Malcolm Turncoat's imploding act

 
  Groundrelay Chief Commissioner

Location: Surrounded by Trolls!
...it is getting too far off topic.
TheBlacksmith
Somewhat Laughing

Rather than burden Malcolm, time for a Taxation/Spending thread!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
Barrie Cassidy comments on the new lay of the land in an interesting ABC article.

Tony Abbott clearly feels very bitter and like he's the victim. If he wants to uphold his 'no wreaking' promise then he should stop going on radio and telling us how he wuz robbed.

How does it feel to be sacked, Tony? Not good is it... you kind of feel rejected and worthless, don't you.
  Groundrelay Chief Commissioner

Location: Surrounded by Trolls!
Barrie Cassidy comments on the new lay of the land in an interesting ABC article.

Tony Abbott clearly feels very bitter and like he's the victim. If he wants to uphold his 'no wreaking' promise then he should stop going on radio and telling us how he wuz robbed.

How does it feel to be sacked, Tony? Not good is it... you kind of feel rejected and worthless, don't you.
don_dunstan
Abbott bowing out quietly.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wtTGFat6Xus
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Norda Fittazroy
Tony; you were a c r a p captain - now pipe down and get back to being a local member.
  Picton Locomotive Driver

Barrie Cassidy comments on the new lay of the land in an interesting ABC article.

Tony Abbott clearly feels very bitter and like he's the victim. If he wants to uphold his 'no wreaking' promise then he should stop going on radio and telling us how he wuz robbed.

How does it feel to be sacked, Tony? Not good is it... you kind of feel rejected and worthless, don't you.
Abbott bowing out quietly.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wtTGFat6Xus
Groundrelay
That interview alone should have alerted the public to the fact that Abbott was unsuitable to be PM
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Barrie Cassidy comments on the new lay of the land in an interesting ABC article.

Tony Abbott clearly feels very bitter and like he's the victim. If he wants to uphold his 'no wreaking' promise then he should stop going on radio and telling us how he wuz robbed.

How does it feel to be sacked, Tony? Not good is it... you kind of feel rejected and worthless, don't you.
don_dunstan
Heard TA on one radio interview last week. Despite the shock jock trying to dig, there was no "wreaking" comments and he clearly refused to undermine the PM or those who helped with his demise.

And you think he didn't know what its like to be sacked before?
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
Heard TA on one radio interview last week. Despite the shock jock trying to dig, there was no "wreaking" comments and he clearly refused to undermine the PM or those who helped with his demise.

And you think he didn't know what its like to be sacked before?
RTT_Rules
Shane, you are the only one who comes on here to try and support Tony.

I think it's an artefact of being away from Aussie for too long and not being able to smell the enormous stench of Tony that still lingers after his departure.

And did you even read the article I linked? Tony was not being a hundred percent supportive of Malcolm, this is unfortunately not a good sign of things to come. He did say that he would reconsider his future in parliament after Xmas - why doesn't he just quit now to show the party that he really isn't going to hang around and wreak like Rudd did...?
  gippslander Chief Commissioner

Location: Central Gippsland, Vic
It's interesting that Abbott now only talks to shock jocks who are unlikely to ask the tough questions he would face from others.
I sat next to him a lunch when he was a Minister in the Howard Government, he was extremely affable and decent to talk to.
The man is a bit of an enigma and should have taken some smart advice from someone like Arthur Sinodonis when he appointed his PM staff.
Things like his abject refusal to consider funding urban public transport were just dumb policy and his successor is dining out on that one.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
It's interesting that Abbott now only talks to shock jocks who are unlikely to ask the tough questions he would face from others.
I sat next to him a lunch when he was a Minister in the Howard Government, he was extremely affable and decent to talk to.
The man is a bit of an enigma and should have taken some smart advice from someone like Arthur Sinodonis when he appointed his PM staff.
Things like his abject refusal to consider funding urban public transport were just dumb policy and his successor is dining out on that one.
gippslander
Actually, the interviewer did ask the hard questions about Turnball, Morrison, Julie Bishop, his former office Manager. I'm sitting there thinking, "really, what is the point of all this now", but the former PM was very professional, supported of all and turned the questions around and responded if he had just happily retired and thanking everyone.

