Tackling tax from the wrong perspective
PAULINE Hanson appears to have thrown a wrench into things again.
Depending on who one chooses to believe, One Nation either did or didn't initially come to some sort of agreement with the Turnbull Government to get the proposed corporate tax cut through the Parliament.
Depending on who one chooses to believe, One Nation either suddenly presented an additional set of demands - or they didn't.
Of course, Team Shorten did what any Opposition has become predictable at doing: attempt to waste the whole of Question Time trying to create an intriguing conspiracy between the Coalition and One Nation (as if Labor isn't above doing anything similar).
If the Government's corporate tax cut is now dead in the water (and this can neither be confirmed nor denied), it's only one peg in their seven-year tax plan.
It doesn't mean the whole plan now falls over. Proposed individual tax cuts still firmly remain on both major parties' agendas.
The demands made by One Nation do, in part, have some merit.
In terms of increasing funding for apprenticeship training: sure.
Other parts are just plain ridiculous and cannot be justified.
Remember, in order to guarantee the passage of the corporate tax cuts, One Nation basically wanted billions spent on their pet projects.
So the question has to be asked: What was One Nation happy to see cut from Commonwealth services in order to get what they wanted?
Obviously, if the Government was going to forgo corporate tax revenue and would have to fund One Nation's list, the money would have to come from somewhere.
There has been conjecture that the Government will now abandon the corporate tax cut for the time being and focus on applying that amount to delivering even bigger individual tax cuts.
That would be a wasted opportunity.
Whilst few (if any) individuals would not welcome extra take-home pay, almost every survey in recent years indicates that workers in Western countries are happy to pay their fair share of taxes as long as their governments adequately fund the services we expect of them.
Such things as health, education and policing and security agencies.
Regulatory bodies receiving the funding to allow them to do their jobs properly.
Homelessness and domestic violence welfare and legal assistance.
All services we expect to be available should we need them because one just doesn't know.
The demands do not decrease just because tax cuts decrease the percentage of the revenue that the Government represents of the economy.
Demands don't decrease if a Government's capacity to fund services decreases.
So before we get too excited about personal tax cuts, to what cost would they come?
ScoMo has now admitted that the estimated hit to Government revenue will be $143.9billion, $4billion more than originally estimated. So where is the offset to balance that out?
Tax cuts won't help anyone escape domestic violence.
Tax cuts won't fix our mobile blackspots.
Tax cuts won't mean the proper resourcing of the Federal Police or the ASIC, both of which have this week warned of the effects to their operations from the cuts to their funding announced in this year's Budget.
ScoMo has been vocal this week in defending the tax cuts in Utopian rhetoric; stating that he is returning to Australians money that was "unfairly” taken from them.
Is it unfair that our taxes be used to ensure adequately funded services for all?
Or is unfair that $84million from this year's Budget is going towards commemorating Captain Cook?
Are both the Government and Opposition tackling this tax debate from the wrong perspective?
Before trying to win votes by offering the individual a significant tax cut and approaching the issue of tax on a demonising basis, what is wrong with pointing out to the Australian public exactly what they'll say we cannot afford as a result?