September 22, 2003



Whatever the Government tells you, we did not want this tax. Labor's commitment is that we will roll this tax back, we will make it fairer and simpler.


Labor has dropped its promise to make changes to the GST, wiping all mention of the tax from its party platform in amendments drafted by finance spokesman Bob McMullan.

Posted by Tim Blair at September 22, 2003 04:46 AM

For a second there I thought you were talking about Canadian politics, but then I reread it and noticed you wrote 'Labour', not 'Liberal'.
Exactly the same thing happened here when the Liberals succeeded the Conservatives.

Posted by: RonG at September 22, 2003 at 06:50 AM

Is it really any surprise? The cost to businesses of rolling the tax back would be just as big as what it cost them when it was introduced.

Posted by: Swift at September 22, 2003 at 08:10 AM

Reality has got to catch up with everyone eventually.

Posted by: Mike Hunt at September 22, 2003 at 10:48 AM

I echo RonG's sentiments. Your post has 'Canada' written all over it.

Posted by: Andrew at September 22, 2003 at 10:52 AM

So what? Does that change the fact that Howard's is the biggest taxing government in Australian history? Nup!

Posted by: Miranda Divide at September 22, 2003 at 12:35 PM


I suppose you have a p[atent knee-jerk restrainer. Otherwise you would need major surgery.

But seriously, there are so many things wrong with your statement that one dosesn't know where to begin. But the most interesting thing is that lefties like you are always bleating on about how we should pay more tax. Then you have the gall to suggest (completely without foundation) that the Howard Government is a high taxing government. Spot the inconsistency?
But maybe you will now admit that the argument has never been soley about the amount of tax collected but on how it is spent.
And, BTW, it is a well known fact that dropping income tax RATES actually leads to the collection of MORE tax revenue. So presumably you will join in the campaign for more cuts in the marginal income tax rates.

Posted by: Toryhere at September 22, 2003 at 01:26 PM

It's gone the way of Knowledge Nation, the policy illustrated by a diagram looking like a cat playing with six balls of knitting wool.

Probably their worst ever policy, it showed that Labor was still light years away from reality.

Posted by: ilibcc at September 22, 2003 at 02:38 PM

How can you have a party platform to wind back a tax when you have all those ugly pubic statues, terrible performance artists, extensive ministerial travel, idiotic public savings schemes and economic black holes as yet unthought of to fund?

Posted by: Habib Bickford at September 22, 2003 at 02:52 PM

1. No surprise as Labor's never been able to handle money in any way, shape or form. Period.

2. If they did get in and did "roll GST back", what were they going to do? Go back to the totally stuffed Sales Tax system (you know, the tax that was introduced just after WWII as a temporary measure).

3. Just to be fair, the Libs had a golden opportunity to fix that bloody awful Sales Tax system with the intro of GST, so what did they do? Completely buggered it, of course. As the CEO of a very good business I learnt a LOT about Sales Tax in my 27 years, and was looking forward to it being rectified with GST. Fat chance. I retired before GST came in as I could see what was going to happen.

Heard of fuckedcompany? Try fuckedtaxsystem.

Posted by: Bushy at September 22, 2003 at 03:32 PM

"And, BTW, it is a well known fact that dropping income tax RATES actually leads to the collection of MORE tax revenue."

That aint necessarily so. If a tax is 1% and it is reduced to 0% there won't be more tax revenue. Or if a tax is 20% and its reduced to 2%. Tax revenue will only increase after cutting taxes if there is a significant increase in economic activity.

High taxes are more about punishing high income earners than collecting revenue.

Posted by: Mike Hunt at September 22, 2003 at 05:23 PM

'If a tax is 1% and it is reduced to 0% there won't be more tax revenue.'

There probably won't be any tax revenue.

Posted by: pooh at September 22, 2003 at 05:50 PM

The ALP were dying to introduce GST under Keating - indeed,he had to be forcibly restrained.They were never going to cancel GST. "Rollback" only meant taking it off some items.

It's Liberal Governments that reduce taxes, not Labor.

Posted by: (Rob No.1) at September 22, 2003 at 05:55 PM

To Rob No. 1

The Hawke-Keating Labor government did cut taxes.

Posted by: Tristan Jones at September 22, 2003 at 06:08 PM

And the Arts community handed back their grants to join in with the generous spirit of the day.

Posted by: ilibcc at September 22, 2003 at 06:56 PM


Hawke -Keating Governement reduced taxes? Are you mad? They introduced Capital Gains Tax and Fringe benefits Tax, as well as increasing sales tax and excise to their greatest level ever.


Sales tax was introduced in 1930, by the infamous Scullin Government.

It's a shame we didn't meet when you were in business as I used to drive horses and carts through the old sales tax law. GST is far better and is working just fine. The main problem is the ATO's idiotic fixation on wanting to know too many facts on the returns.

Posted by: Toryhere at September 23, 2003 at 08:46 AM

Mike Hunt cutting taxes and what underpins taxes government consumtpion increases economic. Taxes hit savings, which is the fulcrum of capital.

Crean claims the GST tax is a burden on `ordinary people.Government consumption is, full stop , the burden. Any type of tax,therefore, no matter how it is raised, affects more than it is nominally aimed against, in many ways which include forcing prices up or reduction in out-put.

If some can't see the wood for the trees, on up shot is fewer paying jobs. Payroll tax is a cost of employing people, payroll.It cuts the amount of payroll businesses can expend on employees.

Income taxes, and the claim is, to hit `the wealthy'. This is rubbery alone, the ALP considers anyone on $50,000 plus to be wealthy. Capricious, anyone earning income can be considered wealthy, no matter the amount.

Hit the `wealthy'. Let's see. Who spends money on renovations,thus payments to tradesmen and suppliers of products, from bathroom fixtures -tiles, sinks, baths, taps lighting.Who spends money on mechanics to maintain cars. Holidays -accomadation, restaurants. Entertainment.Music, books.Plumbers and roofers to maintain house.Nurseries selling plants, and products from chemicals to equipment.Then are service providers, cleaners, gardeners, nannys.So what does government consumption and taxation mean in its implications.

Firstly, consumption is the cashing in of savings,reduction in capital, savings. Government consumption is thus over and above what people would otherwise do.It does not result in economic activity, and does not yield transactions which generates demand for things which generates opportunities as the above limited list shows.Taxation cuts further what people can expend on just the sort of things which results in paying work for many.

Crean, you and your socialist travellers are arguing aroound the edge. Around the edge of not governments spending people into poverty but how to hit people to (partly only tax doesn't cover the full burden of government consumption ) finance the waste which is government consumption.

Crean and your fellow travellers, you are not objecting to the fact of legalised theft by parties in governmnet, but only the measures . One suspects this is the objection to GST, any measure which even relates some of the implications of government consumption in ways more generally than taxes targetted at `the waelthy' and businesses, risks electoral backlashes against larcenous governments.

The excellent illustration is the Iron Lady's poll tax. Instead of only property ownersa bearing the cost of councils , all residents bore the brunbt of councils' consumption.The results, councils reigned in their profligate spending habits and began cutting their budgets to the bone. Councils, for once , were on the verge of becoming responsible for the actions but the commies led by Blair won an election and things have returned to the bad old ways.

Crean, crying unfair, appeals to envy and resentmnets and promises to make taxation `fairer' doesn't do way with the fundamental proble, ALP is committed to spending many into poverty, and that is the problem ,current federal government consumption is hideously too too much, ditto of states' govts and many local councils.Larceny and, spivery, are the names of the big swindle which is big almighty confiscatory government.

Posted by: d at September 23, 2003 at 10:44 AM