Macklin / Floating tax ideas on a sea of thought bubbles

“Chances are we’ll see a modest rise in the tax mix – with most revenue going to hospitals – and some tightening at the top end of super in the interests of ‘fairness’. And we’ll […]

TAXATION raised its ugly head this past week in what the Feds call a “conversation with the community”. This, we’re told, will help them decide how much of our hard-earned they’re going to squirrel away to fight unwinnable wars in the Middle East and keep refugees indefinitely on Nauru.

Robert Macklin

Robert Macklin.

Unfair? Well, yes. Most of it will go to much more deserving causes such as education, health and infrastructure. But the “conversation” consists of Treasurer Scott Morrison floating thought bubbles like a 50 per cent increase in the GST or a flat tax for most PAYG earners, and seeing whether they rise, fall or pop on the mass media.

Chances are we’ll see a modest rise in the tax mix – with most revenue going to hospitals – and some tightening at the top end of super in the interests of “fairness”. And we’ll all breathe a sigh of relief.

HOWEVER, the most engaging story of the week was the widespread outrage that kindly PM Malcolm Turnbull would send 37 babies back to the hellhole of Nauru.

A High Court decision said it was legal. Whether it was moral was quite another matter. The island’s doctors risked jail to speak out about the damage to the mental health of both parents and children. The Labor Opposition went very quiet; only Deputy Leader Tanya Plibersek called the whole operation “toxic”. Even the flint-eyed Immigration Minister Peter Dutton stonewalled on “7.30” with pollie-babble about drownings at sea.

SPEAKING of TV confrontations, the ABC’s newsreader Virginia Haussegger, stepped out from behind her autocue to grill local Lib Deputy Leader Alistair Coe on their promise to tear up all light rail contracts if they win government in October. Alistair ducked and weaved for four embarrassing minutes and did his excellent cause no good at all.

SO, too, his leader Jeremy Hanson trying to block the demoted – but perfectly pleasant  – Joy Burch from the Assembly’s Deputy Speakership. Not a good look, Jeremy.

LUCY Turnbull gave us a quick look at the refurbished Lodge, which the media insisted recalled Jackie Kennedy’s famous White House tour. A bit of a stretch, but understandable as American politics put ours in the shade with blowhard Donald Trump being finessed in Iowa and Marco Rubio now the Republican to watch.

FINALLY, the outrageous scandal of that evil doll-maker who dared sell her gollies at the Canberra Hospital kiosk. Sharp-eyed Emma Woolley sprung her. “It undermines all the fantastic work Aboriginal health workers do every day,” she cried. “And it increases the barriers Aboriginal people face in accessing mainstream health care!” And to think: we’ve never connected gollies with our Aboriginal compatriots for a single second.

But you had to feel for poor Brian Schmidt, the new vice chancellor who wants his ANU to be “the destination of choice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander intellectuals as a place of education, research and policy”. Tough luck, Brian. But at least the hospital admin instantly removed the gollies…no doubt for immediate deportation to Nauru.

robert@robertmacklin.com  

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