Australian Politics – A Labor Party Tax Brawl, Where No One Mentions Cutting Spending Instead

Posted on Sat 01/30/2016 by


Bolt New 01By Andrew Bolt ~

It is the kind of brawl that sums up the depths to which modern Labor has sunk. On one side is a Labor leader who thinks we should hike taxes even higher to pay for Labor’s wild promises; on the other is a Labor leader who thinks Labor’s wild promises don’t actually need to be paid for:

shortenpig_thumbBill Shorten’s Labor does not have a “coherent” plan to fund its Gonski education plan without increasing the GST, South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill has declared, deepening the rift between the two ALP leaders.

In remarks that will inflame tensions with his federal colleagues, Mr Weatherill has continued to promote his plan to increase the GST from 10 per cent to 15 per cent.

Mr Weatherill will use a Council of Australian Governments meeting in March to lobby for his tax reform blueprint — a GST hike in return for fixed funding of schools and hospitals — to become the national model, in defiance of Labor Party policy.

Note that not a single Labor leader is arguing that taxes are actually too high, Labor’s promises are too expensive and that spending must be cut to match revenue.

But note also a frightening me-too:

Malcolm Turnbull said yesterday that a GST increase was being “actively considered” by the government…


The Turnbull Government is attacking Labor – rightly – as the party of tax-and-spend.  But pots and kettles:

Treasury secretary Fraser on Thursday night [warned] Australia is living beyond its means… On current trends the spending-to-GDP ratio will fall from 25.9 per cent to 25.3 per cent over four years — modest progress if it happens. But Fraser warned that “spending will not get below 25 per cent at any time over the next decade” and 25 per cent is a historically high level…

Interviewed by 3AW’s Neil Mitchell yesterday Turnbull struggled on the “return to surplus” issue saying it was “a long way off” but refused to concede a future 10 years of deficits.

Terry McCrann:

Now the government’s net debt is at $239bn (as of last June), headed for what is clearly an ‘‘optimistic’’ $347bn by June 2019 and on inexorably to half-a-trillion dollars at some date after that.

Andrew Bolt is a journalist and columnist writing for The Herald Sun in Melbourne Victoria Australia.

Andrew Bolt’s columns appear in Melbourne’s Herald Sun, Sydney’s Daily Telegraph and Adelaide’s Advertiser. He runs the most-read political blog in Australia and hosts Channel 10’s The Bolt Report each Sunday at 10am. He is also heard from Monday to Friday at 8am on the breakfast show of radio station MTR 1377, and his book  Still Not Sorry remains very widely read.

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