Straight tax talk

Townsville Bulletin - - Voice Of The North - opin­ion Barry Lowe, Kir­wan

IT is in­ter­est­ing to read the range of com­ments on Ju­lia Gil­lard’s car­bon tax ver­sus John Howard’s GST.

Ms Gil­lard, Mr Swan and Mr Com­bet’s en­deav­ours to give their car­bon tax pro­posal some le­git­i­macy by claim­ing they are only do­ing what John Howard did with the GST, is as de­cep­tive as Ms Gil­lard’s prom­ise not to have a car­bon tax.

La­bor’s main claim in liken­ing their car­bon tax to Mr Howard’s GST is that Mr Howard broke a prom­ise never to have a GST and ne­go­ti­ated with the Democrats to have the GST leg­is­la­tion passed. This is a d e l i b e r a t e d e c e p t i o n b y Gil­lard and Co.

John Howard did prom­ise not to have a GST in 1995 when he be­came Leader of the Op­po­si­tion.

His state­ments in 1995 should be read and un­der­stood. May 2, 1995 ( doorstop in­ter­view) – Howard: No, there’s no way that a GST will ever be part of our pol­icy. Jour­nal­ist: Never ever? Howard: Never ever. It’s dead. It was killed by the vot­ers at the last elec­tion.

De­cem­ber 11, 1995 ( Ra­dio 2NC): ‘‘ Can I look you straight in the eye and say this, that if I state be­fore an elec­tion that we’re not go­ing to do some­thing and say it in con­crete terms, I mean it. One of the worst things about pol­i­tics in WHAT MAN­DATE?: Ju­lia Gil­lard and La­bor have not been to­tally hon­est in their han­dling of the car­bon tax pro­posal Aus­tralia at the mo­ment is that the pub­lic doesn’t be­lieve what po­lit­i­cal lead­ers say.’’

Mr Howard al­ways be­lieved in a GST and that Aus­tralia needed to broaden its tax base. He also be­lieved in 1995 that you could never win an elec­tion with a GST pol­icy hence it could never be party pol­icy.

Be­fore the 1998 elec­tion Mr Howard had de­cided that the need for a GST out­weighed the po­lit­i­cal risk of go­ing to an elec­tion with a GST pol­icy.

He won the elec­tion and a man­date to im­ple­ment the GST. De­spite Mr Howard hav­ing a man­date, La­bor con­tin­ued its op­po­si­tion and Mr Howard was forced to reach a deal with the Democrats.

Ms Gil­lard was elected to the par­lia­ment at this elec­tion and voted against the GST.

To La­bor’s shame, and Ms Gil­lard’s shame, their re­fusal to ac­knowl­edge that Mr Howard had a man­date re­sulted in a forced com­pro­mise with the Democrats that meant an un­nec­es­sar­ily com­plex GST and the states be­ing able to break their com­mit­ment to scrap many state taxes. In 2001, La­bor again tried to win the el ecti on promis­ing a GST roll­back. For­tu­nately they failed. The im­pact of the GST should not be un­der­es­ti­mated. The GST was a sig­nif­i­cant con­trib­u­tor to Aus­tralia sur­viv­ing the GFC in good con­di­tion.

If our econ­omy had pre­dom­i­nantly re­lied on a nar­row in­come tax base, we would have had more se­ri­ous prob­lems.

In­come tax re­ceipts crashed dur­ing the GFC but the GST in­come held and al­lowed the states to main­tain their in­div i d ual e c o nomies wit hout drain­ing the fed­eral cof­fers.

For Gil­lard and Co. to liken the cur­rent event to Mr Howard’s GST, they should have dis­played some courage as he did, by declar­ing be­fore the 2010 elec­tion that they sup­ported a car­bon tax.

Gil­lard and Co claim that it is es­sen­tial we have a price on car­bon, it is the right thing to do etc . . . when did they come to this con­clu­sion? The day af­ter the 2010 elec­tion?

If they al­ways be­lieved in a car­bon tax, why did Ms Gil­lard prom­ise no car­bon tax and why did her min­is­ters sup­port her prom­ise?

If Ms Gil­lard wants to liken her­self to John Howard and his stance on the GST, she must de­fer the car­bon tax to the 2013 elec­tion, then an­nounce de­tails of her car­bon tax pol­icy or go to an elec­tion now.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.