Agree, the attitude on PT did no favors and unfortunately the time to d a U-turn on that was before the election. Or post election, provided support with PT without having to backflip. But this was not the only issue and he could have survived if it was.

I personally didn't like the guy from the start and opposed him becoming LNP opp leader, but have heard a hell of alot of personal stuff about him in recent months and he probably is one of the nicest people out there and maybe thats the problem. A very nice and very capable guy in the wrong job!

Anyway as the former PM said on the radio, "what has happened, has happened, time to move on." If anything this was probably aimed at the conservative shock jocks who appear to be supporting labour in their ongoing efforts to throw dirt at the new PM, Treasurer etc and release a scandal.

He said he will remain as MP for the remainder of the year and make an announcement about his future next year. Read this to be "I've got offers on the table, I'm just talking my time to see whats best for me and my family and enjoying a 3mths break after years of playing the absent dad/husband".
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Heard TA on one radio interview last week. Despite the shock jock trying to dig, there was no "wreaking" comments and he clearly refused to undermine the PM or those who helped with his demise.

And you think he didn't know what its like to be sacked before?
Shane, you are the only one who comes on here to try and support Tony.

I think it's an artefact of being away from Aussie for too long and not being able to smell the enormous stench of Tony that still lingers after his departure.

And did you even read the article I linked? Tony was not being a hundred percent supportive of Malcolm, this is unfortunately not a good sign of things to come. He did say that he would reconsider his future in parliament after Xmas - why doesn't he just quit now to show the party that he really isn't going to hang around and wreak like Rudd did...?
don_dunstan

Hi Don,
9mths ago, I was get rid of him and have been anti TA since he became Opp leader, thats on record and my dad and I had numerous emails on this. Case in point the E-W link in Mel and abandonment of PT. However in last 6mths I've read into some of the work he has done and some of the stuff that is rarely in main stream media, my view of him has changed.

I do agree he had to go although perhaps not for all the same reasons as most here, I do agree he is not popular, I don't agree with all the smeg thrown at him especially when you have the ALP leader in the docks over his union taking money from companies in return for reducing benefits, rates and wages.

I cannot read that link at work, so one for later.

To quit now leaves the seat likely with no member until the election. Maybe we have at least one MP that considers the people of that seat and the cost of simply quitting between elections? Considering he stayed in the police barracks while in Canberra as PM to save money, this is a possibility.

I think there are significant differences between Rudd and TA personalities, come xmas, feel free to say I was wrong or you were wrong on that one.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. You can tell how good a former PM,  Opp-leader, Treasurer etc is by the jobs given to them or offered to them after they leave office.

For example, Kim Beazly, US ambassador, Peter Costello, Manage the Future Fund he created.

Being a lecturer at a university is probably not a good sign you capacity as a PM was well respected by your peers and the corporate world.

So lets see what happens to Abbott?
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
Agreed, we'll have our differences on this, but if I was a gambler I would put bets on Abbott becoming a wreaker and a leaker in the same fashion that Rudd did...

Although you'd have to come up with a definitive version of what constitutes 'wreaker'.
  wurx Lithgovian Ambassador-at-Large

Location: The mystical lost principality of Daptovia
...If there is any "blame" to be allocated, it belongs to the Australian people for not buying local cars...
While this is true, the reality is the car makers stopped making what the public wanted. Ford actually did make ground with the Territory, but that came to nothing once Polites was shipped overseas. The diesel was cancelled, and Detroit killed Ford Australia. Holden went with everything that Bob (c)Lutz wanted with the VE, which resulted in a big, overweight, thirsty bomb. All at the time aussies were looking for smaller fuel efficient cars. Toyota got caught in the smeg storm that ensued, nothing wrong with their products (except for being as boring as watching paint dry).

And to top it all off, we had a government so dedicated to a FTA with Japan, they were willing to sell out our own manufacturing to get it.
Alco_Haulic
Add to that, one of Ford's excuses back in 2013, when they announced that the Falcon & Territory would be slain come 2016, was that "everyone was buying Mazdas".

