September 07, 2004


The Age reports:

Opposition Leader Mark Latham today unveiled Labor's long-awaited tax policy, delivering tax cuts of $8 a week to workers earning less than $52,000 a year.


Mr Latham said his party would also lift the top marginal tax rate to $85,000 a year from July 2006 in a plan which he says will "ease the squeeze" on Australian families.

This is sounding good. Let’s hope Howard matches these numbers, and Latham then offers yet further breaks. Bring on the tax-cut election!

Posted by Tim Blair at September 7, 2004 02:43 PM

Will that even buy a pint or a pack of smokes in Oz?

Posted by: Kevin at September 7, 2004 at 02:54 PM

$8 isn't enough for a pack of smokes, no. But it will buy you a few drinks.

Posted by: tim at September 7, 2004 at 03:01 PM

(homervoice)Mmmmm, tax cuts... (/homervoice)

I'm just not sure how tax cuts fit in with the massive pork barreling going on across every portfolio.

Posted by: Al Bundy at September 7, 2004 at 03:07 PM

Read the fine print. Labor's tax cut is being funded by an increase in the superannuation surcharge and an increase in cigarette taxes.

Posted by: George at September 7, 2004 at 03:19 PM

What is the top marginal tax rate now? if its less then $85,000 then its not a tax-cut.

Posted by: Gary at September 7, 2004 at 03:31 PM

I am not sure this is good news if you hold a mortgage. Already PM Howards fiscal expansion in the last budget, largely achieved through tax cuts, has been forecast by economists to spur interest rate rises later this year. If there is more spending, more tax cuts - it can only help to overheat our already overheated economy and raise interest rates further. Our so called "healthy economy" is fuelled by debt - even truck drivers have to sleep sometime - when the speed wears off.

Posted by: the common good at September 7, 2004 at 03:59 PM

AUS$, right? That's okay, thanks... tell ya what, take the money and sink it in a few more F/A18L's, will ya?

Posted by: richard mcenroe at September 7, 2004 at 04:00 PM

We waited up nights for this? Stone me. Talk about underwhelming.

Posted by: Walter Plinge at September 7, 2004 at 04:39 PM

The federal government spends about $200 Billion a year. Labor is going to cut taxes by $3.5 Billion, which will disappear through bracket creep before you can say "stop spending so much of my fucking money".

Posted by: Mike Hunt at September 7, 2004 at 04:52 PM

You ungrateful bastards! Why, for $8 a week we can... um... , well we could...


We waited how long for this?

Posted by: Gibbo at September 7, 2004 at 05:10 PM

I don't know whose economic commentary you are reading, but the economy isn't over-heated. It isn't close to being over-heated. The inflation rate is just about smack bang in the middle of the target range for inflation. The RBA targets the inflation rate (and should stick to that rather than worry about asset price bubbles) and while it is more likely to raise than to lower rates in the near term it is not likely to be a massive increase. Current growth in real wages plus the tax cuts are more than likely to offset any minor interest rate rise.

Posted by: Razor at September 7, 2004 at 05:14 PM

I hope so Razor - I thought I read that the fiscal boost from the last budget was a threat to interest rates.
As for the economy being "nowhere near overheating" why would Reserve Bank have made the statement recently that interest rates would definitely rise by the end of the year. How can this be so if the economy is nowhere near to overheating? Other pressures I thought were the labour market and rising oil prices. I could be wrong.

Posted by: the common good at September 7, 2004 at 05:38 PM

This is bizarro world. Yesterday the Liberals trumped Labor with more money on HEALTH. Now here Labor are mocked over.. tax CUTS? What's wrong with lefties saying "it's good to see the Liberals spending more on health" and everyone here (with Tim's initial post excluded) saying "it's great to see Labor looking to tax less". Are you really that partisan?

Posted by: Rhys at September 7, 2004 at 06:23 PM

How on earth am I meant to pay the expected $150 increase in my mortgage with Latham's 8 bucks??

If he ever gets in my taxi I'll be showing him where he can stick his 8 flamin' bucks.

Posted by: Duke at September 7, 2004 at 06:24 PM

Latham yer wanker ...

Kiss my 8 bucks yer piss weak prick ...

Yer think your so namby-pamby in your silver-stitched suit yer two-bob knock shop dweller ...

8 bloody bucks ... who are you kidding???

Arsehole ...

Posted by: Duke at September 7, 2004 at 06:26 PM

And don't get ne started on that scary looking prick Emerson ... can you imagine what the kids'll look like if he and Gillard ever start breeding??

J-effing-christ! They'll have faces like the bloody Pyramids!!

Posted by: Duke at September 7, 2004 at 06:28 PM

At least latham offered tax cuts if you earn under 52K. Howard forgot about you in the last budget and didn't you cry foul. Latham at least offered something!

Posted by: tinkerbell Jones at September 7, 2004 at 06:49 PM

At least we could buy some more sandwiches and milkshakes.

