be pretty certain that's ultimately what the LNP will decide is best. Look after the leaners. Bugger the lifters and the needy. They are nothing more than fodder for the leaners' fat cattle.
    roy
    27th Jan 2016
    3:14pm
    Vote independent.
    Anonymous
    27th Jan 2016
    4:21pm
    Give it up Mick you can"t have a Government run by independents it
    Just won"t work.
    Moovers
    27th Jan 2016
    4:38pm
    Rainey, I do agree with you. I will be a self refunded retiree in the next year if I have my way. I would hope that with the changes to the GST and the suggested pension increase would ensure that self funded retirees would fall into a catergory that entitles them to a part pension or at least a health care card. Problem with superannuation is that the Government of the day keep changing the rules. I am sure that a lot of us would have taken a different plan to retirement if we had a crystal ball and could keep up with the pollies. Have you heard of the MAP party? They are self funded retirees who are going to contest at the next election. By increasing the GST to 25% it means that the high flyers will at least pay their way for some of the time, depending on the tax reforms and their lurks and perks of the pollies and also the lurks and perks of the companies. Having said that, it might, I said might also deter some of the lower income earners from spending their money on take away food; smokes and booze and they might actually start buying real food for their children (see it all the time where I work). So who do we vote for?? Anyone except for Liberal, Labor and the Greens and Family first. Also Mygasheater, I know of refugees that were put up in a Lodge in Brisbane and Centrelink provided them with mobile phones, etc. These poor people had nothing to do but walk back and forward to the shops. The neighbourhood were scared of them as they would stare at you. They were bored. We need to give them something to do to make them feel worthwhile... and no I don't mean to give them other people's job. We have enough land in Australia that could be utilised and made into farms if we had water!! We have to look to the future for us... I certainly don't want to be owned by China and just look at the baby formula scenario now... our young mum's in australia can't buy the formula as there is a shortage. Australia has to start value adding, get our manufacturing industries back and put a tariff on all imported goods and all imported food should meet the same standards that our Government puts on our farmers...grrr
    MICK
    27th Jan 2016
    5:18pm
    Not true robbo. If enough Independents get up it's game over for the bastards who abuse the political system. If not then it's not carte blanche. Either way the vested interests cannot do horrible things to a population. THAT IS WHAT IS NEEDED TO BRING ABOUT REFORMATION. not going to happen willingly. Certainly not from any big business owned LNP government. Your end of town robbo.
    ex PS
    27th Jan 2016
    7:55pm
    You can't have a country run by Independants? That is exactly the line that has been pushed by the LNP and the ALP for decades.
    These organisations have spread a lie and will defend that position to the last person. There is absolutley no reason why a coaliotion of Independants can't form a working government, there would always be enough LNP and ALP survivors to keep them in check. Other than that the people who vote them in can always vote them out if they don't do their jobs.
    Currently the LNP and ALP believe that they rule by divine right, this has made them lazy and has given them the idea that they can cosey up to special interest groups and ignore every day voters.
    We need to give them a scare, and put them on notice to do their jobs.
    The LNP will never seriously look at tax reform for their campaign contributers and the companies that will put them on their Boards when they retire. The ALP don't want to tax anyone because they are afraid of losing votes. It's all about winning the next election in both cases rather than helping the country.
    Anonymous
    29th Jan 2016
    2:41pm
    Moovers, businesses dodge GST. They claim back GST on personal expenses. They use all sorts of rorts. But the main problem with raising revenue through 25% GST is the gross unfairness of making Fred, whose income is $30,000 a year and who spends $30,000 a year to live, pay 25% tax, while Jack, who lives comfortably on $50,000 a year but earns $500,000, pays 0.025%.

    Your proposal would grind hundreds of thousands into poverty and fund a massive tax cut for those who already pay way less than their share. Sorry, it's the WRONG approach to tax reform, and it would do massive social damage.

    As for expecting self-funded retirees to be compensated in any way, good luck! Won't happen. This government has repeatedly shown it's stance on battling self-funded retirees. Leave the rich alone, but those who just make self-funded status - CRUCIFY THEM. Take all they have and grind them back to poor pensioner status as quickly as possible.
    Anonymous
    30th Jan 2016
    7:30am
    And we don't have ''lousy'' politicians because we voted for them. We have lousy politicians because we have an anti-democratic two-party preferred voting system and rules that allow the ruling party to change distribution at a whim so they maintain their advantage, PLUS we pay politicians way, way, way too much so the job attracts all the useless, inept dim wits who can't make it in the real world. I know many politicians. They all went broke in private enterprise before entering politics. And most of the current lot are so inept that they ONLY way they could ever survive in the real world is through fraud and corruption.

    Look how hard it is for an independent or minor party to gain any real traction. Our system is broken. And of course media influence doesn't help.
    Adrianus
    30th Jan 2016
    9:42am
    Rainey, I can agree with most of that.
    I have been trying to make a list of Clive Palmer's greatest achievements but I must have writer's block I think?
    Patriot
    27th Jan 2016
    11:51am
    Just tax the FATCATS!!!

    That will "bring in" more revenue that they will be able to squander!
    Well - I suppose - that remark is questionable.
    MICK
    27th Jan 2016
    5:19pm
    Can't get tax from the rich. Many are exempt and the ATO will not go after them. It should!
    Tom Tank
    27th Jan 2016
    11:53am
    Morrison is on record as saying an increase in GST and a reduction in company tax will get the economy moving and solve our problems.
    Funny that an increase in a tax everybody pays but a decrease to the top end of town!!
    No prizes for guessing whose side he is on.
    MICK
    27th Jan 2016
    1:32pm
    It is. And what about the supposed "budget emergency"? How could you possibly give anyone a tax decrease if we had this?
    This is a game designed to bankrupt the feeble minded. A well conceived campaign of lies and deceit.
    Tom Tank
    27th Jan 2016
    5:18pm
    This nonsense about decreasing company tax so that business will employ more people is just a variation on the discredited "trickle down" model where if the rich get richer their wealth will trickle down to us lesser mortals.
    Business only employ the number of people they need, actually often less than they need hence the poor service we often get. Decrease the tax they pay and that will go into their pockets to spend on real estate investment or similar.
    MICK
    27th Jan 2016
    5:20pm
    This is the lie they tell Tom The reality is that the wealth of the rich just explodes. The intended outcome.
    Anonymous
    31st Jan 2016
    6:12pm
    The reality is, sadly, that the economy will contract if consumers have less to spend. If more money goes in GST, less goes into the pockets of struggling business operators as more goes to the government. If you have to balance that with increases in pensions and cuts to income tax to keep spending levels up, there is no gain to the government and no money to cut business taxes. So none of the arguments in favour of increased GST actually make any sense.

    (a) we raise GST with no compensation, in order to cut business taxes. People have less to spend so consumption and business profits fall. No additional jobs are generated. Tax cuts only compensate for reduced profits, with very negative outcomes.

    (b) we raise GST and compensate with increased pensions and reduced income tax, increased family tax benefits etc. The government doesn't raise more tax revenue to fund cuts to business taxes, so either they fund them out of current revenue - in which case nobody wins and the deficit doesn't decrease - or they don't cut corporate taxes at all.

    Okay, there's one argument that MIGHT make sense. Higher GST hits tax evaders. But if you give income tax cuts, you don't gain by hitting a few tax evaders. Business tax evaders evade GST. They simply claim it back by defining personal expenditure as business costs. There is very little scope for ordinary income-earners to evade income tax, and almost none for pensioners.

    So who, precisely, is going to pay more net tax under a higher GST regime? Pensioners of course (and they MIGHT get temporary compensation, but it won't compensate as prices continue to rise). Self-funded retirees and others who live on their savings (and they are unlikely to get ANY compensation). Wage earners on lower incomes, who don't pay enough tax that any cuts will compensate adequately. And here and there a few struggling businessmen who take a bit of cash under the counter from time to time.

    Major corporations that are dodging mega-millions in taxes by using profit-shifting schemes etc. are NOT going to be hit in any way by a higher GST. They collect GST from the Joe Public and pass it on to the ATO. They don't PAY it from their own resources.

    The whole argument is grossly flawed. And anyone who swallows it is as deluded as those who swallowed the absurd justification for the pension assets test changes - which are only going to impoverish more retirees and destroy incentive to save for retirement and thus will drive the cost of retirement up.
    dezyna
    27th Jan 2016
    11:59am
    Well done Mick, I agree with every statement you have made here today. Nothing is going to change this generation mate. I wish your views gained some traction in the political will department but they won't for all the reasons you have already stated. I have resigned myself to sitting in my wheel chair and watching my son and his children live with the predictable financial and moral erosion of the once lucky country. Keep it coming Mick.
    MICK
    27th Jan 2016
    1:36pm
    Any long journey starts with the first step dezyna. The mainstream media is controlled by the rich and frequently either refuses to print or gives a story short token value. In the end you get a heap of propaganda from the main media outlets.
    The way forward is to share views on social media which is not controlled by the vested interests. The only caveat I have is that many many people are brain dead to the bleeding obvious that this is not a fair contest.....but they often cannot vote for the other side. That is the tragedy. People who are easily manipulated by the crooks. Makes you want to cry.
    Campbell
    27th Jan 2016
    12:26pm
    The ATO can not collect the GST now and 15% will be just the same.
    There is a cash price for a service and a cheque or card price for the same work.
    I always pay cash and get 10% off.
    EG When a painter uses 140,000 litres of paint in a year and only painted 6 houses don't the idiots smell a rat. No because they are too busy stuffing their share into their pockets.
    MICK
    27th Jan 2016
    1:37pm
    Don't hold your breath. Cash is disappearing and will cease to exist in our lifetime. And I'm no Spring chicken.
    KSS
    27th Jan 2016
    2:00pm
    Campbell, surely paying cash and getting 10% off is in fact tax evasion and illegal. It happens because the 'service' or 'goods' are not logged in the business accounts. That makes it part of the black economy. The tax office regularly target businesses such as those trades for that very reason.

    Just saying.......
    Anonymous
    29th Jan 2016
    2:52pm
    KSS, what planet do you live on? I go shopping once a fortnight and I spend up to $100 in cash in businesses that don't take credit card or cheque - cash only - and don't give receipts. I've told the ATO I believe they are dodging tax. Nothing happens. Nobody cares! These businesses are raking in millions each year in undocumented cash receipts. Don't tell me it isn't to dodge GST and to reduce their claimed profits so they don't pay as much income tax, company tax, etc.

    But that's not the major issue with raising GST. It's that someone with a $30,000 income pays tax on all of it, while someone with a $500,000 income who spends $50,000 in Australia pays tax, at 15% GST, on only 0.015% of it.

    The rich buy overseas, duty free, GST free, and cheaper than here because of cheap labor costs. The poor will foot the bill for a GST increase, and the rich will keep partying. If that were not the case, Morrison wouldn't be talking about increasing it!
    'Chelle03
    27th Jan 2016
    12:46pm
    If the Govt are serious about tax reform they can start with the companies that avoid paying tax altogether on the millions of dollars profit they make by raping and pillaging our country. I am so sick and tired of all this BS about how much these companies are rorting the system and getting away with it. They know who they are for goodness sake - make them pay up! But no it will be the under $60Kper year workers who will pay and pay we will on bloody everything if the GST is raised. No wonder all the tradies are going for cash these days - can't say I blame them!!!
    Lecheman
    27th Jan 2016
    1:31pm
    A very sad but true comment!
    MICK
    27th Jan 2016
    1:38pm
    So make your vote count. That's what the ballot box is meant for.
    Oldie84
    27th Jan 2016
    12:47pm
    Ah well, and there I thought we could have a reasoned debate without personal invective . Butt here we go again....
    Everyone is surely entitled to their opinion but it should be reason and common sense.
    When Mick cites the repeal of things like the carbon tax (who do you think would have paid in the long run?) or the mining tax, which would be in very negative territory now, I give up. :-(
    Oldie84
    27th Jan 2016
    12:47pm
    Sorry: 'but"
    Lecheman
    27th Jan 2016
    1:27pm
    It is difficult to apply 'common-sense and reason' when your livelihood is being attacked, Oldie82. Following the conversation here, the main thrust appears to have been against the GST and tax rorting - in my humble opinion, all valid arguments.
    Alas, the perpetrators in this instance can be named and therefore, I do not see how the 'personal invective' could be avoided.
    MICK
    27th Jan 2016
    1:41pm
    Oldie: the repeal of the Carbon Tax had nothing to do with jobs. It was all about repayment. If not then why was the Labor legislation to protect investors from banks (who cared not who they ruined) torn up?
    It is what it is. My response is as always......FOLLOW THE MONEY TRAIL. That's where you'll find the crooks. The higher up the bigger the rats.
    ex PS
    28th Jan 2016
    10:32am
    We have major trading partners who are introducing Carbon Taxes.
    Do you really think that we will be selling coal to these countries and not be paying a penalty for exporting carbon?
    We will be paying a Carbon Tax anyway, but the money will be going intom foreign coffers.
    MICK
    28th Jan 2016
    1:18pm
    When this government in opposition started crowing about Australia not being competitive with a Carbon Tax I made this suggestion. That is how you get a level playing field.
    The stupidity is that a price on carbon is coming whether the coal industry likes it or not. Better to get in early then get in last when you pay the (severe) penalty for having held on to a bad bad position.
    jamesmn
    27th Jan 2016
    1:13pm
    if any liberal treasurer is in the job all they want to do is ripp into the pensioners while their high ranking mates ripp off the tax system but they don't want to know about that the only reason turnball is ahead in the polls is because he buckles at the knees at making any promises the same goes with the gst he knows he will never get it through if the liberals had to win a election on their own merits without the other party propping them up they would never win a election now you have abbot saying he wants to have another go at being prime minister the liberals cant decide who is run their party let them make some promises and see what the polls say and they should be honest about the gst not hiding behind each other saying i did not say that when they are playing all Australians for fools don't be fooled by the liberal lies.
    MICK
    27th Jan 2016
    1:43pm
    SHorten is pretty unpopular and Turnbull has kept his mouth shut. The reality is voters need to vote against any corrupt government rather than listen to the media lies run repeatedly to deceive us. People are their own worst enemy!
    Mygasheater
    27th Jan 2016
    2:05pm
    The reality is that neither the Liberals nor the Nationals could ever govern in their own right as they are, individually, minor parties.

    If I lived in the country I would not be voting National. They have suborned the interests and concerns of rural people to slavishly follow the Liberal agenda just to get in power.
    roy
    27th Jan 2016
    3:15pm
    Vote independent it's the only way.
    MITZY
    27th Jan 2016
    1:26pm
    Its hard to imagine anything will happen with tax reform before the next election. Liberal governments do not ever ever ever increase taxes for their mates, big business etc. therefore they wouldn't dare scare off their loyal current Mum & Dad voters whose Mum & Dads voted Liberal all their lives.

    As to Scott Morrison being an effective Minister, I guess one could say he was effective as Minister for Immigration and Border Protection with the stop the boats rhetoric but of course the boats have all gone elsewhere, they haven't really stopped, only here, of course.
    So then he got a change of portfolio in a cabinet reshuffle 2013/2014 to Minister for Social Services for no great length of time and I doubt not much benefit if any to retirees and pensioners. Then of course another reshuffle with another PM (Turnbull) into the Treasury portfolio since September 2015 (only 4 months so far) so he's hardly "warmed" the seat there.
    No, I doubt much will transpire between now and when the next election date is announced. I must say I really am "enjoying" this "great, exciting innovation period" we are having??!! Come to think of it Turnbull hasn't done much in four months either, only talk the handle off an iron pot. It will be interesting to see what's cooking/stirring in the pot once an election date is announced.
    MICK
    27th Jan 2016
    1:45pm
    Morrison has promised (for what that is worth) to take changes to the next election. Given the large number of lies from Abbott in the past I would not believe a word from any minister from the current government. Sadly some of us will...God help them.
    KSS
    27th Jan 2016
    2:09pm
    Much as you may not like it Mitzy, Australia is not the border police for other countries. Stopping the boats coming to Australia and thereby saving lives being lost at sea was the promise, and one that was kept. This was exactly what most people were demanding and voted for at the time of the general election.

    It seems a bit churlish to complain now that the would-be boat people have gone elsewhere.
    MITZY
    27th Jan 2016
    3:15pm
    KSS: You manage to pick the eyes out of most posts, so be it. I could say tongue in cheek, a little on the sarcastic side, but fairly mild I'd say compared to some posts on this website. Definitely not churlish.

    In retrospect, with regard to the boats: Where is the evidence ... "this was exactly what most people were demanding and voted for at the time of the general election"??. I don't vote on "one" issue, I vote on a whole range of issues, some of which were blantantly ignored once this Coalition came to rule.
    Most voters rarely "demand" anything.
    Anonymous
    30th Jan 2016
    7:26am
    Me too, Mitzy. And I recall promises of ''no changes to pensions'' (broken), ''no reductions in health spending'' (broken), ''no reductions in education spending'' (broken), ''no cuts to ABC'' (broken) and even the 'big fat generous paid parental leave scheme promise (that I didn't agree with at all) was broken.