And Mazda is virtually owned by.......guess who?

No, no corporate hypocrisy there...........
  donttellmywife Chief Commissioner

Location: Antofagasta
Tax reform and budget structural issues are a subject close to my heart, and something I like to think I know a little bit about.  

All too often the term "tax reform" is a euphemism for "I should pay less, you should pay more", and that's how it's usually sold.  So beware of Greeks bearing gifts, especially smooth talking wealthy greeks.
djf01


I agree.  There's also the subtle variation "I want this, you should pay for it".

Budget structural problems?

There are a few main causes:
- we f***ed up the mining tax.  The Tax Ken Henry originally proposed would have boosted investment *and* government revenues, while helping to knock the top off the mining boom and limit the damage it did to the other sectors of the economy.  In so many ways mining receives an advantageous tax treatment compared with most other industries. One example is GST.  It's hard to imagine an industry that needs more state government provided infrastructure than mining, yet it pays next to not GST - supposedly the state government's "growth" revenue source.
djf01

I question whether there really is a "structural" issue.  At the end of the day, we need to collect more tax, which the electorate doesn't like, and/or provide less services, which the electorate doesn't like.  That's not structural, that's just the real world.

GST is a tax on Australian based consumption of goods and services.  It is not supposed to be a tax on production (or effort - if you include the "services", but things can get a bit wobbly there).  If you rock up to the front gate of a coal (or any other) mine and buy a tonne of coal, they will charge you GST, which they then hand over to the ATO, just like every other business.  If you ask for that tonne of coal to be delivered overseas, they will not charge you GST, just like every other exporting business on the continent.

I suggest you think very carefully before advocating that the GST be a tax on production.  

(That thinking may also make it apparent that there is another industry out there, that is very much reliant on state government largesse with respect to infrastructure provision and maintenance, particularly from a rail point of view.  That's ok - I like bread.)

There is a mechanism for state governments to recover any supposed cost shortfall in infrastructure provision (I say "supposed", because I think the general case has very much been that government owned mining related infrastructure has been a nice little earner for the various state governments over the years - and stuff that isn't government owned generally hasn't been government funded) - through royalties and the like.  I think state governments are in the best compromise position to assess the appropriate level of royalties that an operation should pay - they are not as far removed from the pointy end of the cost/benefit tradeoff as the federal level (otherwise you get absurdities such as "lets collect more royalties on WA iron ore so Melbourne can have nicer trains...", versus "I am happy to live down the road from this mine because it pays for the school that educates my kids") but they are big enough and mature enough that they can hold their own in negotiations and make reliable decisions, unlike local government (unfortunately).

Consequently I think moves to shift royalty revenue to the federal level (which is what the Henry review certainly suggested) to be misguided.  That worsens the fiscal imbalance that you mention below.  I think other aspects of that review also reflected the boom conditions of the day, not the nature of things over the whole cycle.


...I'm no fan of GST.  Never have been.  It's a solution to a problem we largely don't have in Australia (ie widespread Greek/Italy style tax evasion).  A bigger problem though is - like all taxes - it directs economic activity away from where it's based.   It's aided a decline in manufacturing in Australia, shifted us further toward primary industries but also presents problems for non-domestic transactions (eg eBay purchases).
djf01

Just imagine what a tax on production would do!

I don't have a philosophical problem with the GST in its current form.  I don't think it should become the main form of government revenue, not even close.

The biggest burden of GST though is compliance, and this falls disproportionately on small business.   GST is essentially a Business Cashflow Tax, and I doubt if it would have gotten up had it been named as such.  They might not say so publicly, but most small business owners would give a silent fist pump if their income tax rates commensurately increased but GST was removed.  Their accountants would have the reverse reaction.
djf01

I agree (with painful experience - I am a [very] small business owner) that the administrative/compliance cost of GST is high, perhaps unnecessarily so, but no tax is perfect.  The ATO's tendency towards "make-work" for themselves seems to go beyond GST these days too.

