The conversation we cannot ignore is Hockey’s “rethink” A con with the aim of wedging Labor, softening us up for the kill in the budget.
“On Monday morning, Joe Hockey, the Australian Treasurer, released Re:think, a tax discussion paper. It is no accident that he did so at the Australian Council of Social Services office. Let’s hope ACOSS don’t fall for the 3 card trick that is the tax discussion paper.
Given the widespread opposition to the 2014 Budget, the one percent have drawn an important lesson from that debacle – consult with the intended victims before launching attacks on poor people and workers. That is what the tax discussion paper is about. This Damascene conversion to talking to people begs the question – is a tax shit sandwich no longer a shit sandwich if it has consultation sprinkles on top? To ask the question is to answer it
“IN launching its national “conversation” about tax reform, the Abbott government is caught between the policy imperative of “leading” and the political requirement of “listening”.
A further complication is that Prime Minister Tony Abbott is seeking to wedge Bill Shorten, paving the way to blame him if no real progress can be made in fundamentally recalibrating the tax system.
What we are witnessing in this first stage of the “conversation” is that the government is reluctant to be seen to be “leading”. It’s hinting and nudging, but playing coy about what it believes is required. Inevitably, this makes the beginning of the debate quite confused.
The government is starting the sentence – “we need to fix the tax system” – but then leaving it hanging. Is this some super-sophisticated tactic, or is it not sure itself where things will head”