23 thoughts on “Monday Message Board

  1. Australian Tax Code is too complex. Burn it down and start from scratch. Maybe a simple 1% tax upon all electronic transactions?

  2. I wonder how long it will be before young radicals take Labor’s imputation policy as just the first step in the fightback of the young against the old, a fight the old have been winning for the last 30 years. Why is it that one of the richest cohorts, the over-60s, can pay insignificant amounts of tax, while enjoying tremendous societal benefits eg hospital care is mostly for the old, private health insurance is a rort for the old, the old bought up all the good property 50 years ago and have been swimming in their gold coins ever since, the old don’t want to do anything about climate change because it would affect the price of their shares, etc etc. And who is paying? Every dollar given to a non-taxpaying over-60 comes from those younger. Is it really fair that Howard and Latham pay no tax on the money they get from their super, but a backpacker fruit picker pays 15% on their earnings?
    There have even been calls by the old that their largesse from the imputation policy should be grandfathered. I didn’t hear any demands from these people that penalty rate cuts should be grandfathered.

  3. @Joe
    Not to mention raising the pension age to 70, a change that only affects Generation X and beyond. I can see the rationale and reasoning behind it, that there will not be enough taxpayers aged between 25 and 65 to support leaving it at 67, but to implement the policy after the demographic bulge of the Baby Boomers has reached retirement is sort of closing the gate after the horse has bolted.

  4. @Joe
    1 Young radicals don’t much vote, so don’t hold your breath.

    2 Some, relatively very few over-60s actually are rich with insignificant tax assessments.

    3 Health? And the pension. Taxes paid all their working life and for a not insignificant number also still paid post retirement. We all pay still today a 7.5% income tax component legislated and first levied in 1948 with unanimous bipartisan support for a universal old age pension fund to be managed by parliament and set to provide a basic indexed amount for a decent standard of living in retirement! Keating disappeared the legislation in 83, but not the taxation component! Keep your eye on your super mate. The ALP did it once to all of us already, and they will do it again to you on super if you are presently young enough and there is time enough on your lifeline for that opportunity to arise for them to do so.

    4 The old swimming in gold whilst sitting on good properties. You are dreaming mate. One of the biggest cohorts of homeless and impoverished is in fact the aged – especially elderly women.

    5 The old don’t want to do anything about climate change? What planet are you on? For example, on this Earth, get yourself along to a GetUp! event, say, a phone session the real grist to their mill, the sort of thing that terrifies a Barnaby, and note the predominant ageing group in attendance, and dare I say the aging group that donates most of the funding let alone time.

    6 The non taxpaying over-60s are paid by those younger? Get real mate. See 3, they’ve paid for it all their working lives.

    7 Whilst “Howard” and “Latham”, should not occur in the same sentence as “fair” Latham at least did reign in some of the grossly unfair pollie retirement super perks.

    8 A backpacker fruit picker pays 15% tax, maybe, but doesn’t vote and alienates young citizens who otherwise might vote and have jobs at reasonable wages and working conditions. Their is currently nothing fair to do with backpacker workers in Australia.

    9 The old and penalty rates? You have a tin ear. A large cohort of the “casual” “part time” workforce that penalty rate cuts affected are in fact grandfathers of fifty years of age and well past that milestone. There’s a few wealthy one per centers that benefit in “largesse” style from dividend imputation. Do what Bowen’s ALP would like to do to everyone and those relatively few one per centers will find other effective tax minimisation options, but you won’t be able to when you’d like to when you need to. ALP policy always for 40 years and counting: attack the rusted on, the poor will pay while the rich get away.

    10 Don’t believe 10% of what you’ve read in the Graudian articles and comments.

  5. @Shane From Melbourne

    Where do you people get this stuff from? I’m a baby boomer. The Rudd ALP raised my retirement age by 2 years. They probably considered me and my kind a rusted on. The LNP would not be so silly. The majority of voters, leave alone those who actually vote, are over 55 years of age. Also you’re forgetting the ALP’s Big Australia demographic bulge that’s begun now due to massive net immigration and can’t be stopped for some ten, twenty or so years even if migration were reduced to some sensible sustainable level due to the subsequent consequential baby boom that has begun. All taxpayers pay 7.5% income tax all their working lives that is levied to fund a pension. The amount levied each year for that purpose was for a time stated on taxpayers’ individual yearly tax returns. Not a word about it now, but you still pay it – for your own retirement.

  6. The baby boomer generation broke Australia out of the economic doldrums. In the late 1950s and the 1960s Australia was quivering behind high tariff walls. These economic walls were put their by the LNP government to benefit rich farmers and companies (no change there). The baby boomers got rid of that insular attitude by bringing in the most progressive governments seen in this country. They began lowering tariff barriers. The young who live in our highly prosperous economy owe the baby boomers a big vote of thanks. They gave them a relatively peaceful period of some forty years. Economies need stability and freedom from external shocks to reach their true potential. From about 1972 on Australia has had this golden period. We may never see a generation like the baby boomer again in this country. Thank them for their courage when they were struggling young people. Don’t criticize them just because they are old and successful.