    Boats? What boats? Far more illegal immigrants come in by plane, and nobody in the LNP is even talking about stopping them.
    Adrianus
    30th Jan 2016
    9:37am
    The 150,000 illegals who came in by plane during the Rudd/Gillard years were as a result of corruption in the Immigration department. The AFP has since made arrests and some have slipped out like Captain Emad did on Chris Bowen's watch.
    If you have evidence of it continuing on a comparable scale, then let's hear about it?
    Anonymous
    31st Jan 2016
    7:27am
    The illegal immigration problem hasn't gone away, Frank. They are still coming in - in droves. And it's costing us a fortune. The LNP has NOT fixed it. And the Rudd/Gillard government may have failed to identify/address corruption in the immigration department, but it was happening long before they came to power. It wasn't leading politicians who were corrupt. It was ordinary working people in the immigration department.

    In any case, I don't see the connection. So Morrison did something good (maybe) in his capacity as Immigration Minister. As Social Services Minister he dreamt up a wildly economically damaging policy and go all his numbers wrong (I know. I demanded he send them to me and they don't stack up at all!), and as Treasurer he's done nothing but rant on about the need to do something and try to peddle another damaging idea.
    Adrianus
    31st Jan 2016
    8:18am
    Again Rainey, where's the evidence? Back up your claim?

    "The illegal immigration problem hasn't gone away, Frank. They are still coming in - in droves. "

    Or is this another $1.28 claim???
    Anonymous
    1st Feb 2016
    7:15am
    Where's the evidence they've reduced, Frank? Oh, that's right. The LNP says so. The LNP-biased media says so, because the LNP tells them to. There's NO evidence of any reduction. But there's plenty of condemnation and upset about Australia's inhuman treatment of refugees.

    Now in Denmark, apparently, the government has demonstrated intelligence. They've said ''Sure - come, come. You are very welcome here. We are caring, humane people and we will offer you sanctuary and a chance at a new life. BUT if you are a refugee, you have no money or assets, so if you come with money or assets, we will confiscate all of it except essential basics and limited items of sentimental value. If you come, you come AS A REFUGEE- empty handed and desperate.''

    Guess what? The frauds don't want to go there, and I'm pretty sure there are VERY VERY FEW genuine refugees on any boat or plane!
    Adrianus
    1st Feb 2016
    1:09pm
    As I' said before Rainey, one of the reasons we have people rowing half way around the world to get here is that our social security payments are possible the highest in the world in US$. During my travels I found many countries would prefer to accept US$ even above their own currency.
    Is it any wonder that people seek out generous countries like Australia?

    We have a humanitarian intake of about 14,000 migrants per year. But during the end of Rudd's first term that figure became about 170,000.
    That's a lot of people on welfare.
    But according to your theory that is exactly what boosted the economy.
    As your theory goes.....the more welfare recipients, the more welfare dollars circulating the better trade for businesses, and the stronger the economy.

    According to the ABS their best guess is that the present number of illegal immigrants, most of them being visa over stayers, sits at around 62,000.
    Anonymous
    5th Feb 2016
    5:55am
    What do you read, Frank? Our social security payments are NOT among the highest in the world. Nor are they easy to access. We are too generous to immigrants - that I will agree with. Australia spends much less, as a portion of GDP, on welfare than nearly all other developed countries, and our aged pension is about the third lowest in the world relative to average earnings. Our eligibility assessment and management system is among the tightest in the world.

    Where our system is excessively generous is in that it offers part pensions to people with high incomes. Look at the aged pension. You can get a part pension despite earning $900 a week ($1450 for a couple). Yes people who struggled all their lives to save a modest nest-egg for retirement - a nest-egg that won't last very well at all thru 30 years of inflation - and who only earn $25,000 a year or less (for a couple) get nothing.

    The system is broken, but it is NOT excessively generous. It is just that we give new immigrants the same entitlements as people who have worked and paid taxes for a lifetime, and there is perceived (probably wrongly) to be great opportunity in Australia. One reason for that is that our wages are high and Australians typically demand excellent working conditions and high pay for menial or unpleasant jobs, so immigrants can come in and get work because they'll work in poorer conditions and for less pay. Also, Australia has a very healthy cash economy, and immigrants love that. And we don't confiscate their wealth. They claim refugee status when they are in fact NOT refugees and often very rich. And they leave their assets in tax havens and send their income back home and claim huge tax benefit to do that. They can even take their Aussie pension back home when they retire.

    It's interesting that it's the well-off LNP supporters wearing blinkers who complain about welfare costs. They've never experienced hardship and they wouldn't have the tiniest clue what they are on about. All they get is ''woe is me, my taxes are paying someone who isn't working'', and they automatically assume anyone not working is a '''bludger''. They completely ignore the fact that we have hundreds of thousands more willing workers than jobs.

    And NO, Frank, a GST increase WILL NOT help. Small business DOESN'T WANT IT. They are opposing it strongly, because they know it will STIFLE growth, not stimulate it. You can't create jobs by killing people's spending power with higher prices.

    Why don't you stop making ASS-U-MEs and reading LNP propaganda and start studying facts for a change?
    Anonymous
    5th Feb 2016
    6:13am
    And I never said more people on welfare is better for trade or business or make a stronger economy. What utter crap! You have a major comprehension problem, Frank (which is why you get all your facts wrong, I guess.)

    We DO NOT want more people on welfare, but crippling the spending power of battlers reduces consumption which reduces growth. You need to trim at the top end where surplus income is saved, not spent, to raise more taxes to maintain living standards at the low end so that consumption is maintained or increased. Consumption is what drives growth. Our problem is that the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer, and the rich don't spend more when they have more. The poor do. So when you transfer wealth to the rich, you kill consumption and you kill growth.

    It goes further. The well-to-do consume imported items more readily than battlers, travel overseas rather than locally, and have greater access to cheap, GST-free imports and duty free purchases than strugglers. So by loading up the well-to-do at the expense of battlers, you boost imports and spending outside the country and reduce local growth.

    What this country needs is a change of attitude. We need to recognize that in a healthy society, everyone has a right to work and everyone has a right to a lifestyle. In an environment where technology has reduced jobs and increased productivity, everyone should benefit - not just the fortunate. What we need in Australia is a return to the concept of one parent staying at home or working part time and caring for the kids (better for the children, better for marriages, better for society), recognition of the importance of retirement and leisure, better support for the sick and disabled - recognizing their right to quality of life, and reduced working hours so that more jobs are created. If everyone worked LESS, not more, we'd have a healthier society and more jobs so less welfare and lower taxes.

    Technology reduced work, so the logical response is to reduce working hours/years and encourage single income families. We do the opposite. We extend working hours, kill off retirement dreams, crucify and bully mothers who want to stay home with their kids, shower working families with money to pay for child care and huge benefits to stay in work while having more kids, and then wonder why we have increasing numbers of unemployed and fewer jobs. But greedy fools who are terrified reduced working hours would reduce their big fat pay packets scream that it must be ''bludgers'' or immigrants causing the problems, because they just don't want to acknowledge a truth that might hurt their over-inflated hip pocket.

    The LNP is killing the economy. And they are doing it by killing the spending power of the less fortunate. The solution isn't more people on welfare. It's a better deal for the less well off so they spend more to stimulate growth, and a healthier attitude that reduces the sick over-valuation of work and material wealth and places proper value on leisure, social health, community and family.
    cdbstock
    27th Jan 2016
    3:24pm
    The article & all the comments seem to accept the tax system as we have it but with a range of tinkering' - no political tinkering will resolve: impacts on the poor; high cost of collection (ATO staff, lawyers & staff, tax accountants & staff), need for annual tax returns, cost of tax collection on foreign internet purchases, tax collection from international companies; etc. A transaction tax would & eliminate all other federal taxes - but an effective system for payments to claimants (Centrelink payments, equivalent tax deductions (eg family benefits, low income recipients, etc). A transaction tax system - see explanation below - would. But such a system could go hand in hand with a modified current system - makes it more politically acceptable. The GST could be amended to be all inclusive (on all purchases & money transfers eg by cash, credit/debit card, direct transfer etc) - but at a lower rate eg 2% such a low rate would virtually eliminate cheating ('black economy') but raise even more revenue than now. As the rate would be suibstatially lower than the current GST rate compensation may not be necessary

    27th Jan 2016
    3:27pm
    I think Scott Morrison is an egomaniacal self-serving incompetent who has allowed himself to have strings attached to him so he becomes yet another puppet for the wealthy and privileged to manipulate to serve their own ends. He has demonstrated his intent to persecute battlers, to screw the middle class, and to over-indulge the rich in every way possible. Don't expect anything to change for the better - certainly not while the LNP is in power, and most likely not while Australia suffers under the sick anti-democratic two-party system that denies all of us an effective say in who rules or how.
    MICK
    27th Jan 2016
    5:22pm
    He's got front. Not sure if anything else though. But he is a member of this 'team' so carries the same brand. Unlikely that anything other than the stated objective: tax the poor more and give the rich tax deductions!
    cdbstock
    27th Jan 2016
    3:29pm
    sorry - forgot attachment - see below - but if implemented alongside an amended curren system the rate would be lower - say, 2%
    TRANSACTION TAX

    INTRODUCTION
    1. The current federal tax system is far too complex
    2. The ever increasing amount spent for online purchase less than $1000 per item results in ever decreasing GST revenue - & it’s too costly to impose & scrutinise GST collection on these items
    THE TRANSACTION TAX SYSTEM (SIMPLIFIED)
    1. A 4% (say) tax on every monetary transaction – no exception
    2. No other federal taxes of any kind
    3. A scheme for direct payments from gov’t to eligible applicants (compensation) to ensure people pay no extra tax & receive all benefits to which they were entitled previously – so no one is ‘worse-off’
    4. For example: transfer of wages from employer to employee; payments for groceries etc; all repayments onto credit cards; all payments for items purchased online; transfer of funds from a transaction bank account to a term deposit account; all payments by cash, cheque, credit card, debit card, etc
    IMPACTS
    1. Gov’t must pay all benefits from consolidated revenue – visible budget allocations
    2. No annual tax return
    3. Much reduced ATO size
    4. No unproductive tax accountant/tax lawyers & support staff
    5. Catch all online purchase/sales
    6. No difficulty as currently experienced in determining which items are subject to GST
    7. Large reduction in size of the ‘black market’ – it’s just not worth it at 4%
    8. Encourages vertical integration to minimise tax
    9. Reduction in State/Territory taxes – negotiable
    10. Simplified accounting requirements
    11. Politicians are able to promise grants, payments, reduction in the transaction tax rate etc – all from budget
    PROBLEMS
    1. Politicians will want exceptions to gain votes
    2. Substantial legislation required
    3. ‘Centrelink’ will be inundated with applications for compensation
    4. The ATO will need to increase its resources for the increased ‘auditing’ role & penalising role – re applications for compensation
    5. Need to have transitional arrangements – eg: adequate notice to enable IT developments; industrial arrangements; calculation of the required tax rate; public education arrangements; lobby groups; - but transitional arrangements are feasible.
    cdbstock
    Jan 2016
    ?
    TRANSACTION TAX - INDIVIDUALS – EXAMPLES
    LOW INCOME
    Assumptions:
    • Employer pays wage into a bank account & other pay deductions into other accounts
    • Employee spends 90% of wage on essentials & entertainment
    • Employee invests 10% of wage
    Tax paid:
    • 4%*100% of wage paid by employer to employee
    • 4%*90% of wage spent by employee on essentials etc
    • 4%*10% of wage invested by employee
    • 4%*dividends – assumed as 5% pa - (0.04*0.05*0.1*wage=0.2%*wage)
    • Total tax paid by employee=wage(4%*100%+4%*90%+4%*10%+4%*5%*10%)=wage(4%+3.6%+0.4%+0.02%=8.02% of wage
    MID INCOME
    Assumptions
    • 100% salary etc paid by employer into employee’s bank account
    • Employee spends 80% salary etc on ‘essentials’ & entertainment
    • Employee invests 20% salary etc
    Tax Paid:
    • 4%*100% of salary etc paid by employer to employee
    • 4%*80% of salary etc spent by employee on ‘essentials’ & entertainment
    • 4%* 20% of salary etc invested by employee
    • 4% dividends – assumed as 5% pa – (4%*5%*20%)salary=.04%
    • Total tax paid by employee=salary(4%*100%+4%*80%+4%*20%+4%*5%*20%*=4%+3.2%+0.8%+0.04%* salary=8.04% of salary

    • HIGH INCOME
    Assumptions:
    • 100% salary etc paid by employer to employee
    • Employee spends 50% salary etc on ‘essentials’ & entertainment
    • Employee invests 50% salary etc
    Tax Paid:
    • 4%*100% of salary etc
    • 4%*50% salary etc spent on ‘essentials’ & entertainment
    • 4%*50% of salary etc invested
    • 4% dividends – assumed as 5% pa – (0.04*0.05*0.5*salary etc)
    • Total tax paid by employee=salary(4%+2%+2%+0.1%=8.1% of salary
    Mygasheater
    27th Jan 2016
    4:26pm
    The GST was supposed to eliminate cash payments but hasn't.

    There are problems with your assumptions.

    Low income earners spend everything, nothing left over to invest.

    Middle income earners spend every thing they earn and more (on credit), nothing left to invest.

    High income earners pay exactly the same on groceries, utilities as the others, mostly in arrangements ( eg salary sacrifice) so that the company pays and by default, in reality, the taxpayer pays. Lotsa money left over to invest. The

    How would you get around these problems?
    Crimmo
    27th Jan 2016
    4:07pm
    Introduce politics to the equation and we will never a fair, equitable and right solution. Some things need to be decided outside of politics.
    Mags
    27th Jan 2016
    4:20pm
    We are in the mess we are because the Labor party just jumped in without thinking anything through ...so I don't mind our treasurer taking his time and getting it right....
    Oldie84
    27th Jan 2016
    4:54pm
    Someone with some common sense. Wonders never cease.... :-)
    MICK
    27th Jan 2016
    5:27pm
    Labor did not remove the debt ceiling. Nor did it hand out $8 billion a year to the fossil fuel industry. And it was addressing multinationals scamming the tax system and the superannuation tax shelter rorts the rich use to avoid tax.
    If you blame then you have to give case studies....not just statements.
    What is happening is the next move on the chessboard from a discredited government with a PM who has money in an offshore Tax haven and rich benefactors wanting lower taxes whilst the poor stump up the money.
    "Getting it right"? Yeah, that's what I expect the Liberal Party to say.
    Adrianus
    27th Jan 2016
    6:07pm
    Well said Mags.
    Adrianus
    29th Jan 2016
    6:51am
    mick the more you try to defend Labor the deeper the hole you dig for them. They were a disaster.
    Their asylum seeker policy was all over the shop.
    WASHING machines, microwave ovens, DVDs and plasma TVs are among a 60-item welcome gift pack for asylum seekers offered rent-free homes in the community.

    To fulfil a promise to move an influx of families out of detention, the Gillard Government was fitting out each home with up to $10,000 worth of furnishings and electronics.

    They were given food hampers upon arrival at rented homes where they waited for their claims to be processed.
    We have another 200,000 on the welfare system thanks to Labor's mismanagement.
    Anonymous
    30th Jan 2016
    7:34am
    Labor ''bumped in without thinking''? And did what, exactly? Struggled through the GFC burdened with huge obligations created by the previous LNP who squandered the boom profits and committed future governments to paying massive middle-class welfare and giving the rich huge tax concessions.

    What was Labor supposed to do? Can all those irresponsible changes made by Howard and Costello and get voted out immediately?

    Wake up Mags. Obviously you go around with your eyes closed and take no notice at all of what's really happening in our world.
    Mags
    27th Jan 2016
    4:21pm
    Gee...how come my comments which don't contain bad language never shiw
    Anonymous
    27th Jan 2016
    4:26pm
    They take a minute or two to come up Mags and good answer.
    MICK
    27th Jan 2016
    5:28pm
    Liberal Party tag team methinks.
    Adrianus
    29th Jan 2016
    12:13pm
    It's possible you have been reported by mick?
    FM
    27th Jan 2016
    4:34pm
    Whatever happens retirees will be much worse off under the intended tax changes.
    Not only is Mr. Morrison aiming to increase the GST he has been pushing hard to tax pensioners/superannuants to give tax cuts to Business and high income earners through the rabid attacks of John Daley, Peter Martin and others on retirees. There is no mechanism for compensating self funded retirees who are below the tax margin for increases to the GST and it would be a battle to get recognized as it was with the Carbon tax. So far all Budget repair has taken money from retirees and nothing from medium to high income earners. There is no plan to change that. The fascist vilification of retirees and wedge politics that have been used to 'justify' this has no parallel under any previous Government. Retirees urgently need to work out who they can vote for in the next election. This Government has the social ethics of the 1770s.
    Moovers
    27th Jan 2016
    4:57pm
    FM I agree, self funded retirees need to work out who to vote for. I have come across the MAP Party and have been sourcing through their material. They are self funded retirees who are also fed up with what is going on. One thing we must not do is vote for the Liberal / National Party; Labor; the Greens or Family First. I agree with Mick, vote independent but make sure you know where their preferences are going. If they are going to either of these parties you will have to put all the numbers on the ballot paper yourself, not just the one number and make sure that are last on the list...
    Anonymous
    8th Feb 2016
    8:22am
    I've worked out who to vote for Moovers. Always been an LNP supporter, and usually wouldn't consider voting for Labor, but I believe strongly that voting Labor this year is the ONLY way to get rid of this toxic and very dangerous government.