The idea of increasing the GST to 15% (to solve an alleged spending problem) is starting to gain some traction.  But only because everyone think's they will get the resulting extra largess though lower personal tax rates, more state government revenue, whatever.  But it just isn't possible.  It's more likely to create more problems down the road than solve any immediate issues - especially once everyone (or at least everyone worth worrying about) is "properly" compensated.
djf01

It concerns me that the case made for an increase in GST to 15% seems to basically come down to "it is the right thing to do".  Why is it the right thing to do?  "If GST was higher, income tax would be less."  And... so what?? Why is that a good thing?  "Well... because... ummm, because it is the right thing to do..."

Maybe there is a good argument out there, but if so it is not being publicly articulated.

The other thing that annoys me about GST is it fails to solve the vertical fiscal imbalance (feds tax more, states spend more) inerrant in our constitution.  States simply don't have any control over the GST (allegedly) collected in their name.

In my view the Feds should stop funding the States directly (ie keep the GST), instead take on full responsibility for Health (the constitution allows States to voluntarily cede powers to the commonwealth).  The feds partially fund education now, but that should go to a voucher system: feds give each parent a $Xk per year per child, can be redeemed at the school of their choice in exchange for an education.
djf01
(I'm not sure it is fundamentally constitutional - the current arrangements were arrived at with time by agreement, which implies that, with time, they could change back.)

I think people forget that the link between GST and state funding is arbitrary - it was just a consequence of how the GST came into being politically.  If you want more money for the states to spend, increasing the GST is not your only option.

I would like to see some partial redress of the fiscal imbalance (more specifically - having decisions around how and how much revenue should be raised being made by the same people who decide how and how much money should be spent), but I admit that I have no idea what the best way forward is.  I note that you actually don't suggest an alternative form of income for the states.
  wurx Lithgovian Ambassador-at-Large

Location: The mystical lost principality of Daptovia
And now to our new Prime Mincer, Mr. Turncoatbull.

I think hope that he will turn out to be a pleasant surprise for us all - but then I had also great hopes (dashed in a sea of backstabbing & caucusautocracy) of Mr. KRudd as well.... Neutral

It must also be remembered that the reality is that whatever Malcolm Turnbull is doing now (being PM, Lib Leader, Member for Wentworth etc) is all just biding time until he gets another opportunity to be President of The Republic Of Australia....
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
DTMY, good comments. When you mention fiscal imbalance I assume you mean the fact the states are heavily dependent on the feds?
  TheBlacksmith Chief Commissioner

Location: Ankh Morpork

The biggest burden of GST though is compliance, and this falls disproportionately on small business.   GST is essentially a Business Cashflow Tax, and I doubt if it would have gotten up had it been named as such.  They might not say so publicly, but most small business owners would give a silent fist pump if their income tax rates commensurately increased but GST was removed.  Their accountants would have the reverse reaction.

I agree (with painful experience - I am a [very] small business owner) that the administrative/compliance cost of GST is high, perhaps unnecessarily so, but no tax is perfect.  The ATO's tendency towards "make-work" for themselves seems to go beyond GST these days too.
donttellmywife
I am not sure why either of you think administration of GST is a significant burden. I am also a small business operator and as long as you use a decent accounting package, GST is automatically taken care of for you. I reckon I spend about 10 minutes every quarter dealing with it, no more.
  Groundrelay Chief Commissioner

Location: Surrounded by Trolls!
Agreed, we'll have our differences on this, but if I was a gambler I would put bets on Abbott becoming a wreaker and a leaker in the same fashion that Rudd did...

Although you'd have to come up with a definitive version of what constitutes 'wreaker'.
don_dunstan
Abbott won't forgive nor forget. Worse than Rudd, this bloke has always been confrontational, someone who thrives on divide and conquer where winning is everything. The ideal prerequisites for a 'popular' talk back radio personality Mad



EDITED BY KR: We allow quite a bit of latitude here, but dropping the C-bomb isn't included nor is it necessary. Even if you do the $*@*#$*%*&@ thing...
  donttellmywife Chief Commissioner

Location: Antofagasta

The biggest burden of GST though is compliance, and this falls disproportionately on small business.   GST is essentially a Business Cashflow Tax, and I doubt if it would have gotten up had it been named as such.  They might not say so publicly, but most small business owners would give a silent fist pump if their income tax rates commensurately increased but GST was removed.  Their accountants would have the reverse reaction.