Posted by: Tony.T at September 7, 2004 at 07:22 PM

The thing with the Latham plan, he can promise everything and then decide what hes going to offer. The government is locked into theirs.

I want to know where the 3.5B is going to come from, if the LIbs and their toecutters can't find it, Hows Lacker and Crean going to go, I can see the public service unions jacking up and that will be the end of the economy drive and tax cuts.

All we need is Latham to say the tax cuts are L.A.W and the farce will be complete.

Posted by: Nuffy at September 7, 2004 at 07:23 PM


Us lower-income earners got our cuts in the budget before last ago. The over $52's were just playing catch-up.

Don't forget that families also got cash sums that were substantial at the same time that the big earners got their cuts.

Short memories must.......

Posted by: DaveACT at September 7, 2004 at 10:22 PM

I listened to Latham's `policy' speech this arvo in disbelief as he, time-after-time, told the `stunned mullet media’ in his dramatic `lockup’ that his proposed weekly family payments should only be compared to the government's current weekly payments which should not under any circumstances include an average of the government's annual family payments.

"Look at the tables", "Howard's payments don't exist" he repeated, almost as often as he’s voiced his `rungs and ladders’ drivel and the other silly childish slogans he is so fond of replacing sound argument and policy with.

It seems in Latham's tiny, bully-boy mind if you dismiss a reporter's question with a torrent of head-shaking, falsetto voiced, meaningless tripe the whole thrust of each question will just go away and that his deceitful policy will not be scrutinised.

It might work in bovver boy’s party room but sadly for Latham his big lie is unravelling by the minute.

The only questions he is now being asked about his long overdue `policy’ is why his shabby documents don't contain a true comparison between Labor’s proposed benefits and the actual payments received from the current government.

He and his indignant cronies also continue to duck and weave around the simple question of when they will submit their `sums’ to Treasury for proper `marking’.

Even Labor’s own `Red Kerry’ O’Brien couldn’t stomach Latham’s dissembling.

Latham’s `tax policy’ looks like a bullet in the foot – nay, a burst of automatic gunfire into both feet!!!

Posted by: oldDigger at September 7, 2004 at 10:36 PM

Gibbo - you could probably buy one and a half sandwiches and a milkshake.

Posted by: RonJ. at September 7, 2004 at 10:37 PM

"Ease the squeeze" - wasn't that an AC/DC album from the mid 80s?

Posted by: tim g at September 7, 2004 at 10:56 PM

$8 per week? What bizaar units - I want my $0.000013227 per second reduction!

Posted by: Mike at September 8, 2004 at 01:21 AM

I appreciate your thoughts Ron but 1 sandwich wouldn't sort my fat gut out for morno's, let alone the main course. I actually witnessed the ALP being savaged over this shit on the ABC tonight. Unprecedented! Not even the "true believers" are willing to swallow this shit. Is Latham truly telling me, the genuine swinging voter, that this is all he has. He made me wait from May for this trivia?
Sorry mate. John Howard for me!

Grow up or get out of the way!

Posted by: Gibbo at September 8, 2004 at 03:49 AM

Jeez!! Is that it? You know the wheels are gonna fall off this one big time. You know why? Coz Simon Crean would be Treasurer. I would not trust Crean with running my kids Anzac Biscuit charity promotion for fucks sake. I seriousy doubt the guy is even numerate. I heard that Crean is so dumb that his lips move when OTHER people read!!

Posted by: Dog at September 8, 2004 at 07:48 AM

Simon Crean would be Treasurer. I would not trust Crean with running my kids Anzac Biscuit charity promotion for fucks sake.

Exactly. That's the thing for me. Latham is bat-shit crazy, no doubt about that, but with a talented ministry I could handle it. Unfortunately...

Posted by: Quentin George at September 8, 2004 at 08:09 AM

I liked his ideas about getting people off welfare dependence.Unfortunately with Labors Industrial relations policy he will shrink the economy and deprive the welfare people a chance of a job.

Posted by: gubbaboy at September 8, 2004 at 01:50 PM

The ALP policy will reduce the contributions tax on superannuation from 15 to 13 per cent giving $1.3 billion to ‘ease the squeeze on middle Australia’ over the next 3 years.
But they will also abolish the superannuation co-contributions scheme, clawing back $2.6 billion from ‘the great backbone of our nation’ over the same 3 years. Plus there's a whole raft of other superannuation 'improvements' designed to move money in one direction and that’s not toward the backbone.
Smoke and mirrors.

Posted by: sportzfan at September 8, 2004 at 02:17 PM

Check the fine print!This is the "Aspirationals Overboard" tax policy.

Posted by: Lew at September 8, 2004 at 02:48 PM

At least you have a tax cut war going on. In Bizarro-America one party is running on raising taxes.
Sometimes I wish I was born Aussie. And not just because you have better beer.

Posted by: Veeshir at September 8, 2004 at 11:04 PM