    I'd like to agree with Mick. I think we need more independents. But I fear voting independent or minor party is going to play into the LNP's hands. Labor NEEDS direct support to topple this government, and if we don't topple this government, our society is in dire trouble.

    Sure, Labor has significant flaws. There will be downsides to letting them take the reins again. But if they correct some of the worst sins of the LNP and restore confidence and hope,then it's worth the pain their minor flaws might cause.

    Frank harps endlessly about school halls and insulation programs, but really, those costs were miniscule compared to the hideous cost the Howard/Costello government imposed by expanding middle-class welfare and handouts to the rich. The Howard/Costello government created the current deficit with handouts and concessions that were obviously only affordable during a huge boom. They squandered the boom profits. And now the LNP is trying to make the poor pay for those excesses, while not only leaving them in place, but increasing them.

    At least Labor has committed to looking at superannuation tax concessions, corporate profit shifting, and other tax rorts, and has demonstrated a commitment to maintaining a healthy social welfare system and adequate support for the underprivileged.

    Ultimately, the two-party-preferred system must go. That's a given. But for now, we need to get rid of a toxic, cruel and utterly failed government and restore confidence and hope. Voting Labor is the only way.
    mIKER
    27th Jan 2016
    5:11pm
    Just remeber that upon taking the role as Treasurer Morrison declared that we have a spending problem, not a revenue problem.
    What he really meant is that he will reduce spending on social security, health and education and would not attempt to collect tax from big business or reduce vastly overgenerous tax concessions for athe wealthy.
    Shorten may not be our preferred PM, but at least the Party he represents tries to safeguard the interests of the average voter.
    MICK
    27th Jan 2016
    5:31pm
    I personally do not like Shorten but it's the best choice in a bad lot if you have to vote for the Woolies and Coles parties. As I keep saying...vote for an Independent and shake the game up. Do the same that you always do and then pull your hair out because nothing changes. What is the definition of stupidity?
    SGW
    27th Jan 2016
    6:25pm
    like Mick says vote independent were you can, as for the Libs, It's revenue stupid, from the big end of town not the average family.

    I can't remember were i read it but one economist said, any middle class person that votes for a conservative government is a fool, because all they do is feed the rich
    SGW
    27th Jan 2016
    6:18pm
    Number 1 on the publics list should be to demand all politicians work conditions are the same as the average person, no special privileges after 7 years service, when you retire you become self funded or go to centrelink like everybody else, no free office and staff, or free flights and no special pension paid for by the public purse, government travel should be qantas business class, and rooting expenses should be a sackable issue, that alone would save plenty of money and maybe, just maybe give us a better class of politician who's not there just to fill their pockets with our money. Read the book, The Debt resistors operations manual, by strike debt. that will waken a few people up.
    Janran
    27th Jan 2016
    6:26pm
    For over 20 years I've owned and run a small family manufacturing business in regional NSW. ANY increase in GST will cripple us, if not break us, as we compete directly with cheap Chinese imports, who quote their prices online without the GST included.

    Trade agreements will only make things worse for small businesses like us. I've emailed the relevant Federal Ministers about this, only to receive impersonal replies about how good it'll be for the Australian economy and what a fantastic opportunity it'll be for Australian businesses. It's enough to make me want to puke! Big businesses will just blast us out of the water and off the landscape as well. Power and clout will become concentrated into fewer hands and we'll be squeezed out.

    Mick, you forgot to mention the billions of $$$ the LNP are handing out to the biggest polluters, for not polluting more than they did last year. Oh, aren't they good corporate citizens!? Meanwhile, fossil fuel miners and energy retailers are subsidized with taxpayer money! The Govt continues to penny-pinch when it comes to investing in sustainable, green energy research, producers & retailers. This is what they call "Direct Action" to address carbon emissions. OMG
    It's absolutely unbelievable what this Govt is getting away with!!! Then they cry poor: "We have a spending problem, not a revenue problem." What blatant tripe! More puke.

    Promote real, local employment. Boost small business, not big. They already have too much and they often rip everyone off.
    MICK
    27th Jan 2016
    6:49pm
    Great post. Please rub the noses of the Liberal Party trolls working this site into this one. You have put a real business perspective on this and small business needs to realise that this government has not interest in them either other than getting their votes. In the end this government is owned by big business and the puppets who call themselves MPs are no more than guns for hire doing whatever they are told. Despicable creatures who would be better served renouncing their citizenship rather then pretending to represent the nation. They don't.
    I agree with you Janran. We need to give local businesses a fighting chance. Sadly the only thing that happens at an Australian political perspective is selling assets to foreigners. WE NEED AN ELECTION...and we need voters to wake up and stop voting for the current bunch of congenital liars.

    27th Jan 2016
    7:34pm
    Scott, "do your job" or get off the pot.

    27th Jan 2016
    7:50pm
    great to see jackass is still alive and calling out his normal bray, HEE-HAW, HEE HAW, keep it coming and it will show your lack of brains, then again you are the one who calls yourself a jackass, labor mick's only contribution to these articles is having a go at the liberals, conveniently forgetting who got us in this mess in the first place, how can we forget Rudd, what a joke he was, abusing a stewardess, because he could not get a five course meal on a three hour flight, yet on the back of a beer coaster they planned the nbn, needless to say it is running years behind time and over budget, not by millions but by billions, he is now running to become the secretary general of the united nations, god help us and the world if that comes true and what about gillard, her wanton waste of our taxes, see the mining tax, gillard's carbon tax, etc, etc., yet now we are in deep poepoe and all those labor admirers are coming out of the woodworks, we never heard of them when they were getting handouts, e.g the greatest joke of all, the insulation fiddle, rudd, how many firms were send to bankruptcy, how many people died installing the insulation, how many fires destroyed the houses of those who believed in rudds labor insulation handout, the only benefactors of those labor years and I am one of those, I put my $ 750.00 into a high interest account and can assure you it is still in there, yet now they are all upset because the devil has come to visit and want you to repay your hand outs!
    just blame the rich is the cry, no, it is your stupidity who got you into this mess, by using your brains, many of you showed a lack of this, you would have been on the same planet, I did not spend my handout on the pokies, a new t.v. or whatever, I don't forget that my super was not paid by me but by my boss, the intention being to make it easier to live on the pension, not to spend it as quickly as possible so I did not have to return to the tits of sucking a pension of the taxpayer.
    the question asked in this article: is morrison the man for the job to bring this country back to its former glory,
    my answer, if he can't do it, seeing the results of stopping the boats, we may as well lay down and (I won't be one of them), give in to those who got nothing, are not interested in working to improve themselves or are relying on handouts supplied by the so-called rich people, Australia be prepared to see more people leaving the country and expect an influx of those who will rely on the dole for the rest of their lives as will their parents and kids.
    Yes labor mick, jackass etc will attack me for these comments, just see me next year when you will realise how you was taken by the nose, I don't ask You to vote for any party as do labor mick etc. all I ask think before cast your vote, what is important to you and your children's future
    Anonymous
    28th Jan 2016
    7:42am
    Yes good comment Heermskerk 99 pretty much covered the lot and gave me a good laugh, that was what Rudd and Gillard where a good laugh only they stuffed the country in the meantime.

    Only I'm pretty sure Rudd handed me $900 not $750 as you state maybe I was lucky.
    MICK
    28th Jan 2016
    8:03am
    Rudd never handed me a dollar robbo. You should have gotten nothing. And better still you should have written that you are a Liberal Party stoolie and GIVEN IT BACK. That's what a man of principle would have done.
    So how many of your extended family lost their jobs during the GFC? I thought so. Hypocrite!

    heemskerk: verbal diarrhea on steroids! Your posts lack intellectual rigor of any sort and facts. Just mindless and dishonest crap.
    The only thing I agree with you about is your last line. I won't be condemning my children to the fate you and your team intend to create for them. That would be betrayal. Something that the Liberal Party and its governments are well known for.
    Anonymous
    28th Jan 2016
    10:00am
    Why would I hand it back Mick all the labour stooges got it except you by the sounds of things. Also I paid tax that was the Qualification you obviously didn"t.
    Most of my family lost Jobs in this period because of Labour incompentace
    MICK
    28th Jan 2016
    12:25pm
    I actually did pay tax. Your supposed dig at Labor (the norm) avoids the truth....a common trait of Liberal Party disciples! Almost no Australians lost their jobs after the GFC. To experience that you had to go to the US (try Detroit for a starter!) or Europe. There for all to see.
    Where are your morals robbo? You took the money and now deride the Labor government for giving it to you. What a hypocrite!
    If you were a man of principle you would have sent the money back marked to the attention of Kevin Rudd. And now you have the audacity to bag a government which gained power during the worst downturn in a hundred years and did everything it could to keep Australians employed. So what (supposed) jobs did your family lose?
    If you want to look at real incompetence then look at your ex leader Tony Abbott. The wrecking ball dragged the nation into the gutter in Opposition and when he gained government he destroyed the perfectly operational Carbon Tax for his mates in the coal business (taxpayers now have to foot up $8 billion a year extra), butchered the NBN (now costing heaps more and a dog's breakfast) and torpedoed legislation to protect investors from the immoral big banks who are happy to commit fraud and then walk away Scott free.
    You paid tax? So did and do I buddy. I was happy to not get a cheque and have never grumbled about it. You took the money and now recriminate. Cur!!!
    Frank
    28th Jan 2016
    1:13pm
    Good post mick. Shows a lot of understanding.
    Anonymous
    28th Jan 2016
    3:00pm
    So Mick you admit you talk bullshit on this website who would have thought
    . I thought you where as honest as all the unionists no hang on haven"t they been picked up for thieving money from the unions well who would have thought seems like all labour and there voters are crooked.
    Adrianus
    29th Jan 2016
    7:00am
    mick you may have been a little too rich to get a cheque mate. Or perhaps off to Japan or Canada skiing?
    Anonymous
    29th Jan 2016
    3:02pm
    Heemseeker, arrogant people like you put this the future of this nation in jeopardy with your wild assumptions and baseless statements.

    I didn't waste my money on pokies or grog either. I used it to pay medical costs for a disabled child. And nobody put a cent into my super fund for me.

    We aren't all as fortunate as you, and contrary to the claims of the ''holier than though'' egotists, it has nothing to do with being stupid. Life deals some of us challenges that not even the smartest and strongest could overcome.

    Get off your high horse for a minute and show some empathy and compassion for people who simply didn't have the opportunity to save.

    Morrison IS the man to crucify the lifting battlers of this nation to line the pockets of the privileged. He's evidenced that already. And the solutions to our problems have also been evidenced conclusively by his opponents. The LNP keeps asking how to fix the budget. They've been told - over and over and over again. They just won't listen.

    BTW. I've always been an LNP voter - until this disgusting mob of self-serving elitists decided to turn back the clock and create a feudal society.
    Anonymous
    29th Jan 2016
    3:05pm
    Frank, I didn't get a cheque because my income was $0, so I paid no tax and I didn't get a pension. It was a really fair deal - not! Many of those in greatest need were left out entirely.
    Adrianus
    29th Jan 2016
    3:07pm
    Rainey, why cloud the issues with empathy and compassion before dealing with reality?
    Who do you think could be pumping money into the pokies?
    Adrianus
    29th Jan 2016
    3:10pm
    Yes I know, many believe that the cheques went to strong labor seats just like the first NBN connections.
    Happy Jack
    28th Jan 2016
    10:40am
    Well! Well! Well! I was spot on, germsjerk69's back on deck since the LIEBERAL party opened the doors after the break. Bet they were too lousy to pay penalty rates over the holidays. One thing's improved though- germsjerk69 taken to using the odd punctuation mark or two. Big improvement on 2015 effort. Maybe spent some time in summer school remedial classes over the break. Now, I'll be the first to admit we need to check the imbalance between the have's and the have not's in this country and we can start by halting the subsidies and tax breaks to foreign national oil, gas, power and mining companies not to mention ridiculous handouts to the heavy polluters to supposedly lower carbon emissions. What a joke that is. Even poor old tumbles Turnbuull dont believe that one, along with the views on gay marriage not to mention the republic and nbn held by the extreme right wing of the conservative party. One must remember; they only installed Turnbull to shore up thier ailing support in the electorate and will keeping a very close eye on him.Then we can have close look at super tax breaks for large balances, negative gearing, family trusts etc, etc- the list goes on. You can bet though that it will, as far as this conservative mob is concerned, fall back to their regressive GST which will impact most heavily on pensioners and low income earners. On the topic of the pink bats and the tragic deaths of 6 installers, employed in a program to help save this country from recession, if not depression, that this number falls far short, germsjerk69, of the 504 young Australian kids killed in the jungles of Vietnam who were conscripted and sent there by a lying LIEberal govt.
    MICK
    28th Jan 2016
    12:26pm
    The Liberal Party annual vacation is over Jack. That's when the rats resurface on this website.
    Anonymous
    28th Jan 2016
    6:10pm
    hee-haw, hee- haw
    Beecee
    28th Jan 2016
    11:43am
    At last people are stating the obvious- Taxes on high income earners (say over $200000) should be much higher,and middle classes and low income earners should be at least untouched - There are too many Co directors etc earning millions - I doubt much of this income is distributed to worthy charities as a tax deduction.Not that long ago Bob Menzies (Liberal party!)ran this land of milk and honey and tax rates on high incomes were over
    70c per $1!! Taxes should also be levied on excessive superannuation payments.
    MICK
    28th Jan 2016
    12:30pm
    That is just the start of it Beecee. There are bucket loads of companies paying nil or zilch. Of course this government is turning a blind eye. What else would you expect: Work Choices and NO TAXES for the rich. It never much changes with LNP governments but the current one is totally brazen and makes no bones about its intentions. IT HAS TO GO!
    ABout time voters of all manner asked themselves the real question: WHAT HAVE LIBERAL PARTY GOVERNMENTS EVER DONE FOR AVERAGE PEOPLE IN THIS COUNTRY AND FOR INFRASTRUCTURE WHEN THEY GAIN POWER?
    Beecee
    28th Jan 2016
    11:43am
    At last people are stating the obvious- Taxes on high income earners (say over $200000) should be much higher,and middle classes and low income earners should be at least untouched - There are too many Co directors etc earning millions - I doubt much of this income is distributed to worthy charities as a tax deduction.Not that long ago Bob Menzies (Liberal party!)ran this land of milk and honey and tax rates on high incomes were over
    70c per $1!! Taxes should also be levied on excessive superannuation payments.
    Anonymous
    30th Jan 2016
    9:05am
    The trouble is, it's the wrong people stating the obvious, Beecee. It's those with no power to fix the problem. The ones in power pretend to want to do something, but really all they care about is entrenched privilege and taking more from battlers to enrich their wealthy buddies.
    Adrianus
    30th Jan 2016
    3:01pm
    Over one million Australians are working overseas. Some of whom are our brightest and best. Some of whom have been head hunted by large corporations. I wonder if we will be better off if we continue to discourage our top intellects and most skilled? Why not have them donate all income over $200k to charity?
    Rainey do you mean the intelligent people are full of doubt and the stupid people are full of confidence?
    Anonymous
    31st Jan 2016
    7:21am
    Yes, Frank, maybe that's about the sum of it. The stupid people are full of confidence. Or, more to the point, the corrupt and greedy dishonest people are full of confidence, and the intelligent people are more interested in getting on with honest enterprise than trying to manipulate a sick system for personal gain.

    Our best will continue to go overseas, because there is no incentive for them to stay. We import incompetent CEOs for big corporations, pay them mega-millions, watch them stuff up, and pay them mega-millions to leave. And meanwhile we allow them to scream and protest about ''high wages'' and demand cuts to penalty rates, higher taxes on lower income earners to fund lower taxes for corporations, and the slashing of welfare and government services so that the quality of society and our happiness levels fall and our spending power to fuel business growth decreases, reducing the power of business to reward the real performers. Why wouldn't the real performers go elsewhere looking for a better quality of life?

    I''m not suggesting anyone donate their income to charity, Frank. But we need a healthy society in which there are strong incentives to strive, and you don't get that by denying people publicly-funded education and health services, a quality retirement, and support when they are sick, disabled, or economically disadvantaged. You don't get growth by slashing the spending power of those who consume.

