Two taxes and a levy
I am worried about our nation.
We are all paying the price for the incompetence and mismanagement of a government that is more interested in sophistry than stature. Unfortunately the price we, and our nation will all pay is only going to rise in the future and the Government is to blame.
They have squandered a hard won multi-billion dollar legacy of ‘rainy day’ money saved by the previous administration. When the inevitable rains did come, their only solution is to answer impose a brand new Robin Hood tax. The Government may describe it as a levy but that is mere sophistry.
My experience with levies accounts for my dubiousness. In South Australia we have had a ’save the River Murray’ levy for many years. Now that the river is saved I am waiting for the announcement that the levy will be repealed. I won’t hold my breath!
Nearly a decade ago we also got an emergency services levy to pay for a communications network that was hopelessly over budget and didn’t actually work properly. We are still paying.
Last week there was even a suggestion of a rainfall levy to stop the unscrupulous householder from filling their rainwater tanks for free.
Now we have a Federal flood tax. Not necessary but demanded only because the Government has wasted billions of dollars on handouts, pink batts, non-essential school halls, a new nationalised telephone network and mollycoddling boat arrivals.
Of course, the tax doesn’t apply to us all. Anyone affected by the floods escapes. Just what definition will apply to ‘affected’ will be interesting to see but I have no doubt that it will provide another opportunity for the rorters to take advantage of an incompetent Government’s lack of administrative ability.
It also won’t apply to those earning less than $50,000 per annum, making a mockery of the focus group message that ‘we are all in this together’, repeated incessantly from the Prime Minister.
So many Australians have already dug deep and donated time, money and goods for the relief of flood victims. Many of these individuals will now be forced to give again through the extra tax. Some will not begrudge the additional impost but many, myself included, will think twice before giving spontaneously to another appeal lest we be forced by the Government to give again.
Others will rightly question why we are making $500 million dollar donations to Indonesia for schools (who gave us $1 million back for flood relief), building homes for failed asylum seekers in Afghanistan and opening an expensive embassy in Ethiopia when we have pressing needs at home.
There are so many areas where the Government could save money through cutting unneccessary and wasteful programs. The most obvious is to dump the white elephant known as the NBN but there are many more.
However, rather than trim the cloth to fit the purse, the neuvo-socialist approach is to reach deeper into the pocket of the people. This latest grab is only the first of the planned taxes that will hit many people already struggling to cope with the cost of living.
There are plans for a mining tax that will affect employment and investment in the mining sector. Then there is the carbon tax that will make electricity prices leap by more than 50 per cent and increase the price of virtually everything.
That’s why I am worried about the path ahead. It is built around bigger government spending and greater government taxing. Neither of them are good for our country.
The Prime Minister, who has looked hopelessly out of her depth even before rain began to fill the streets, is now charging the Australian people for her own incompetence. Unfortunately, we can’t afford it any more.
Register your opposition to this wasteful levy by going to www.stopthelevy.com
Cory Bernardi is a South Australian Liberal senator. His columns and essays are available at his website.