I agree (with painful experience - I am a [very] small business owner) that the administrative/compliance cost of GST is high, perhaps unnecessarily so, but no tax is perfect.  The ATO's tendency towards "make-work" for themselves seems to go beyond GST these days too.I am not sure why either of you think administration of GST is a significant burden. I am also a small business operator and as long as you use a decent accounting package, GST is automatically taken care of for you. I reckon I spend about 10 minutes every quarter dealing with it, no more.
TheBlacksmith
Our GST+PAYG activity statements are required monthly, for reasons the ATO itself doesn't appear to understand or care to share - it certainly isn't based off turnover!  Note my comment about "make work" above.  As djf01 says, its not just the hour or so a month of our time associated with that (admittedly some of which would happen anyway, monthly reporting just triggers the work), but the beanies get a little extra love as a result of the increase in book-keeping complexity.  When we first set up they got a whole lot of love trying to decide whether we even had to charge GST on some of our stuff - note how I described the situation with respect to taxation of effort versus consumption for services as "a bit wobbly".

Again, no tax is perfect, and I don't have a philosophical objection to the current arrangements.
  Groundrelay Chief Commissioner

Location: Surrounded by Trolls!
Dragging this back on topic, the man of the moment has provided a further surge in LNP popularity.

They just need to get away from those three word slogans. WORK!, SAVE!!, INVEST!!! I mean really Rolling Eyes
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
Interesting to see our new PM flitting around the country signing off on money for public transport projects (as noted in various threads on Railpage). QLD a winner with $95 million for an extension of the Gold Coast light rail in time for the Commonwealth Games - hopefully - and now Perth trying to get funding for their own light rail project on the Barnett government's list of unfunded promises for a while. Perhaps Adelaide will get Gawler electrification completed soon as I'm sure Jay Wetherill will be asking - I believe it was funded under Rudd but the money was taken away under Gillard for the QLD floods in 2011.

Victoria got an extremely generous allocation under Rudd for the newly-opened Regional Rail Link - I haven't read anything on whether it's been a success or not. Perhaps NSW might also get money for the next stage of their driver-less North-West rail link.

Don't look at the credit card statement though, Malcolm!
  locojoe67 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Gen X purgatory/urban Joh-land
The federal contribution of $95m is much less than the Qld govt was hoping for. As a high profile project, it is a low cash input for maximal publicity from the Cwth games shindig in 2018.

And dare I say, the mantra of work,save and invest is outdated. Borrow, speculate and negatively gear is more contemporary.
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

Hi DTMW,

Sorry, I missed this rather thoughtful post.



Budget structural problems?

There are a few main causes:
- we f***ed up the mining tax.  The Tax Ken Henry originally proposed would have boosted investment *and* government revenues, while helping to knock the top off the mining boom and limit the damage it did to the other sectors of the economy.  In so many ways mining receives an advantageous tax treatment compared with most other industries. One example is GST.  It's hard to imagine an industry that needs more state government provided infrastructure than mining, yet it pays next to not GST - supposedly the state government's "growth" revenue source.

I question whether there really is a "structural" issue.  At the end of the day, we need to collect more tax, which the electorate doesn't like, and/or provide less services, which the electorate doesn't like.  That's not structural, that's just the real world.

GST is a tax on Australian based consumption of goods and services.  It is not supposed to be a tax on production (or effort - if you include the "services", but things can get a bit wobbly there).  If you rock up to the front gate of a coal (or any other) mine and buy a tonne of coal, they will charge you GST, which they then hand over to the ATO, just like every other business.  If you ask for that tonne of coal to be delivered overseas, they will not charge you GST, just like every other exporting business on the continent.

I suggest you think very carefully before advocating that the GST be a tax on production.  
donttellmywife


I perhaps should clarify what I meant by this.  I don't think GST should be a "production tax", though I'm not entirely sure what you mean by that.