    Of course we need to keep our brightest and best. We also need to keep our battling hard workers working, because business relies on people performing. And to have people perform, you need business to pay fairly both for that work and for the resources that are essential for that performance. Businesses NEED public education to upskill their workforce. They NEED good roads and communication systems to bring their workers to and from work and transport their goods. They NEED a good public health system to keep their workforce healthy (because they will never want to pay all their workers enough to pay for their own health care); they NEED a strong retirement system to give workers incentive - something to strive for and confidence that their efforts will ultimately pay off. Who wants to work their guts out to work until they drop or be poor and sick in old age? Businesses NEED a strong welfare system. Who wants to risk their health and physical capacity in dangerous and unhealthy work environments if there's no strong support system for those who lose their capacity to earn as a result of that work? Who wants to work hard if their child who was born disabled is disenfranchised from society and left with no hope of a quality life, or if they can't get adequate care for their sick son or daughter?

    It's not much good paying the best and brightest generous salaries if you don't have a strong lower level workforce to produce. The best and brightest can't do it alone.

    If businesses and the privileged don't pay their way, we CANNOT fund the services we need to have a happy, competent workforce to keep businesses producing and we cannot have consumer power to keep buying their goods. Business profits fall when society loses perspective and allows greed and selfishness to outweigh social conscience. And that's what's happening now. And when it all goes pear-shaped for those on the bottom rung, crime and rebellion increases (and we are seeing plenty of that now!)

    Look back to the 60's. A healthy society filled with happy people, and a booming economy. We can't go back to that by cutting welfare and social services. All we will do is drive up sickness, illiteracy (and resulting unemployment) and crime.
    Happy Jack
    28th Jan 2016
    12:53pm
    This country has turned into a joke-: a director of Sydney water company on a retainer of $20000 a year for doing what? 20 to 30 hrs of work a year ( sorry, as he said " I had to drive to and from meeting's too !" ) doing what?
    NO WONDER THIS MOB WANTED TO PRIVATISE EVERYTHING it's called getting on the gravy train and normal Australians are paying through the nose. They are pathetic, to say the least.
    MICK
    28th Jan 2016
    1:20pm
    The irony is that the more you earn the more rorts and tax dodges are available to you to avoid paying real taxes.
    Ask Malcolm Turnbull with his Cayman Islands tax haven. If you added Cayman Islands income to what Turnbull claims to be his taxable income I'd venture to think that would amount to a substantial income. I'd also be thinking that Malcolm is paying hardly any tax on this. And unlike Clive Palmer I bet Turnbull is keeping ALL of his parliamentary salary! Welcome to the greedy rich man's LNP!
    Anonymous
    28th Jan 2016
    7:21pm
    must be April 1, seeing jackass and labor mick protecting their union and labor mates, to become a labor member in parliament you have to be a union member, less then 10% of the workforce are in the union, is it any wonder the labor party is going down the gurgle, fancy voting for shorty billy, his greatest achievement was to abuse a shopkeeper for not having a hot pie for his kid at four o'clock in the afternoon when any normal person is preparing their evening meal or telling the people he will re-introduce the carbon tax, which was the downfall of, forgive me by using the name of gillard, her and rudd being the latest modern labor wreckers of this country, he now wants to become the secretary general of the united nations, God help not only us but the rest of the world, how many can recall whitlam, known as the worst prime minister this country has ever seen or our great unionist hawke, "the boss is a bum" more known as the man who let his wisdom in the can after he drank it, yet labor mick and jackass, better known for his familiar greeting hee-haw, hee-haw keep suggesting we vote for them,
    the question posted here: is morrison the bloke to fix the deficit, mostly left by the former labor government, my argument, anybody who stopped the boats and the deaths caused by the illegal attempts to overrun our country with the so-called refugees, the likes of who are now causing mayhem in europe, see norway, germany, france, belgium, denmark, holland and lately australia, see muslam abusing the wife of an Australian sericeman should be our first choice to at least be allowed to have a go to fix the situation, can you image the likes of labor mick, knows it all, even traveling to different countries or jackass useless replies, more interested in abusing those who at least put up some answers to these columns, running this great country, labor mick you may write the most replies to these columns, my question how much are you paid by labor or the unions, I have asked this question before, never had a reply, are you an union member, a labor member, you never had the guts to answer those questions, as for jackass, only pity, only pulled by the nose, so easy to use grey matter
    Adrianus
    29th Jan 2016
    12:24pm
    mick, I would not be surprised to learn that Richard Shorten has more in the Caymans than Malcolm Turnbull. But don't let that bother you. Keep digging your labor mates into a hole. It's getting that deep now he may be known as Mr 8% soon.
    Anonymous
    31st Jan 2016
    7:00am
    Heemskerk99, it's you who is lacking the ability to use grey matter. Obviously you don't get it that the majority of unwanted immigrants are coming by plane! No, we don't want the migrant refugees who are causing chaos in other countries, but this government hasn't stopped them - and won't! And only a prize jackass would suggest that the LNP had any answers. Who stood beside the ''Australian of the Year'' - a man who allows men to just claim ''gender confusion'' to be allowed into women's shower blocks; a man who agreed to make the Australian taxpayer pay for sex-change operations and foot the compensation bill when someone of ''confused gender'' accuses someone else of having ''flawed DNA''?

    Wake up sleepy-headed Heemskerk99! Take of the blindfold.

    And by the way, if you think the deficit was left by the previous Labor government, you know ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about economic history. It was bequeathed us by Howard and Costello, who squandered the boom profits giving huge tax cuts and benefits - 80% of which benefited the richest 20%. Labor's crime was that it failed to wind those back immediately, but Labor wouldn't have stayed in power for 5 minutes if it had!
    JAID
    28th Jan 2016
    1:47pm
    As painful as a GST can be it seems the obvious method. Put it on eveything though and deal with rebalancing to ensure satisfactory life and health matters via the already significant social security system.

    Why be concerned about whether food or nappies have GST added. Everybody needs some things and those things are not all the same, we have a sophisticated system for achieving what we think is equitable so why not use it for the extra bit.

    With a GST and no other tax period most of the tax office employees finding there was nothing to do could move to social security and the hoards of accountants and lawyers out there who work to make the on-going storm of tax measures work re-focus on making business work better or social security work better.

    While that may sound OK on the surface some would reason that this is the same as a flat tax and that such a tax is likely to aid the rich and penalise the poor. There are two reasonable foils to this argument. The first that an approach which streamlines business is actually good for all and the second that for the rich to gain anything other than some power over action they have to spend on themselves and when they do so they attract GST. If as is likely they may wish to spend much more than the rest of us they also pay much more tax than the rest and to boot they do not benefit by social security rebalancing where it may be necessary (except in that it may help to keep the peace.)

    Making money is not a sin. Money is just a form of exchange. If you want some to make less of it become better buyers. We are terrible buyers. Most of us are also terrible sellers too. You are an economic unit you have a responsibilty to yourself to attempt to manage the sale of services or whatever you are offering in the most ethically and financially responsible way possible. If like myself you are not overly good at that there is nobody to blame, you have chosen your path. You have chosen it because despite any pressure in this country you can find paths which lead to opportunity. it is just extremely fortunate that we have a caring society which provides a net beyond which we need not fall.
    DaveL
    29th Jan 2016
    8:43am
    Whilst your thoughts are considered, the GST is a tax easily avoided by people who have a tax structure that allows personal purchases to be free of GST. I believe that due to the withdrawal tax staff from GST audits, and the lacking of understanding by bookkeepers of GST law, and fraud are some reasons why GST revenue is declining. This needs a greater investigation by the Tax Office. This should be undertaken BEFORE any rise in the GST.
    Adrianus
    29th Jan 2016
    9:10am
    JAID, I agree with most of your post. Many of the State and Federal taxes should be considered for the recycle bin. Income taxes should also go, it has never made sense to me for people to be hit harder the harder they work. We should have a company tax rate at 15% and if we must have a tax on income then make it the same 15%. This will at least stop all the whinging about Super being a rich man's sport.
    We can then have a GST at a rate which balances the existing budget.

    What we need most of all though is better teamwork between State and Federal Governments.

    DaveL, I agree with you on the complexity point.
    We have had GST for 15 years and still one needs to hire a tax lawyer for what used to be a simple financial transaction.
    Anonymous
    29th Jan 2016
    3:16pm
    Yes, let's raise the GST so the rich pay less and the poor carry the nation.

    Under a 25% GST, someone earning $30,000 a year and needing to spend all of it pays 25% tax. Someone earning $500,000 a year and needing to spend only 10% of it in Australia for personal use (they will import a lot and claim GST refunds on personal expenses listed as business costs, as they wealthy have always done) will pay just $0.025%. Yep, great idea! Make the poor carry the nation so the rich can keep partying! Oh, and don't forget to use the extra takings from the poor to give the rich an income and company tax cut. Got to sweeten the deal for them if you're going to make it LOOK like they might pay a bit more in consumption taxes!
    Adrianus
    29th Jan 2016
    5:01pm
    Rainey, that's just a political argument. The government has said a number of times they wont raise the GST without providing tax cuts. Who knows? They may be looking at a considerable rise in the bottom tax free margin and others but the Victorian Premier has said he wants the states to have the advantage of bracket creep. My view is that the bracket creep advantage should be indexed and therefor taken out of politicians hands.
    The rich don't pay less with an increased GST they pay more taxes.
    Anonymous
    30th Jan 2016
    8:26am
    Frank, tax cuts and pension increases benefit selectively. There are people who are very needy who don't benefit. For a start, you can't give tax cuts to people who don't earn enough to pay tax. Oh, that's right. We give them ''family allowances'', and then next time there's a budget squeeze, we take them away. We raise the assets threshold to compensate self-funded retirees, then we lower it again. And people who are just excluded from any earning or benefit and have to live on savings - what do they get? Zero.Zilch. Nada. Like when Labor handed out $750 or $900 or whatever it was. (Don't know because I didn't get anything, but I was probably, at the time, among the most needy).

    GST is a regressive tax. That's NOT a political argument. That's plain inescapable fact. The poor pay most in consumption taxes. Whether the rich pay a little more or not is debatable, but the burden falls on the battler.
    Gee Whiz
    28th Jan 2016
    2:37pm
    Like Joe Hockey before him Scott Morrison is lost in the woods when it comes to tax reform. The only thing he can think of is increase the GST, reduce pension benefits, hinder people saving into super, and remove Medicare benefits.

    Ask him about the giant overseas corporations and mining giants who reportedly owe $10 billion in tax rorts and he goes weak at the knees and has heart palpations. "I don't want to know about it he says".

    And that's where the trouble lies. Nobody in Parliament is game to tackle the big issues that would solve the current deficit in one fell swoop.

    It's far easier to kick the little man in the guts than upset you're corporate mates who are the biggest contributors to the LNPs war chest,
    Janran
    28th Jan 2016
    3:25pm
    So JAID, are you suggesting every time a LNP Govt has a "budget emergency", we raise the GST? Where will we end up with that mentality?
    What we really need to do is look at Corporate tax laws, if we're serious about effective, long term tax collection. Ban Family Trusts (an obvious hidey hole for the generational rich), introduce federal death duties for Estates over a certain $$$ and maybe even introduce bank transaction fees, (to go into Govt coffers, not the banks"!) - a great alternative to the GST. It's actually a tax that won't affect poor people much, but will collect from the rich, without the need for red tape compensation measures.
    Happy Jack
    28th Jan 2016
    10:10pm
    Geez, germshjerk69, they've got you working overtime. First day back too, in the LIE beral party office after the break. Bet your not getting penalty rates though. Now about our former prime ministers- Gough " the greatest" was an inovator and forward thinker who led this country out of its conservative do nothing go nowhere sleepy slumber into the real world. Gillard, you may recall did not sob or sulk like some of your mob and for that matter, Rudd and can be proud of her achievements, like the Donski reforms ( even your english may benifit if you re-enrolled ) and her proudest acheviement; the royal commission into institutionalized sexual and other forms of abuse. Don't try to tell me that previous goverments and for that matter Prime Minsters weren't aware what was going on and did sweet stuff all about it. Even your old party, the DLP, of which you were a member before they went into oblivion, shut their eyes to it. And before I sign off, germsjerk69, I'm not a member of the ALP, nor am I a unionist.
    Anonymous
    29th Jan 2016
    6:15pm
    oh, dear old jackass, better known for his war cry hee-haw hee haw, wonder if he is a family member of lord hee-haw who was anti english during world war 2, is suggesting I go back and learn how to speak and write our language, just go back and read his reply, forget about his defences of those prime ministers, mostly labor, who have turned out to be the greatest wreckers of Australia as we used to know it, the likes of whitlam, hawke, " when the contents of the bottle was in his body his wisdom? stayed in the bottle", keating,"banana republic" and the two greatest wreckers of this country, rudd and gillard, this article is about who is the best person to fix our financial situation, question: is it morrison, who fixed our problem with the boats, which under the past labor governments resulted in the drownings of more than 2000 people who had paid human smugglers top dollar so as to by-pass the genuine asylum seekers who had been in camps for years or do you think it should be another union official who greatest asset is how much he or she got out of the members contributions!
    as for the best person to fix problems, can anybody imagine rudd being secretary general of the united nations?
    as for labor spindoctor mick, a lot of wind very little intelligence, still has not answered my question, is he a member of the labor party, is he paid by the labor party or the unions, is he in fact a pensioner!
    Pass the Ductape
    29th Jan 2016
    3:50am
    It doesn't take 'guts' to rip off the pensioners whilst under the guise of tax reform - and this is how he will do it!
    Adrianus
    29th Jan 2016
    7:07am
    We have one party wanting to reform our tax system and the other intent on more borrowing to fuel huge spending promises. It looks to me as though the ball is in our court.
    We the voters will decide the future for future generations.
    Anonymous
    30th Jan 2016
    8:59am
    Which party is intent on reforming our tax system, Frank? Not the LNP, that's for sure. They just want to take more from battlers to give more to the wealthy.

    The all isn't in our court, sadly, because under the undemocratic two-party preferred system we have no viable alternatives. As Mick says, independents are our only hope, but the system makes it very hard to give independents and minor parties any real power, and if the LNP has its way even the moderating power of the Senate will be abolished.
    DaveL
    29th Jan 2016
    8:26am
    How about that people putting their opinions on this page state their own tax structures. Like me, self funded retiree with no tax tax structure to avoid income tax and GST. Then we get the picture of where you are coming from. Otherwise all this is just gossip, like the politicans.
    Adrianus
    29th Jan 2016
    12:14pm
    DaveL you have no super? heh?
    Captain
    29th Jan 2016
    2:34pm
    Frank, please read "Self funded retiree with no tax structure to avoid income tax and gst". Pretty simple really. Dave has super but not trying to avoid tax.

    Dave, unfortunately too many people in this forum show their political colours and only contribute to push their own political barrow.

    I, like you, am a self funded retiree receiving nothing from Centrelink and hopefully never will, however I see many of the suggested methods reducing a sfr's ability to continue this way and becoming dependent on some state benefits. Short sighted view from both sides of politics.
    Adrianus
    29th Jan 2016
    2:57pm
    I read,
    Self funded retiree.
    Has no tax structure to avoid income tax and GST.

    Am I not allowed to ask a question without you making a whole lot of ridiculous assumptions?

    How is it in your mind that a self funded retiree must have superannuation?
    Anonymous
    29th Jan 2016
    3:21pm
    Lots of ''self-funded retirees'' have NO super. They saved from personal income, got $0 tax benefits for doing so, and are screwed at every turn. Now they are told to live off their savings while those who spent up big on expensive holidays, new cars, nice clothes, restaurant dinners, gambling, grog, etc. get a nice pension handout.
    I don't blame anyone who decides to blow a lot of their savings and claim a pension. The incentive is just too rich and the punishment for planning responsibly and going without to save is way, way too harsh.
    Anonymous
    29th Jan 2016
    3:34pm
    I also know ''self-funded'' retirees who got compensation payouts for injury in accidents. These payouts were specifically calculated to pay for health care, home help, special nursing, and disability aides for the rest of the person's life. But because of the grossly UNFAIR assets test, these people have to live off their payout and can't spend on the things it was intended to provide. From Jan 2017, many will have incomes of less than $25,000 a year and will have to rapidly drain their savings to live, then have nothing left to cover the extra costs their disability implies in their later years. But this is what some green-eyed pensioners call ''fair'', and it's the an example of how Morrison thinks.

    NO, he's not the man for the job of fixing the tax system. I would struggle to think of a worse choice. All he can see is ''bash the battlers to feed the rich''.
    Adrianus
    30th Jan 2016
    7:04am
    Rainey, that's my understanding too. I thought a self funded retiree was simply someone who didn't receive welfare payments such as the aged pension. I was not aware that it was compulsory for a self funded retiree to also be a superannuant?
    So Rainey, when you say....
    "I don't blame anyone who decides to blow a lot of their savings and claim a pension. The incentive is just too rich and the punishment for planning responsibly and going without to save is way, way too harsh."