  7. @Greg Pius
    “The young who live in our highly prosperous economy owe the baby boomers a big vote of thanks” Actually they need to thank China for a mining boom and high immigration for a housing boom. The Baby Boomer generation in Australia basically coasted upon external circumstances. Their achievements were largely unremarkable. The dismantling of tariffs in Australia was mostly due to the prevailing neoliberal ideology sweeping both left and right parties in the West in the 1980s and 1990s

  8. @Greg Pius

    Like nearly all generational claims, this is wrong. The lowering of tariff barriers began with the Whitlam government, at a time when most of the Baby Boomers were still in school. And the economy was in a dreadful mess for most of the 1970s and 1980s. Once Baby Boomers entered politics in substantial numbers, they were to be found on every side of every issue. To give a trivial example, Tony Abbott, Julia Gillard, Kevin Rudd and Malcolm Turnbull were all born within the same seven-year span, as was I.

  9. @John Quiggin

    Pravda on the Potomac? Surely they will also have an article on the millions of USA citizens prevented from voting there and similarly prevented from running for office.

  10. It’s a strange thing about the bank executives who are appearing before the royal commission. They all wear the same suits and they all have shaved heads. And they all say the same things in the same way. It’s quite creepy, as if they are all bank exec bots, manufactured in a secret bank exec bot factory.

  11. I have read the High Court judgement in Alley v Gillespie where the Court ruled Alley could not seek a determination of Gillespie’s right to sit or nominate under section 44 as having a lessee who in turn sublet to Austpost. ie. an indirect interest in a contract with the Commonwealth Public Service.

    The Court ruled it is for the Parliament first to decide his eligibility upon it referring the case to the High Court for it to then determine if is he liable under the Common Informers Act.

    The Court seems to invite the referral which of course will require a debate. When we think of the precedent of Bob Day in this area it will be hard for the Coalition to escape public ire if it evades a referral by using its numbers [majority of one].

    Gillespie’s since disposing of his property will not solve his problem of having it at the time of nomination. It may arguably be an admission by him.

  12. Coal update. The Coalswarm/Greenpeace/Sierra Club collective have released their latest report on world coal generation: *****endcoal.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/BoomAndBust_2018_r4.pdf

    1. The pipeline continues to shrink in a most satisfactory way, with capacity under construction falling by 63 GW (-23%) and new plants in service by 24 GW (-28%). The coal implosion hasn’t slowed down. But there are still 210 GW under construction.
    2. The coal plant stock in service could peak as early as 2022, through retirements in the ageing coal fleet in OECD countries.
    3. If all the coal plants in service and under construction work for 40 years, the world uses up all its 2 degree carbon budget by that alone, leaving nothing for transport and industry. The coal phaseout must be accelerated.
    4. Subsidised export credits from China, Japan, and Korea play a noxious role in keeping coal construction alive in LDCs (Vietnam, Pakistan, Turkey, Indonesia, Kenya…). Unsubsidised coal isn’t competitive with renewables anywhere.

  13. Global emissions update. The IEA have released a “Global Energy and CO2 Status Report”. It’s described as the first, so they presumably intend to make it a regular publication:
    This will be useful. The IEA’s forecasts on renewables are terrible, but I think we can rely on their historical data.

    “Global energy-related CO2 emissions grew by 1.4% in 2017, reaching a historic high of 32.5 gigatonnes (Gt), a resumption of growth after three years of global emissions remaining flat.” Surprisingly, coal emissions rose (by 1%) as well as those from oil and gas.

    I’m with JQ on this. The 2017 increase is just a blip. The forces for the energy transition are now just too strong. 98 GW of solar and 52 GW of wind went in last year; on average, only half of this was producing. Trump has not stopped the fall in US emissions. Xi Jinping has secured his position and will be ruthless in pursuing his “beautiful China” goal.

  14. @John Quiggin
    TheProfessor Quiggin, Alexei Navalny was prevented from standing for election because he was subject to criminal prosecution. The electoral rules of Russia don’t allow such people to contest elections. Given the subsequent result of the elections, I think Alexei Navalny would have made very little impact had he been allowed to stand.

    President Vladimir Putin got 76.69% of the vote. There were about 1,800 internationals observers (from my recollection) who verified that the elections were conducted fairly. Compare that to the support that either Bill Shorten and Malcolm Turnbull can claim to enjoy. There can be no doubt that President Vladimir Putin is amongst the most popular of national leaders around the world at this point in time.

    The main reason for Vladimir Putin’s popularity is that he reversed the economic and social ruin that former President Boris Yeltsin brought upon Russia in the 1990’s. The harm caused by Yeltsin is decribed in Chapters 11 and 12 of Naomi Klein’s “The Shock Doctrine” of 2007.

    I think this speaks for itself. Nothing more on this topic, or along these lines, please. Also, no responses from other commenters – JQ

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