Whenever I hear the phrase "we need to broaden the base of the GST", I know they mean taxing doctor's visits.  Perhaps this is appropriate (but given the Fed largely fund health anyway, a bit convoluted).  My reaction is: "the first change we should make is remove the exemption for minerals exports".

The structural issue is GST is deliberately designed to favour exporting industries, and I don't really have a problem with as a concept.  But the result has been a disproportionate shift away from local manufacturing and into mining.  The are directed benefits of this of course.  But there are also costs.  The big cost is having so much of our national income tied to a few highly variable commodities creates great variation in our exchange rate.  Classical economic theory suggests changes in exchange rate absorb shocks and allow new industries to flourish as older ones fade.  Unfortunately it's largely BS.

The issue is not really the absolute level of the exchange rate, but the variance.  The AUD falls to 50c doesn't mean someone will invest in a factory with a 30+ year life span because they know the next time global steel production kicks off - as it inevitably will -  the AUD will be back to $1.10 and their factory will non-viable.  At best a low exchange rate attracts fly-by-night industries like the film industry.  In the early 2000s we had a thriving film production industry in Australia - but that just vanished with the mining boom - along with all the associated skills.


There is a mechanism for state governments to recover any supposed cost shortfall in infrastructure provision (I say "supposed", because I think the general case has very much been that government owned mining related infrastructure has been a nice little earner for the various state governments over the years - and stuff that isn't government owned generally hasn't been government funded) - through royalties and the like.  I think state governments are in the best compromise position to assess the appropriate level of royalties that an operation should pay - they are not as far removed from the pointy end of the cost/benefit tradeoff as the federal level (otherwise you get absurdities such as "lets collect more royalties on WA iron ore so Melbourne can have nicer trains...", versus "I am happy to live down the road from this mine because it pays for the school that educates my kids") but they are big enough and mature enough that they can hold their own in negotiations and make reliable decisions, unlike local government (unfortunately).
donttellmywife


Our approach to charging mining royalties is very haphazard (I don't pretend to fully understand it), but also highly corruptible as Obeid and Macdonald amply demonstrated.  In my view, there is a very strong case the mining industry should be making a bigger contribution to both the state coffers as well as the feds as a recognition of the macro economic damage the industry causes.  I also think there was  a lot of merit in standarising the way royalties are levied, and in particular shift the emphasis more to taxation by value rather than volume.


I think people forget that the link between GST and state funding is arbitrary - it was just a consequence of how the GST came into being politically.  If you want more money for the states to spend, increasing the GST is not your only option.

IIRC the high court struck down a lot of the state based fuel taxes in the 90s, but I can't remember exactly why now.

To protect the state revenues, the feds intervened and levied fuel taxes on their behalf, but this too was struck down by the high court as the constitution prevents the feds levying different tax rates on different states.

I note that you actually don't suggest an alternative form of income for the states.

As mentioned above, constitutionally giving efficient taxing powers to the states is highly problematic.  I'm not a centralist for the sake of it, but I do think the only way forward is to shift service delivery responsibility to the same politicians we elect to decide how pay for it.
  Carnot Minister for Railways

Talking of taxation, Malcolm has been accused of funneling his money to the tax haven of the Cayman Islands:
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-10-14/malcolm-turnbull-defends-investments-amid-tax-avoidance-claims/6853944
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
Talking of taxation, Malcolm has been accused of funneling his money to the tax haven of the Cayman Islands:
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-10-14/malcolm-turnbull-defends-investments-amid-tax-avoidance-claims/6853944
Carnot
I felt his explanation of how the money was being managed was fair enough - however it raises questions about how effectively the government collects tax when even the PM uses off-shore tax havens to protect himself.
  TheBlacksmith Chief Commissioner

Location: Ankh Morpork
Talking of taxation, Malcolm has been accused of funneling his money to the tax haven of the Cayman Islands:
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-10-14/malcolm-turnbull-defends-investments-amid-tax-avoidance-claims/6853944
Carnot
Yeah, made that d*ckhead Shorten look like the complete twat he is, he was a director in a super fund that invested in the Cayman Islands...

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