    Do you mean that the pension is too big a carrot? Too high?
    I think we have the aged pension system all wrong. People can turn up on Australia's door step and get the Aged Pension straight away while others who have been working for 40 years and paying taxes must wait.
    Anonymous
    30th Jan 2016
    7:40am
    No, Frank, the age pension isn't too high. But the system is hopelessly flawed. For a start, the assets test is grossly unfair and often cruel in the extreme, and it removes all reward for effort so it makes a total farce of the Government's constant urging to plan and save. Then there's the fact that the rules change at random so your planning goes out the window. And yes, it's absurd that people can come here and get a pension straight away while people who worked and paid taxes here for 40 years can't.

    I think step one is abolish the assets test and replace it with a fair deeming rate over a sensible threshold (to stop people deliberately choosing no-return investments) and then assess income only, including income from superannuation (but perhaps with some minor concessions to encourage people to put money into super if that's seen as wise). Then establish a qualifying period of permanent occupancy so newcomers have to support themselves for a fair length of time.

    If you punish savers and reward irresponsible spenders, the nation will get poorer. That's common sense!
    Anonymous
    30th Jan 2016
    8:29am
    Forgot to add that the family home should be included in the deemed assets, but by establishing a generous threshold those with a modest home and furnishings, car, etc. don't suffer. Those with excessive non-returning assets, no matter what they are (millionaire house, etc) are then offered concessional loans with low or no repayment and the balance taken from their estate, so nobody is forced to sell up, but sinking huge amounts into a luxury home to preserve wealth for heirs doesn't work. People who prefer to spend little on a home and more on a boat or caravan, for example, or on an art collection, aren't discriminated against unfairly for their choice of lifestyle. They, too, can take a loan repaid from their estate if they don't want to give up their precious assets.
    Adrianus
    30th Jan 2016
    12:56pm
    Rainey if the Australian aged pension isn't high then find me a country which has a higher aged pension in US$ ?
    Forget the Seychelles, that's just crazy.
    Anonymous
    31st Jan 2016
    8:12am
    Frank, we are, I believe, third lowest in the world when the aged pension is measured against average income. It's NOT too high. But the system is a mess.
    Adrianus
    31st Jan 2016
    8:50am
    No Rainey, I don't believe the negative comparisons.
    What is wrong with a comparison of cold hard cash?
    In number of US$ please?
    You can use OECD calculations if you like?
    But make sure they are up to date.
    Anonymous
    31st Jan 2016
    1:57pm
    What's wrong with hard cold cash, Frank, is it is a meaningless comparison because number of dollars received has nothing whatever to do with spending power, and therefore nothing to do with whether or not someone can live adequately on a given income, or is poverty stricken.

    At the end of the day, retirees MUST be able to sustain a comfortable living standard, otherwise the incentive to work is removed and the ability to consume is reduced, with the result that businesses suffer and fail. The ''right wing'' know that. They just want to pretend not to, because their selfishness dictates that they must continue to persecute the working class to satisfy their greed.

    There are aged pensioners getting way too much - because the income test is generous. But the assets test is way, way, way too harsh, illogical, and patently unfair. And the system offers no sensible incentives for people to work, save and invest - which is what is necessary for economic recovery. We NEED a retirement system that allows people to enjoy leisure time at the end of their working life in order to ensure social harmony and business confidence.
    FM
    30th Jan 2016
    12:27am
    Very disappointing to see biased comments from people like heemskerk99. Blind, unquestioning support for a political party regardless of what they do, such as Heemskerk shows, is what allows politicians to ride roughshod over people to blatantly favour the interests of elite groups. With closed minded attitudes like that it is impossible to have any sort of discussion on policies or issues and politicians perceive they can do what they like without being held to account.
    Anonymous
    30th Jan 2016
    4:25pm
    you might think I am biased, however I have an open mind and have seen not just in federal government but also in states politics over the last 50 years the damage the labor party has done to Australia, the debts labor left to the incoming governments, the damage the modern unions are doing to the economy, just read the papers as I do and make your own mind up, it strikes me your comment about me show how biased you are, never seen a comment of you about labor mick, jackass, rainy etc., it shows your prejudice.
    the article asked a question, is morrison the person for the job, I gave my opinion, just waiting for you to let us know who you prefer.
    Anonymous
    31st Jan 2016
    7:46am
    Heemskerk99, if you have an ''open mind'', do some reading about the economic mismanagement by the Howard/Costello government and how they bequeathed the Labor Government massive obligations of middle class welfare and tax rorts for the richest 20%. I don't like Labor, and I detest unions, but anyone who claims Labor is responsible for our current economic dilemma is illiterate and closed minded.

    30th Jan 2016
    7:46am
    The first step in any beneficial tax reform (which will NEVER happen under this government, by the way) is to change the rhetoric. Stop bashing those who carry the nation and start talking about the massive resources consumed by the well-to-do to earn their income and their obligation to pay for those resources. Start talking about the fact that we are a compassionate and caring society and the genuinely needy are FULLY ENTITLED to be supported at a reasonable level of comfort by those more fortunate. Talk about paying tax as a PRIVILEGE - not an onerous obligation. Lucky enough to be able to afford to pay? Then show your integrity and decency by paying with a smile of appreciation of your good fortune. STOP encouraging and applauding tax minimization. Condemn those who try to reduce their tax. They are leeches. They take public resources to drive on roads, use our shipping ports to import goods, educate their kids, benefit from hiring people who were educated at public expense... it goes on and on and on. PAY UP!

    Only when we acknowledge the truth about tax can we hope to reform a sick system, but this government merely wants to preserve privilege, so, no, Morrison isn't them man to reform the system. Nobody in either the LNP or the Labor Party will ever even try.
    Anonymous
    30th Jan 2016
    8:32am
    Part of our problem is that some idiot at some point decided to hero-worship the so-called '''self-made man'' (no such thing in reality. They all had a lot of help!) and declare that we have an obligation to minimize tax. No, we don't! We have an obligation to pay our fair share for the resources we consume and to support those who can't make it on their own due to disability, age, illness, or entrenched disadvantage.

    When society acknowledges the moral argument instead of the convenient argument adopted purely to entrench privilege, we MIGHT be able to reform the tax system to be fair and workable. Until then, there's no hope - ESPECIALLY with the current government in power.
    Adrianus
    30th Jan 2016
    11:02am
    Rainey, which government would you like to see in power and why?
    Adrianus
    30th Jan 2016
    12:43pm
    Rainey I don't know why you're picking on the men? The two richest people in Australia are women.
    Anonymous
    31st Jan 2016
    6:14am
    I'm not picking on men, Frank. Just using ''man'' as a generic sense. Political correctness has gone too far when you have to specify that the term includes people of both genders.

    Which government would I like to see in power? I'd like the whole damned lot of our greedy, corrupt, inept politicians ousted, but we need a new system - not a new party or a change of party. We need to get rid of the ridiculously undemocratic two-party preferred system that denies us choices and locks power in the hands of a select few. I don't know how that can happen, but we won't get out of the current mess until it does.
    Adrianus
    31st Jan 2016
    8:04am
    No argument from me there Rainey.
    The vast majority of politicians are self serving. I wonder sometimes ....has it always been like this? Or do we see more as we age?
    He he he, I got a bite from you and Janran on the man thing :) That I think says more (in addition to) about our idiotic PC.
    Happy Jack
    30th Jan 2016
    9:40am
    Heemskerk99, er sorry! Germsjerk69, has a germanic ring to it.
    Anonymous
    30th Jan 2016
    4:28pm
    hee-haw, hee-haw, another rambling comment from the village jackass.
    Janran
    30th Jan 2016
    1:42pm
    Wow Rainey, first you are accused of being empathetic and compassionate instead of facing reality, then you're accused of making a political statement, and now you're accused of picking on filthy rich men instead of filthy rich women. You can't win against these Liberal boys! The only time they include women in their political thinking is when it comes to kicking heads.
    The Conservatives think that having small govt. and cutting welfare and education will help our economy, when in fact govt money spent on the neediest people actually saves our society heaps of money by keeping people out of jail (if you've got no money or prospects you'll steal for food, just like our convict ancestors did) and education breeds aspiration and employment, hopefully to break welfare dependency.
    Both major parties have surged so far to the political right that neither can be trusted to protect our environments, natural or social. We need Independent Senators and MP's to stand for the people they serve and represent, unlike the weak servitude to big business and Union chiefs that we get from the Libs and Labor. When we vote for the major parties we are selling our souls to powerful interest groups. Corporate donations hijack whole countries, without them having to stand a single candidate in an election.
    Anonymous
    31st Jan 2016
    6:53am
    Janran, why can't those who fall for the nonsense arguments of greedy, self-serving fools get it that if you take away pensions and benefits and funding for health and education you have more sickness (bigger health bills), more crime (desperate people steal), less innovation (uneducated people don't innovate), less skilled labour available where it's needed (then you have to bring in more immigrants to put more demand on public services), less tax revenue (because uneducated and sick people don't earn or spend as much).... and then there's less money to spend so you make more cuts and the health bill grows and tax revenue falls further.

    The nonsense ''trickle down'' and ''tax stimulus for business'' arguments just don't work in the real world, but the greedy and self-serving control the media and sadly too many readers swallow their illogical self-serving lies about it being ''good for the nation'' to give more to the rich and privileged at the expense of the real ''lifters'' of this country (the workers) and the poor.

    The ''they earned it - it's theirs'' argument is repeatedly peddled out. "Stop being jealous and do what they do.'' Ummm. Who earned it? In the case of the large corporations, their WORKFORCE. Sure, they had a great idea and some management ability, but they desperately needed two ingredients to make it work: workers with both ability and willingness, and consumers to buy their product. Now, those workers were educated at public expense. They rely on the public health system for health services (partly because their employer doesn't pay them enough to buy all the services they need), they drive to work on roads funded by the public. Add to that, the business needs the services of shipping ports and airports to import and export product - ports paid for by the public and staffed by more people who use public education and health services and public roads.

    When these workers get old, they need funds to exist without working. If there is no retirement system, there's no incentive to work at all, so they withdraw their labour or perform very poorly. History proves that incentives generate endeavour, and one of the strongest incentives for workers is a comfortable retirement.

    Take away the public services and the workers can't perform. When the workers can't perform, the business can't exist. Take away public spending power and there are no consumers. Without consumers, business can't exist.

    Wake up, Australia! The ''trickle down'' argument is crap. We need a strong workforce. To have a strong workforce, you MUST have a strong health system, education system, and retirement system, and an adequate system for caring for people who suffer sickness, disability, or major economic disadvantage. Take away the funding for those public services and you cripple the economy because you take away capable workers and the consumers business needs to thrive.

    There's another issue, I believe, that is being completely ignored to our serious detriment - and that is the issue of competence and accountability. We used to live in a society where people who didn't do their job properly lost it to someone who could. Now we live in a society where it's difficult, if not impossible, to sack anyone and incompetents more often than not get promoted! The level of incompetence in the workplace and government is costing society a fortune. Consider the Qld Health software debacle. Mega-millions paid to programmers who couldn't get it right, and the government had to find the money to pay. Why? Because nobody thought to put a simple clause in a contract specifying that if the product didn't perform, no payment was due.

    CEOs drive company profit down with incompetence and paid mega-millions to leave. Why on earth would you pay someone to go who has just cost you millions in lost profits? Because absurd contracts have become standard and the notion of accountability has gone out the window. So, too, with our politicians. They are no longer held to a standard of performance. Maybe they've never really been held accountable for lies to get elected, but the lies have grown bigger and bigger and nobody seems to care.

    It's past time politicians were prosecuted for fraud if they lie to get elected - because it IS fraud. And I don't care how many deluded LNP voters scream and protest - and I'm sure they will be free with their accusations and condemnations - Abbott committed a huge fraud on the Australian people. The extent of broken promises proves intentional dishonesty to gain benefit at our cost. And Turnbull has perpetrated the wrongs by allowing Abbott's and the party's policies to stand. (And I repeat, I've been an LNP voter for most of my life. I am NOT a ''leftie'', and I don't much like Labor. We need better alternatives than are on offer anywhere in the current system.)

    We see incompetence everywhere, and the cost of it is surely crippling this nation. And ultimately, it's that incompetence that is driving greed and corruption, because when people can't benefit from excelling, they look to dishonest means of satisfying their hunger. And of course the rapid growth of materialism and cupidity in society isn't helping anything. It grows the hunger which, when it exceeds the level that can be satisfied despite incompetence, drives even greater greed and selfishness that drives more dishonesty and corruption.

    What's the answer? It has come many times in the past. Rome burned, remember? Wars wiped out governments and social structures completely and forced a total rethink. I think it will take a major disaster to force people to rethink and restructure our society, and things won't get better until that happens. We might avoid a catastrophe if enough people wake up to the reality that the ''profit'' argument is a self-serving lie. We need - more than anything else - a healthy society, with well-funded public services, good roads and communication systems, and a social structure that is inclusive and reflects compassion, empathy and basic human decency.

    Better welfare equals more spending power to generate more profit to generate more tax revenue. It means better health, better education and training and therefore greater capacity to be self-sufficient, and therefore less crime.
    Happy Jack
    30th Jan 2016
    2:40pm
    Hey! germjerks69; remember a very important aspect in politics- boat people don't get the vote, but we do.
    Anonymous
    30th Jan 2016
    4:30pm
    hee-haw, hee-haw, don't put your house or money on it

    30th Jan 2016
    7:44pm
    fm, I asked you a question, who do you support to fix the problem, as usual, silence reigns, no guts to state your opinion apart of having a go at those who do, you can't buy guts, you are born with them and you are not one of them.
    Anonymous
    31st Jan 2016
    8:45am
    The tooth fairy, heemskerk99. Would be far more likely to do some good than Morrison. Even if he did do good ''stopping the boats'', how does that qualify him to manage the federal treasury? He's proved he knows NOTHING about economics. And he hasn't yet made one firm logical proposal. All he's done is waffle on about raising the GST to give tax cuts to businesses that are already rorting the system by every means available.

    With your logic, though, you would almost certainly endorse the tooth fairy as the nation's salvation, as long as the rhetoric matched that of the sick, greedy, corrupt politicians who are desperately trying to screw the majority to further line the pockets of the richest and most priviledged.
    Anonymous
    31st Jan 2016
    8:46am
    BTW. Takes a lot of guts for a fairy to fly around the universe and into strangers' houses putting money under pillows. Bet Morrison wouldn't be game to do that!
    Happy Jack
    30th Jan 2016
    8:33pm
    germsjerk69! you're the one emitting the ass like noises, but than again having not reached elementary schooling level perhaps one should take pity on you. I'll say one thing- I'll bet you were indoctrinated at an early age by parents who were more than likely fully paid up members of the DLP who posted their vote in accordance with the wishes of the bishop. really gotta feel for them, poor buggers. Anyway there's hope on the horizon; with the implementation ( if the LIE beral party holds true to their word and funds it ) we can get you back into the class room to get you up to speed on the English and maybe a touch of Australian history so you can learn how your conservative government's have restrained the progress in this country:
    Didn't want Medicare, didn't want superannuation, didn't want the NBN; the list goes on and onfrom this do nothing go nowhere useless mob who are totally inept unless it comes down to looking after their own selfish interests and those of their mates such as Murdoch. you ask the question'; can MOANING morrie do the job? is he up to the task?; well, we'll wait and see. I'll bet a it's business as usual- slug the pensioners and those least able o afford it whilst protecting his and hose of his LIE beral party funding mates.
    Anonymous
    31st Jan 2016
    4:01pm
    another rambled and idiotic comment by the village jackass hee-haw,hee-haw
    Janran
    31st Jan 2016
    11:56am
    Hear hear! Rainey. You are spot on!

    Morrison's got nothing to say (except to raise the GST) because he's got nothing to say (except to raise the GST). His govt is just biding its time until the election, then they'll fire up the Murdoch Press (again) to swim freely back into govt. They'll buy their way back into govt with corporate donations.
    If the Libs want small govt at the expense of poor infrastructure and essential services, they should get the hell out of Government.

    There are a lot of us out here who are totally underwhelmed by the competency of the present govt and shocked by their lack of care or vision for the normal folk in our society.
    Maybe we should start a new "Radical Centre Party", as Noel Pearson coined it? Of course, this "Centre" would need to be to the left of both existing major parties, as least as far as the environment, the long-term future and self-determination are concerned.

    31st Jan 2016
    1:44pm
    One third of top Australian companies pay less than 10pc tax. The Government missing out on at least $8b per year. Some companies, such as James Hardie and Westfield Retail Trust, pay zero tax. Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox pays 1 per cent tax and casino group Echo Entertainment pays 5 per cent tax.

    The government is losing out on at least $8.4 billion in tax each year, but that's just the tip of the iceberg, because tax secrecy laws ensure that we don't really know how much many large corporations and rich individual earn or pay.

    57 per cent of all ASX 200 companies have subsidiaries in tax havens.

    Now, what's this nonsense about needing to cut tax to stimulate business growth and fund expansion?

    And some here support the notion of raising GST to fund tax cuts for - who exactly? Oh, that's right, the poor overtaxed businesses that want to pay less so they can expand. Which ones are they?

    It's time for Australians to wake up and say ''ENOUGH''. Make the leaners pay their way. No increases is tax. No cuts to health, education, pensions or other essential public services. NO, THE LIFTERS WILL NOT SUBSIDIZE THE LEECHES ANY LONGER.

    Sadly, Morrison hasn't either the guts or the inclination. Did you hear? He wants to spend OUR money ''EDUCATING U'S'' to understand why WE have to pay for tax cuts for these thieving corporations who are bleeding this nation to death.
    Adrianus
    31st Jan 2016
    2:08pm
    Rainey, if you read my post again you will discover that I was not talking about the ASX200 companies, or indeed any public companies. I was referring to small to medium enterprises as recognised by the ATO.

    "One third of top Australian companies pay less than 10pc tax."

    10pc of what? The corporate tax rate is 30% of taxable income/profit. In other words they are not doing anything illegal.
    I am not sticking up for them I am simply saying you need to direct your criticism toward the law makers. Labor showed they had not the capacity nor the political will to fix this issue. There have been some encouraging efforts by the LNP (assisted by the Greens) which will make this election year interesting.
    I just hope Turnbull and Morrison have the stomach for it.
    No guts no glory!!
    Anonymous
    1st Feb 2016
    7:05am
    Frank, small to medium business DON'T want a tax cut funded by GST increases. Why? Because they rely on consumption to make profit and they know that higher GST means higher prices that their customers can't afford so consumption falls. They are already hurting because people can't afford to spend and consumer confidence has crashed.

    Labor showed no political will to fix the laws that allowed big business to dodge tax obligations, that's true. But don't be conned into thinking the LNP or the Greens did anything good! That's BS. They've been given plenty of direction and told clearly it's what the electorate want, and they have demonstrated determination NOT to do it.

    Instead, they've cut health, education, family tax benefits, infrastructure spending and pensions - and it's THESE cuts that have destroyed confidence and reduced consumption, thus sending a clear message to small to medium business that expansion won't pay.

    If you want business to expand, you have to ensure their customers have the capacity to buy what they sell. The rich have more than enough already. The multi-nationals command the major market share, and seem to dominate the market sectors that suffer less in recessions. Small to medium business takes a direct hit every time you reduce the spending capacity of battlers.

    Turnbull and Morrison have shown their colours. When it was pointed out that superannuation tax concessions are costing as much as the aged pension, and primarily benefiting the top 20%, they declared it ''their money'' and untouchable. But it's fine to force someone who had no super but slogged their guts out to save a little nest egg for old age to live off their assets instead of getting some benefit from their lifetime of paying taxes - despite the fact that quite clearly that saver can't earn nearly as much as the pension.

    They have guts - guts to stick it up the people and thumb their noses at us all. Guts to keep lining the pockets of the rich at our expense and spend OUR money ''educating us'' to why it's ''the right thing to do''. Guts to continue their lies and hypocrisy while they set themselves and their buddies up to retire on obscene taxpayer-funded benefits after only a few years of ''service'' to their rich mates.
    Anonymous
    1st Feb 2016
    8:27am
    ""Labor showed they had not the capacity nor the political will to fix this issue. There have been some encouraging efforts by the LNP (assisted by the Greens) which will make this election year interesting.
    I just hope Turnbull and Morrison have the stomach for it.
    No guts no glory!!''

    What are you reading, Frank, that is misleading you so sadly? Morrison has already declared his hand. He's going to spend OUR money EDUCATING us as to why rich corporates SHOULD be allowed to dodge their tax obligations. It's quite clear any level of reform is well and truly OFF THE AGENDA.
    Adrianus
    1st Feb 2016
    1:22pm
    Rainey, your claim that "higher GST means higher prices that their customers can't afford so consumption falls."
    is a little short sighted don't you think?
    I think you'll find that if we had an increase to GST and a decrease to income tax the choice of consumption is returned to the consumer. Overall consumers would have more to spend.
    I do read a lot and listen a lot but when it comes to believing in something I look at the evidence usually from many sources.
    You see unlike you Rainey, I am not blinded by a political ideology. And I try to think about what is best for Australia rather than for me. In these discussions of national importance anyway. I'm not afraid to lose out if it benefits the more needy.
    Anonymous
    5th Feb 2016
    5:09pm
    Frank, you are obviously blindsided by LNP propaganda.

    Higher GST with tax cuts ONLY gives more choice of consumption to those who pay enough tax to receive a substantial cut. And pensioner certainly won't get a rise big enough to compensate for higher GST. GST is a regressive tax. The poorest pay the largest percentage of their income in tax. You can't escape that. The poor don't have any spending choices. They HAVE to spend 100% of their income on life essentials. And if the prices go up because of higher GST, their tax bill goes up. It would be impossible to adequately compensate pensioners and low income tax payers, and totally impossible to compensate those who are neither tax-payers nor welfare recipients.

    There is no way a GST rise can benefit the more needy. Not possible! And if you think anything Morrison does is even intended to benefit the needy, you've got rocks in your head. Just look at the stupid pension change. Didn't give the needy anything! Gave all the benefit to pensioners with a few hundred thousand in savings.

    The problem with the privileged is that they don't understand the lives of the needy, and they don't want to. They go happily about with blinkers on pretending good intent, and claiming to be doing what's good for the country - when in fact they are doing the exact opposite.

    Consumers WILL NOT have more to spend. Higher income earners probably will - and that's why this government wants to do it. Lower income earners will have less. And any ''evidence'' to the contrary is absurdly biased and totally incorrect.

    Anyone who wants to help the needy or stimulate growth is supporting removal of tax rorts and excessive handouts to the rich.
    JAID
    5th Feb 2016
    5:30pm
    There is anj amount of dollars we really must spend, an amount it is reasonably advisable or advantageous to spend, a percentage to put toward honest poor judgement and sheer extravagence. We raise tax dollars to cover that.

    If we subtract the extravagance, we have what we should be raising in tax. No more, no less, collected as it is appropriate and efficient to collect it.

    Simply, Australians will be better off when the extravagance is removed and wasteful collection measures including magnets for unnecessary legal and accounting input, whether the duty is placed on the taxpayer or the government.

    Potential for removal of the waste is why a complete move to a consumption tax equally applied on ALL consumption leaving social security to patch likely subtle changes in disadvantage will ensure more of peoples time remains their own. That is, maximise funds, choice of the use of time or funds and opportunity.
    Anonymous
    6th Feb 2016
    8:03am
    Jaid, the changes in disadvantage if we moved completely to a consumption tax equally applied to ALL consumption would certainly NOT be subtle. I agree it would eliminate a lot of administrative waste. It might also reduce evasion, but there would still be plenty of that and the cash economy would, I suspect, get much stronger.

    The major problem would be compensating the huge disadvantage and gross unfairness it would create - not just for those on social security (who could be relatively easily compensated with a substantial increase in payment rates) but for those reliant on savings to live, for those with savings that they may be reliant on in the future, and for those who can't earn a living but don't qualify for social security (yes, they exist - and there will be many more of them in Jan 2017: people with unsalable and non-returning assets that Centrelink never-the-less values at acquisition price or higher).

    Unfortunately, consumption taxes ARE regressive, and they entrench disadvantage. They result in those with the highest incomes paying the least, which, by definition, means the poorest pay the most. There seems to be no way around that. While there is a mix of income tax and consumption tax, progressive income tax rates balance the inequities inherent in consumption taxes to a degree - but not completely. And the recently approved change to the pension assets test and taper rate proves conclusively that compensatory increases to pensions can't be relied on to balance anything, because there is a high danger they will be temporary.

    I have heard a proposal that I argued against strongly initially, but have come around to think just might work. That is a flat tax with NO deductions of any kind. For business, taxable profit is calculated by deducting a standard expense estimate for the business type and location from actual income. If the business claims higher than average expenses, they must request and pay for a tax audit (a deductible cost) to prove conclusively that their claim is valid. Expansion costs are tax deductible only if a tax audit verifies both the expenses and the validity of claims that the expansion plan is justified. Profit-shifting is absolutely illegal, and profits earned outside Australia by firms operating in Australia are subject to tax at rates assessed by auditors based on the ratio of the Australian operations and profits to their overseas operations and profits.

    To counter the obvious resulting unfairness, every citizen is guaranteed a minimum income paid from social security, and there is a generous tax threshold - a portion of income on which nobody pays tax. Social security payments are taxable income, but those with no other income would be below the threshold. There are no assets tests for social security, but a deemed income on assets is included in taxable income if it is higher than the actual income. If investment loss can be evidenced, the deemed income is a negative amount. Limited carried forward losses are permitted depending on type and origin, but social security payments received offset any entitlement to carry a loss forward.

    I'm not an economist or an actuarian, so I can't make informed comment on the wisdom of such a plan. Apparently the only country in the world that implemented a flat tax has a booming economy, despite current world trends. I believe the rate they apply is 25%. There are NO other taxes of any kind. (Imagine the savings in administration there!)

    I don't know enough to form an informed opinion on the idea, but I do think it's interesting. And I think our government has to stop tinkering with the existing flawed tax system, admit it just isn't working, and devise a revolutionary plan for a total overhaul. I would be very upset if they moved to a consumption tax as the only tax, because it most definitely is inherently unfair and quite dangerous in so far as its impacts on many groups of disadvantage will never be addressed.
    JAID
    6th Feb 2016
    10:53am
    Hi Rainey,

    I do not have an infomed opinion either, this thought is based simply on the waste it appears likely to eliminate. All complexity would be reduced from the taxation system. I do agree an amount may be added to the social security system.

    When I sought application to all consumption I meant it. If you buy a property or develop one, invest in anything or bet on anything you would be paying the same proportion. If you are 'rich' to enjoy or multiply that you will spend and commonly your total expenditure will greatly exceed that of we mere mortals.

    If one is living on savings then there may be a period where redress is required after start-up but I would not be averse to seeing those doing so simply moved to the social security system when the funds dry up. They will have failed to have amounted the wealth required to live independent of government contribution in the current era. Not a crime.

    It may feel demeaning but it is really no different to any other system where redress may not be made necessary. It is just a re-balancing of effect, the way the cookie happens to cruble. Perhaps, it would be a short term ego hit when you realise state funding will become necessary. It should not be though, it is not your fault, it is simply that condiitons changed. Times move on and we need to find ways of adjusting for most cost-efficient and best fit.

    ---

    I also agree that all companies need to be taxed on the australian component of their operations wherever they may lie.

    --

    We could also re-think ownership in regard to resouce based super profits. A miner mines our national resource. That they found a resource a few decades ago that would have been found anyway sometime in the future should only give them the right of first offer of a management fee or fees for its extraction handling and sale.This is a long way from the present presumption based limply on the certainly large costs of exploration, extraction and handling infrastructure. There shoudl be no qualms in unilaterally resuming that actual ownership.

    --
    On the case economy. There must be plenty still operating this way but I see nothing of the extravagance of 30 years ago when perhaps every shop keeper I knew walked around with great rolls of notes in their pocket. A friend and I counted his one day. Nearly $20,000 in $100's. I never asked where it came from but it was always there.

    There is one thing which seems to work in other areas. Make the gain worthwhile enough and the cost low enough and people will pay it. Take the music industry, sell a 100,000 albums at $30 and have another 900,000 stolen but sell a million and a half at $0.60 and have next to none stolen.

    We have a system belaboured, grossly overburdened with righteous petty lawmaking and its necessary policing, largely overpaid and largely underworked public service, massive anti-competitive behaviour due to government licencing (media casinos etc.,) terrible complexity in taxation which demands accounting and legal expertise..and time, failure to ensure taxing of all enterprises enjoying Australian profits, and an enormous complex of entitlement throughout the community so that it is a wonder that we get anything done, remain international competitive at anything or that we have left anything in the gound not dug up and flogged off at limited return to support our endless, lazy, greedy, extravagance.

    (Yes a half dozen sentences in that last para would have been nice.)
    Janran
    6th Feb 2016
    10:54am
    A very interesting idea, Rainey. It might be a bit too radical for the major parties to consider, 'though the time for radical tax reform is well nigh.

    But the savings on red tape would be enormous!
    I envision those dodgy, thieving financial advisers out there soiling their pants. OMG! What'll they do? They might even have to go out and get a real job - something genuinely productive.

    And you are right - I have no intention of moving production to China. A local business I know of moved their production to India (the source of their main supply input), only to lose everything and have to declare bankruptcy. They were grassroots businesswomen with a great product, successful for many years, then advised by pen-pushers to expand their plant to the cheapest place overseas. "Maximize profits!" they were told.
    JAID
    6th Feb 2016
    10:59am
    I should have another go at that music profit 'calculation' instead just accept very poor maths.
    Adrianus
    6th Feb 2016
    11:39am
    Janran, my experience in dealing with India leaves me with the impression that it may be the most corrupt country in the world. To sell a ships manifest many times to many businesses is an indicative example.
    Adrianus
    6th Feb 2016
    11:46am
    No need JAID, the concept is sound and relevant. An idea that hasn't been mentioned previously on here.
    Now how do we get our costs down so that we can reduce prices?
    ex PS
    31st Jan 2016
    6:16pm
    I think that the average Australian would be willing to pay more tax if it would help in the long term and was used solely to help those who need it.
    But not as long as the rich continue to bludge off the average Australian and pay so little!!!!!!!
    retroy
    1st Feb 2016
    4:36pm
    PS is a former Public servant, but aren't those who were on a defined benefit super scheme and still claiming a OA pension. Aren't they the same people who never had to contribute to their enterprise making a profit just to stay in business?
    And he talks about bludgers.
    The mind boggles.
    Put simply increased GST has the capacity to adversely hit lower incomes and until we see the fine print then let us all oppose it.
    Tell the Govt to chase after international tax bludgers, and tax them on turn over(revenue) rather than net profits, where they can duck and dive.
    A small turnover tax would make them work harder, and Australia would be a much better place, and the little person would not have to be targeted.
    Adrianus
    1st Feb 2016
    6:06pm
    retroy the idea of a turnover tax is not viable and will never get approval from anyone. We do not want to penalise a business which is labour intensive. We need to encourage them to hire more workers and invest in other capital. Your turnover tax if applied would increase the cost of hiring and training new employees. A labour intensive business would be at considerable disadvantage if payroll was to have anymore imposts attached.
    I also disapprove of some shopping centre managers for taking a slice of turnover when the tenant's sales receipts reach a certain level.
    retroy
    2nd Feb 2016
    3:46pm
    Frank
    The world is full of people who say "something can't be done" and the rest of the people get on with it and things get done!
    Turnover is not relevant to labour cost so why you bring that up is baffling, but perhaps you do not understand that it would not be an impost on payroll cost.
    These big corporations employ few people but have enormous revenue streams so tax them on turnover and that would discourage them from ruses to arrive at a small taxable profit.
    Tenants in shopping centres sign a contract so your disapproval does not matter when this is a world wide practice.
    A new method is needed to catch these international tax cheats and this is but one idea.
    Adrianus
    2nd Feb 2016
    5:51pm
    retroy, let me see if I can explain it to you?
    A business has a total turnover of $100,000.
    The business has 3 employees each paid $20,000, and therefor has a total payroll of $60,000.
    Let's assume for the sake of the argument and for ease in calculation that there are no other expenses, apart from your (say 10%) turnover tax.
    Your turnover tax would be paid on $100,000 at 10% = $10,000.
    The payroll of $60,000 then becomes higher by the amount of your turnover tax, which is $6,000. Or to look at it another way it costs $66,000 to employ the 3 staff.
    Would your turnover tax also apply to say Public Servants? A car or computer or child minding?
    The world is also full of people (including me) who come up with bad ideas and that's OK because highly successful people are people who have discarded more bad ideas than unsuccessful people.
    Do you like that? I just made it up.
    ex PS
    4th Feb 2016
    11:05am
    Retroy, obviously you don't know much about the Public Service. It runs much like private enterprise , you pay your money into a super scheme and when you retire you get paid out. The defined benefit was faised out many years ago and now, your money is invested in the market and you take your chances like everyone else.
    Just as in private enterprise you go to work, you do your job and hopefully your Department does well and you prosper. If your Department does not perform you will probably be offered a voluntary redundancy, which in most cases is not voluntary.
    Public Servants (For the most part) work as hard or harder than most people in private enterprise and in most cases don't even get paid overtime, they get time in lieu at an hour for hour basis.
    Yes, just like anyone else if their Super does not match the OP they get a part pension.
    They pay taxes just like anyone else and retire under the same conditions as anyone else so I guess know that your mind can stop boggling.
    I am speaking from practical experiance as I have spent 20 years in the Private Sector and 20 in the Public Service. It boggles my mind that their are people out there still believing that the Publc Service is some kind of paradise on earth where no one has to work for a living.
    Anonymous
    8th Feb 2016
    8:09am
    Frank, while your numbers may be right, you reaction to retroy's suggestion is typical of LNP supporters - thoroughly negative, with no consideration for the potential that, with some tweaking, it might work better than the current approach. The bottom line is that what is currently being done ISN'T working. The current tax system allows too much artificial tax reduction.

    A turnover tax is probably not ideal as a universal and singular solution, for the reasons you state, but a turnover tax that has inbuilt qualifications might be a very good idea. Or a small turnover tax in addition to a larger profit tax.

    I see merit in the ''flat tax'' idea I put forward, wherein business profit for tax purpose is calculated by deducting an industry-standard estimate of expenses from turnover, and if you claim your expenses are higher than average you have to submit to an audit to prove it. If you want to claim costs of expansion, you have validate them and evidence justification in an audit. Appropriate portions of overseas profits are counted and taxed in Australia for any business operating in this country.

    I see no reason why a transaction tax constructed that way couldn't work very well, WITHOUT disadvantaging labour-intensive businesses, and collect tax far more efficiently than we currently do.
    Happy Jack
    2nd Feb 2016
    9:33am
    Note that the Grattan Institute, hardly a left wing body, has done the figures on applying the GST on items at present exempt-: food ( 8.2 billion ) health ( 4.2 Billion ) and education 2.6 Billion. On the topic of compensation, let's look at the situation for pensioners and self funded retirees. Given that health and food would have an impact, the numbers can be crunched as-: 12.4 billion divided by 21 million ( Australia's population ) ='s an additional $590 per year, every year. You can bet that moaning morrie won't be compensating us fully on what is a huge increase in living costs for those on low and middle incomes. This along with the increased costs in other areas would be a disaster for those least able to avoid it. Get real moaning morrie and tumbles turnbull, hit those that can most afford it.
    Adrianus
    2nd Feb 2016
    12:16pm
    Happy Jack, I don't disagree with what your thoughts are but I will make an observation or two.

    Australia's population is closer to 24m which we will discover when the ABS completes the 2016 census.

    You could look at it this way.....
    Raising the GST from 10% to 15% will increase prices overall by 4.5%.
    Adding 15% GST to previously GST free items at the same rate will increase the price by 15%.

    Accepting your $8.2b additional fresh food costs, my calculation would be....
    $8.2b /24m = $333/26= $12.80 per fortnight fresh food increase.

    Given that a single pensioner on $19,000 may spend say $2,500 pa on fresh food that leaves the remainder ($16,500) to have an increase of 4.5% given that the entire pension is spent on G&S which attracts a GST.

    Therefor $16,500 x 4.5% = $742.50 / 26 = $28.55.
    $12.80 + $28.55 = $41.35
    $41.35 x 26 = $1,075 pa.
    $1,075 / 19,000% = 5.65%

    This means the single pensioner on $19,000 has an increase of maximum 5.65% expenditure.

    You would imagine that CPI would be impacted by the full amount as it was in the year following the GST introduction. Therefor pensions would increase by this amount automatically.

    If by any chance the single pension doesn't rise by a full 5.65% then the actual cost to our single pensioner would be the difference.

    The other point to consider is the actual increase in the cost of goods and services.
    During the introduction of GST which in many cases replaced sales tax, prices actually increased beyond the intended amount.
    Also some prices on goods increased when they were mathematically meant to fall.
    This should not occur with a clear increase in the GST.
    This is just my simplistic view but I'm sure we will have more precise figures from Treasury once the government starts to sell the idea and the opposition do what they do.
    Happy Jack
    2nd Feb 2016
    1:20pm
    Thanks for your comment Frank, my figures didn't include education but most certainly health. By googling the Grattan institute you can get a clear picture as to the figures being portrayed which are in stark contrast to that being peddled through the media. There will be looses no doubt about it and I'm quite sure it won't be by the big end of town.
    Adrianus
    2nd Feb 2016
    1:32pm
    Happy, I disagree that the big end of town will be better off.
    I believe that those who have more to spend actually spend more and therefor pay more tax.
    Janran
    2nd Feb 2016
    7:45pm
    Frank, you're just confusing the issue and dare I say being deliberately misleading. Why add that extra $6,000 to the payroll? You've made that up!
    Yes, "Your turnover tax would be paid on $100,000 at 10% = $10,000." True, so in your example your taxable income becomes $90,000 - $60,000 (payroll) = $30,000 net.
    Why say "The payroll of $60,000 then becomes higher by the amount of your turnover tax..."? when Retroy said payroll transactions should be exempt?
    Anyway, we all agree a rise in the GST will hurt everyone and that people on low incomes (don't forget to include the working poor - rife in regional areas), will be DISPROPORTIONATELY MUCH WORSE OFF. Big deal, if pensions are increased with the CPI when prices go up because of 15% GST, what if you're not on a pension? ie the working poor. These people have no fat to shoulder the burden - they live from week to week. You can't get blood out of a stone.
    Also, any savings you might have will become less valuable when it comes to shelling out for essentials, that would now cost more with an increased GST.
    Morrison, dump the idea of raising the GST. For a start, why not try saving $160,000,000 by dumping the idea of a blebiscite on gay marriage? Just introduce the bill in parliament and have a conscience vote. Do your bloody job! We're paying you handsomely!
    Adrianus
    2nd Feb 2016
    8:38pm
    Janran, I'm just not reading retroys post as you are.

    I saw no where in his post did he indicate wages would be exempt from further tax. I took turnover tax to mean a tax on entire turnover.
    Perhaps I made a mistake in assuming that this turnover tax was "instead of" and not "in addition to" company tax.
    If that is the case then you would certainly bring this country to it's knees by taxing businesses twice on the same dollars.

    Let me put it this way...
    The $60k payroll is now paid with after tax dollars meaning you need $66k in sales receipts to cover it.
    The $30k profit in your example which has already been reduced by turnover tax of $3k, is about to get hit again by company tax???
    A double whammy!!

    What don't you people understand???

    We made a mistake.

    Labor promised to throw money at us and they did.

    Now we must pay for it.

    All of us!!

    The question is ...
    How do we stop the debt from racking up and destroying us, while at the same time, improve the economy?

    Certainly hitting our struggling small to med. enterprises, which employ 6.5m people, is not going to fix the problem.
    Happy Jack
    2nd Feb 2016
    7:56pm
    The guts of what I am saying is that pensioners and self funded retirees will have a drop in living standards. We need to look further than the pure mathematics of whether an increase in the GST will impact on the standard of living and the quality of life of our aged citizens who, after all have done the hard yards and should deserve better than living on the bread line from one pension day to the next. Compare that to the better off who even if they are coughing up a little extra. Most likely spending on luxuries ( and good luck to them ) and still having a sizeable sum in the bank. This country and our seniors deserve a whole lot better than a grubby grab to bring down the deficit. We all know what the honest answers are. Lets do it.
    T
    Adrianus
    2nd Feb 2016
    8:41pm
    We will all loose out Happy jack and it is the only fair way. We all must accept some responsibility for not voting in large enough numbers to stop labor from wrecking Australia's economy.
    Janran
    3rd Feb 2016
    10:32am
    Yes, Frank, we'll all lose out with a rise in GST, but this is the most UNFAIR way.
    Blaming Labor for everything is plain rubbish, when you consider what Howard did during the mining boom with tax cuts, super deals to help those with lots more money proportionately and squandering the opportunity to prepare for the inevitable non-boom times ahead.
    I know it's against your religion, but Rudd saved the day by stimulating the economy when the GFC hit. Low govt-spending countries around the western world spun down into recession.
    Both govts failed in different ways, but it's very easy to criticize with the benefit of hindsight.
    But the Coalition is saying money raised from an increased GST will go to personal and business tax cuts!!! Not to lower the deficit or pay for essential services. They've learnt nothing from Howard's mistakes. They don't deserve to be in Govt while they're wearing such huge ideological blinkers.
    Decent people are happy to pay taxes if their taxes go to create a more civil society. The rich have too much to say and are given way too much airtime. Raising the GST is bad for business because it will lower demand.
    Adrianus
    3rd Feb 2016
    12:06pm
    Hindsight is all we have because the promises and intentions depend on too many variables.
    Look at the track record. Then make a judgement.
    ex PS
    4th Feb 2016
    11:22am
    I am looking forward to the day that the LNP and its followers stop whinning about how bad the Labor Party was and takes responsability for its own governance.
    I was in procurement at medium to high levels for many years and always mistrusted a representative who relied on running down the competition rather than demonstrating a superior service or product. Invariably I was proven right.
    The current government was elected partly because it stated that they could run the economy better than the previous incumbants. So far I can not see evidence that this is happening.
    The more I hear about how it was, and is, all the fault of ALP the more i am disinclined to vote for the incumbants again.
    Adrianus
    4th Feb 2016
    11:59am
    ex PS, This has nothing to do with sales people running down competitors. I was also in procurement, probably not to the high levels as you though.
    We only have two choices and it's worth remembering what the other side did regardless of what they say they will do. As an example, do you recall Labor and the Unions whining about multinationals not paying the appropriate level of tax?
    For 6 years they whined and whinged and they were in government. A government which did nothing ex.
    I heard a Labor politician explain that it was because they were too busy.
    You see what many don't realise is that Labor has a public persona, one that gives the impression of their distain for particular occurrences. However, it appears to be good politics to do nothing.

    This government may not be your idea of perfect, but it is running a clear first with no other feasible option.
    Janran
    4th Feb 2016
    2:13pm
    I totally disagree, Frank. The present govt (and all recent LNP wannabees) insist they are the superior economic managers during election lead-ups, compared to Labor. They seem entitled to this superiority but only by their own hype, not their performance, which is currently miserable. Malcolm Turnbull may want to do something truly constructive and progressive, but his hands are tied by a section of the far right of his party, who he made a deal with to gain the leadership. He's a paper tiger now.
    I don't think any Oz govt could look impressive right now, given the world economy and the demise of commodity prices, which will only worsen as fossil fuels' demand crashes in the future. But Libs won't give that same rope to Labor, not even when the GFC hit, and all they can do is whinge about how much debt resulted, as we dodged recession.
    We have gone much further into debt since LNP took office, so who do you blame for that?
    I'd rather debt than crime and chaos. Look at America - what an unholy mess that's become because the working poor and minority groups are so disenfranchised.
    It's well past time that all world govts started to collect reasonable tax from multinationals. Maybe we'd have to dismantle corporate laws and structures to make that possible, so it will never happen because corporations run the world, not governments, elected democratically or otherwise.
    Meanwhile, rainforests in Indonesia and the Amazon are bulldozed and burned, just so the First World can have cheap palm sugar in your Pepsi and processed foodstuffs, palm oil and beef in your McTurd burgers.
    Adrianus
    4th Feb 2016
    6:03pm
    Janran I don't care who takes credit for Australia's success. Although much of it should go to Andrew Robb. He is putting together trade deals which others couldn't accomplish.
    I will vote this year and I will vote for the person I think can get the job done regardless of their politics.
    ex PS
    4th Feb 2016
    7:26pm
    I am dissapointed Frank, I would not have thought that from what I have read of your thought processes that you would have fallen for the old arguement that the LNP and ALP rule by devine right.
    ex PS
    5th Feb 2016
    9:55am
    Frank, I seem to remember that when the ALP was running the country they had an opposition leader saying NO to nearly every proposal put forward very hard to get things done under these circumstances as the LNP now know. The same man became PM and complained that the opposition wouldn't support his proposals.
    As far as my point about not trusting an entity that could not stand by its own products and services, politicians are salesmen pure and simple, they are selling their version of how the country should be managed.
    At the present time they are both saying vote for us because we won't be as bad as the other fellow. I don't know about you Frank, BUT THAT'S NOT GOOD ENOUGH FOR ME.
    If Coles or Woolworths can't give me what I want, why not give Aldi a try?
    Janran
    5th Feb 2016
    10:24am
    I wrote to Andrew Robb, asking him how the TPP trade deal will help small manufacturing businesses like mine. I asked specifically about foreign corporations being able to sue our Govt/country for limiting their profits, by introducing environmental laws to reduce carbon emissions or protect productive farm land or Native Title from destructive mining operations. Also, we could be sued for internet openness and placing medicines on the PBS (govt subsidized prescriptions), reducing Big Business and Pharma profits.
    I received a reply that was a short, form letter expounding the virtues of business and growth, and what a great opportunity the TPP will give innovative business people. I presume he has no answers for me. Yes, he's done a very effective job selling out Australia. They should implement effective international tax collection before they even consider making such trade deals.

    Such people think there's some god-given right given to Capitalism, that it has some built-in moral mechanism that will look after our societies because of market forces. Well, it doesn't - it looks after corporations, not people. That's why we need governments, to enforce fair trading and spend our taxes on utilities like roads, public transport, education/training and health for the workers THAT ALL BUSINESS DEPENDS ON.
    Adrianus
    5th Feb 2016
    10:41am
    Janran, Don't take this as advice. But rather more so what I would do given your situation. There's no other way to say this, but I suggest you spend more time on becoming innovative instead of complaining about market forces. Look more for the opportunities, they are always there.
    I'm surprised there are any manufacturing businesses still going after 6 years of Union government. You deserve a medal. I mean that sincerely.
    Janran
    5th Feb 2016
    12:14pm
    Frank, that's similar to the insult I got in reply from Robb. I started this regional business more than 20 years ago. You can be sure I've had to be innovative during that time. Cheap Chinese imports are what are threatening me. They advertise prices on the internet cheaper than my cost prices and they neglect to include GST in their retail prices. No amount of innovation on my part can counter that, except of course to switch my production plant to China, or anywhere that doesn't respect workers' rights and employs children to do adult work. Some of these workplaces have even modified their machinery so that it's ergonomic for child workers to use them.

    I've never had an issue with Unions because I treat my workers fairly and decently. Maybe I should be screwing them to the wall, like a proper hard-nosed businessperson? Maybe that's the sort of "innovation" you and Andrew Robb are suggesting? If so, it's no wonder you are constantly bleating about the power of unions - you see them as the enemy of innovation.
    Adrianus
    5th Feb 2016
    3:49pm
    Janran, I'm sorry you feel my remarks are insulting because that's the last thing I would want to be to someone in your situation.
    If you really believe that no amount of innovation (or creative thinking) can counter a hammering from your competitors then you will be right.
    Your suggestion of moving the plant to China is not a bad idea if it suits you?
    You paint a picture of child employees and poor working conditions which is not my first hand experience. And it need not be yours.
    A typical Chinese factory has decent living quarters for out of town staff. Meals are also provided. The wages you pay depends on your generosity. In many cases conditions are better than in oz except the comparative low wages. You may start a revolutionary trend or you may just recruit the best workers in all of China as word spreads of your kindness.
    A very huge majority of employers in oz treat their employees well. My experience is that the owners are making the coffee for the workers, filling in so they can pick up kids from school, minding the children during the EOD procedure, being the director of entertainment and social functions. There is so much more to it than the picture you paint. I think Australia's major issue is to find out why 80% of small business operators don't want to grow their business.
    The Union problems I have had were mainly to do with waterside and me not wanting to pay extra to eradicate time delays, also mountains of red/green tape from when they were last in government. I had very little staff problems. One reason was because they were paid so well. Staff used to buy me expensive gifts. My business grew 5 times faster than my competitors.
    Take a rest look at it with fresh eyes and energy.
    ex PS
    5th Feb 2016
    5:03pm
    Janran, if only more employers had the same mature, a-political aproach to workplace relations. I have worked in good non-union shops that were excelant workplaces because a culture of mutual respect prevailed and in some union shops where life was made miserable by an attitude of forced compliance.
    I have also experianced the reverse.
    Until we expunge the rediculus concept of us and them between union members and employees we will be in a state of constant conflict between the two.
    I have never understood why it is so frightening to some employees to deal with a collective of employees in order to solve workplace problems.
    Anonymous
    6th Feb 2016
    8:44am
    Frank, we need growth, so a loyal manufacturer who treats his staff well and probably pays his taxes honestly and without resort to immoral rorts should move his operation to China?

    That's absurd. Kill of all Aussie jobs and wonder why we have no growth. Great logic!

    Janran is right. We need to abandon nonsensical and dangerous ideas like the TPP, which threatens us with hideous harm, and start addressing the serious flaws in the capitalist system and the greed, selfishness and sick cupidity that is undermining our society. We need to address tax evasion and the stupid tax minimisation rules that unfairly advantage the privileged. We need to make the well-to-do carry their share of the burden of running the country and supporting the disadvantaged. We need to abandon the ills of capitalism and recognize the merits of socialism. That is not to say we should become socialist - definitely not! But we need a better balance. We need to acknowledge the value of family, community and a healthy society and work on improving the quality of those elements - reducing the focus on work and material wealth. And we need to recognize the disadvantages of globalization and find ways for a relatively small country to address the challenges it presents.

    We need innovation in government far more than in business. For example, health costs are a huge challenge. The LNP's answer is to cut health service - putting sick people in danger. Why not, instead, address the increase in ill-health. Implement programs to reduce reliance on costly drugs that have dangerous side-effects and increase the use of proven natural treatments. Get serious about addressing obesity and lack of physical exercise. Queensland schools have reduced physical education to the point where many kids get NONE. A Qld primary teacher I know is furious that her principal harps constantly on the need to keep kids in the classroom longer to learn more math, English, history and science. No time for play. No time for physical exercise.

    I know a very fit and healthy 68 year-old who attributes his good health to the fact that he ran 3 mile to and from school every day and then joined the army very young and was kept extremely fit. Today, kids don't even WALK to school unless it's just around the corner. And look at them. So many fat kids! So many obese adult. Massive health costs looming as this increasingly obese population ages! And the reliance on costly drugs only supports a greedy and unconscionable pharmaceutical industry. Recently, the merits of turmeric as a prevention and treatment for arthritis and gout (and many other health problems) was recognized. The AMA held back acknowledging it while it responded to panic in the pharmaceutical industry because they couldn't synthesize it. Now they are selling it in tablet form at exorbitant prices, instead of encouraging people to grow it or buy it in bulk in pure powder form. Why? Because the greedy have to benefit before we can allow the sick to access better remedies. Now THAT is sick!

    Let's get serious about innovations in education. One thing I agree with the LNP on is that throwing money doesn't solve problems. We need innovative approaches and quality teachers, and you DON'T get quality teachers by raising the entry academic bar. You get smart people who don't understand what it's like to struggle to learn. My daughter failed repeatedly in school and uni and repeated over and over. Finally getting her teaching degree, she was quickly acknowledged as an excellent teacher who did wonders with slower learners - because she understood them. She's been there and conquered the challenges and knows how to help them do the same. My other daughter sailed through winning academic awards all over the place and admits she couldn't teach anyone if her life depended on it. She's too impatient when others struggle to comprehend. That's not to say SOME who excel academically won't make good teachers, but don't lock out those who can identify better with the strugglers and have the patience and dedication to explore new methods that might help the disadvantaged.

    Manufacturers need help to compete with imports, not blame and accusation of not being innovative enough. Janran is right. Globalization is killing our manufacturers, and if they all go to China, it will kill our society completely. We already have hundreds of thousands more unemployed than we have jobs. Exporting more jobs won't help anyone any more than importing more workers will. And sadly, businessmen like Janran are already to thin on the ground here and are increasingly being forced out by a playing field that is so uneven that play just isn't possible anymore.

    6th Feb 2016
    8:16am
    Seems Turnbull is unimpressed with his treasurer's proposal, and backing off - probably due to the fact that he can see it is likely to result in him losing an unlosable election!

    Shorten wants to address tax concessions on super and perhaps negative gearing to fund schools and health. Good approach and likely to be moderately popular, depending on the detail, but I doubt it will counter his personal unpopularity.

    Turnbull MIGHT just get over the hurdles his parties' hideously unfair and unpopular policies have created if he comes out with an acceptable approach to superannuation tax concessions and possibly other areas of unfair tax minimisation and avoidance, but I think he's going to struggle despite his high personal rating if he continues to evidence inability to be his own man and abandon the failed Abbott policies.

    It's good that he sees that a higher GST is unlikely to deliver the desired benefits and unlikely to be worth the effort to sell it and implement it. But it's worrying that he still thinks income tax cuts are essential. Bracket creep isn't much of a worry when wage growth is stagnant. There are higher priorities at present. We need growth to drive wage increases before worrying about bracket creep. And growth won't happen without confidence. And confidence won't happen while the deficit is growing, the disadvantaged and retirees are panicked over likely continuing loss of lifestyle, and the majority who depend on public education and health services are worried about ongoing cuts in these areas.

    Right now, we need to focus on re-balancing to reduce inequity. We need the rich to pay their share. We need reduced income growth at the top end and higher income growth at the lower end. Global economic experts have repeated it over and over again: increases in inequality and the massively unfair distribution of wealth (with 1% owning more than half the nation's total wealth) is the cause of stagnation in growth. We will go backwards until that issue is addressed. The 1% will scream and kick, but the fact is that they have billions more than they need and if we are to avoid either a total collapse or a revolution, either likely preceded by many years of widespread pain and suffering, they HAVE to give up a little of their obscene and unnecessary wealth. There is no other solution.
    Happy Jack
    6th Feb 2016
    9:08am
    Frank! you are most likely well intentioned, but you do need to take a positive poise and focus on the practicalities of fixing the problem and it won't happen by continually and persisting to blame the ALP. They are not in GOVT, the LIEberal party is and they are in the power to correct the situation. If they stop trying to have the least fortunate, such as pensioners and low income self funded retiree's bear the brunt, of course the ALP will cooperate instead of rightly resisting their selfish legislation. Remember too, the cross bench voting with the GOVT gives them the numbers but they can see the injustice of it all and thankfully won't come to the party. No the LIEberal party needs to stop protecting the big end of town and get on with the job.
    Adrianus
    6th Feb 2016
    10:35am
    Happy Jack, where did you hear that aged pensioners and other welfare recipients are the answer to single-handedly turning around our economic woes?
    I wish you were right. If only it was as simple as you say, cutting welfare by 2%, and we are once again in the land of milk and honey?
    HA HA HA that's funny.
    Happy Jack
    6th Feb 2016
    11:37am
    My apologies, Frank as I had no intention of giving the impression that pensioners and low income self funded retiree's were expected to single handedly fix the economic situation but, in fact, to "BEAR THE BRUNT". To impose drastic draconian financial cuts through changes to pensions and health care, not to mention an increase a regressive GST, without expecting the very, very wealthy to contribute through forgoing very genourous tax breaks, is in my opinion, grossly unfair.
    Anonymous
    6th Feb 2016
    2:17pm
    You didn't create that impression, Happy Jack. What you said was absolutely valid. It's Frank's political bias making him misread and misinterpret. He wears blinkers!

    Frank, nobody is suggesting that more welfare is the answer to our economic woes - but merely, correctly, that punishing battlers for our problems while the rich continue to party is never going to yield good results.

    The LNP is making those who can least afford it carry the entire load, and that's a sure-fire recipe for disaster. You can't get blood out of stones, but what you can do by reducing welfare, health and education spending is drive up illness, disability, unemployment, mental illness, and crime. And what you ABSOLUTELY WILL NOT DO is generate growth.
    Adrianus
    6th Feb 2016
    4:11pm
    Rainey, here you go again?

    "The LNP is making those who can least afford it carry the entire load"

    That is just not true and you know it. You are just repeating Bill Shorten's political slant.

    Was it the aged pensioners who have been paying the budget repair tax?
    Was it the aged pensioners from whom the ATO with their new powers and increased staff skills have reigned in another $400m in tax? I thought that came from multinationals?
    There have been cuts in every area.
    Anonymous
    6th Feb 2016
    6:09pm
    Was going to reply, Frank, but Happy Jack said it for me below. Sorry, but my comments are true and accurate. The budget repair tax was a drop in the bucket for people who have way more than they need. And as Happy Jack said, the $400 million was a collection of tax that had been avoided by people who don't accept an obligation to pay their way.

    Find me citizens, other than retirees, who - having had their incomes slashed (in some cases more than halved) by falling investment returns, and can no longer work (due to age) - have suffered the loss of some $14,000 a year, slashing their total income (counting benefits) to some $10,000 LESS than the aged pension? And none of the savings went to those existing on ONLY a pension, and living in poverty. The extra $30 per fortnight went to people with a few hundred thousand in the bank.

    Thankfully, I believe young folk unable to find paid work got a last minute reprieve after public pressure forced the LNP to back off a cruel plan to deny them unemployment benefits for 6 months, but there was another example of the LNP trying to make the least privileged carry the load, while the privileged celebrated tax cuts (for small business). But struggling families suffered child care benefit cuts and family allowance cuts. I know a mother of a disabled child who can't get child care assistance because the child's disability makes it impossible for her to work more than 8 hours a week. She can't get a carer benefit either. She is burdened with costs to provide special medical and educational help and special disability aids for her child, loss of her own income, and NOTHING from the government. But people with negatively-geared properties and big capital gains and huge superannuation funds remain untouched.

    Don't pretend Shorten is wrong, Frank. I don't like the man at all and I disagree with at least 50% of what he says, but on this topic he is 100% correct.
    Happy Jack
    6th Feb 2016
    5:03pm
    Frank! the reigning in of an additional 400 million is not a result of changes to the tax mix but a collection of tax that has been avoided; yes avoided because these people consider it fair game to not pay their fair share and indeed plead for legal tax cuts. No one is asking these people, who are no better than those who cheat the welfare system, to forgo all their wealth but to make a fair contribution.
    Adrianus
    6th Feb 2016
    7:07pm
    Was it the aged pensioners from whom the ATO with their new powers and increased staff skills have reigned in another $400m in tax?
    Anonymous
    6th Feb 2016
    8:43pm
    a rort is only a rort if you can't take part in it!
    Anonymous
    7th Feb 2016
    11:40am
    Wow, Frank! The ATO chased up some tax evaders who were illegally reducing their contribution to the nation. What has that got to do with the LNP's changes to legislation to alter the tax balance? NOTHING.

    On the other hand, let's look at what the LNP has done. Introduced a pathetically minimal ''budget repair tax'' on high income earners - one that would hardly be even noticed by anyone earning enough to have to pay it. Yep.

    Meanwhile, cut expenditure on public health. Cut expenditure on public education. Cut expenditure on child care for working mums. Cut family allowances. Cut expenditure on aged care and in-home care (and allowed aged care facilities to hike up their accommodation fees by as much as 40% in one hit!). Slashed pensions for battling retirees who SHOULD be relatively well off if the economy wasn't in such a mess, but who will soon be far worse off than most aged pensioners.

    Tried (unsuccessfully in most cases, thanks to the Opposition, Minors and Independents having a social conscience!) to slash unemployment benefits for the young and aged pensions for the neediest of the retired. And discussed increasing the GST (a proven regressive tax that hurts battlers most) AND applying it to food, health and education, council rates, water, etc. (all the items the poor spend the vast majority of their income on).

    What have they NOT done? Tackled negative gearing, capital gains tax concessions, ''grey area'' tax minimization schemes used by wealthy global corporates, obscene superannuation tax concessions...

    Oh, and don't forget they want to use the savings from other cuts and the extra revenue from hiking up the GST to give TAX CUTS to higher income earners and companies.

    And YOU try to claim they aren't attacking the less privileged and making them shoulder an unfair share of the tax burden. Get real!

    Oh, but they didn't collect $400 million from poor honest aged pensioners - only from filthy rich cheats - so that makes them good guys?????!!!!!
    Adrianus
    7th Feb 2016
    3:24pm
    Happy Jack and Rainey, I'm sorry.
    I'm confused. Isn't that what you would like to see?!
    The government's changes to the ATO have started producing positive results.
    If I had known just the mention of the extra $400m was going to make you this riled, I would not have mentioned it.
    Anonymous
    8th Feb 2016
    7:52am
    And again you CHOOSE to misinterpret, Frank - unless your capacity to comprehend is appallingly poor.

    Nobody ever said the mention of $400m riled either of us. We merely responded to your totally INCORRECT claims that it evidenced that the underprivileged weren't carrying the whole burden of budget ''reform'', and that it doesn't provide any evidence whatsoever that the government isn't transferring an unfair share of the tax burden to the underprivileged, while leaving the rich untouched.

    Really, you desperately need a course in reading comprehension. No wonder you support the LNP. Clearly, you have no concept of what either their statements or the Opposition responses actually mean!
    ex PS
    8th Feb 2016
    12:46pm
    Rainey, they seem to always want to cut spending to public health and education. Maybe its because their families can afford to go into private schools and hospitals any cuts to these services will not affect them in any way.
    Happy Jack
    7th Feb 2016
    12:03am
    Frankly Frank; you are having trouble listening, big time. the essence of your original statement was about the collection of an extra 400 million and how good it was for the well to do to cough up. Now what the rest of us are saying is- what the #$@!% has this got to do with the overhaul of the tax system when it's all about the tax office collecting tax that has been avoided by the tax dodgers and not the least about changes to the tax mix. And while I'm here, cause I don't want to take up any unwarranted space-: I see germsjerk69 nine is back on deck although by his incoherent ranting's it sounds to me that he has been hitting the turps again.
    Anonymous
    7th Feb 2016
    4:14pm
    don't worry frank, the village jackass, hee-haw, hee-haw still believes his ass is his brains, don't wise him up.
    Anonymous
    8th Feb 2016
    7:55am
    Good name for heemskerk99, Happy Jack. And he makes it very obvious who believes his ass is his brains, doesn't he? You make a reasoned and perfectly valid and correct statements in response to Frank's confusion, and ''germsjerk'' comes back with insulting nonsense that clearly shows he has no more comprehension than Frank, and far less couth.
    Happy Jack
    7th Feb 2016
    4:30pm
    When is enough, enough? The wealthy in this country are persistently calling for cuts in company tax and income tax. Well let's have a look at hisory: Paul Keating lowered the top marginal income rate from 60 cents in the dollar to 48 cents in the dollar and the company tax rate from 48% to 30%. And all that without introducing a regressive GST. LIEberal goverments have never come anywhere near matching that. Give them another cut and my guess is " yep you guessed it" They'll be back wanting more.
    Anonymous
    7th Feb 2016
    7:11pm
    the above comments just confirmed my earlier thoughts about the village jackass, happy to bray, hee-haw, hee-haw, very suspect on any substance, jackass be happy and give us a great laugh by showing us your lack of brains.
    Anonymous
    10th Feb 2016
    8:38am
    Goodness, heemskerk99! You make it very obvious who lacks brains. Happy Jack made a very intelligent and informed comment quoting historical fact and a very obvious truth of the present situation, and all you can do is make sarcastic and very un-funny absurd comments that mean nothing at all, but that apparently you think are amusing just because you put a stupid ''hee-haw, hee-haw'' in there?

    You really do show your lack of mental capacity. It's sad!
    Happy Jack
    8th Feb 2016
    8:37am
    Thank you, Rainey. And if I could just say to germsjerk69- if you are incapable of making an intelligent contribution to the debate, why not get off the airways?
    Anonymous
    8th Feb 2016
    6:34pm
    jackass great to hear that at last you found a mate, jenny, great name for a person with similar lack of grey matter, must rain a lot where she lives, lots of hot air, just nonsense comments, keep sending your brainless comments, everybody is entitled to a good laugh an you two provide this to life choices and as you always sign off with, hee-haw, hee-haw, keep up the good work.
    Anonymous
    10th Feb 2016
    8:41am
    Who is ''jenny''', heemskerk99? Whoever she is, she's definitely more intelligent than you are. Your comments reflect a complete lack of intelligence, lack of common sense, lack of logic, lack of comprehension, not to mention lack of even basic manners. Sadly, you are not even funny. You just sound like an offensive brainless fool.
    Happy Jack
    8th Feb 2016
    7:33pm
    You know, germsjerk69 you are showing the same level of intelligence as your mate, the recently deposed prime Minister- 'you know the one! could only ever put out three word slogans as he waddled around the country with the sole aim of scaring the S%@t out of everybody. Makes one wonder what one has to do to become a Rhode's Scholar, doesn't it? Anyway it's good to see your punctuation skills improved over the break, what with you actually using a couple of coma's. We all should be very grateful for the effort put in by the staff at summer school.
    Anonymous
    9th Feb 2016
    7:38pm
    another rainy day on the farm for jackass, hee-haw, hee-haw and his girlfriend jennie, your rants will never ever result in you being appraised to be a rhodes scholar let alone being one, just keep sitting on your brains, the place where the sun never shines and keep us amused with your comments on how not to fix this great nation's problems, we all know which party, as usual, brought this upon us, don't lose faith, we all need a great laugh
    Anonymous
    10th Feb 2016
    8:45am
    We all need a great laugh, for sure, heemskerk99. Sadly, the only laugh we are getting here is at your unbelievable arrogance and ignorance. You can't even get names right, you poor unintelligent soul. You really should quit. You are making yourself look like a complete idiot. There's a lot of intelligent debate going on here, and your interference with your rude and offensive nonsense really isn't contributing anything of value.
    Anonymous
    10th Feb 2016
    6:45pm
    another rainy day at the jackass farm, better known for his trademark cry hee-haw, hee-haw and his girlfriend jenny, their comments are always good for a laugh, keep it coming
    Happy Jack
    10th Feb 2016
    11:12pm
    What a joke the renewal and revival of the LIEberal party has turned out to be. Tried to pull the wool over the electorates eyes, got caught out and have now retreated to the trenches. GEEZ, they haven't got the guts that little lying Johnny had. But than again he was from the right and poor old Malcom Tumbles Turrntable is held a prisoner of the extreme right wing of the LIEberal party.
    Anonymous
    11th Feb 2016
    4:56pm
    see my last comment, how true I was