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  • Writer's picturePete Jonson

Saturday Sanity Break, 7 January 2017 - fixing Australia's budget

More 'reform', this time at the expense of Australia's most frugal pensioners. Do I detect a pattern here? The most frugal self-funded retirees will be taxed, and the most frugal pensioners will lose part pensions or in some cases any payment at all. A similar approach is the attack on allegedly bludging welfare recipients. No doubt there is rorting to be wiped out, but not, as in the current plan, by requiring alleged rorters to prove their innocence.

This piecemeal approach might be reasonable as part of a widespread plan to fix a budget that on current policies is hopelessly in debt. But no, the current government's policy-making seems aimed at the most fragile Australians. It also reduces incentives to save and to work and is unfair.

Then there is President-elect Trump's plan to reduce US company tax to 15 %. As Grace Collier in the OZ today says, this policy if implemented will change the global game. If we hope to remain a viable place for innovation and corporate progress, we shall have to meet the market on corporate tax.

Please Mr Turnbull, provide a plan for a viable economic future. In the absence of a viable plan to cut Federal government spending to current tax receipts (probably reduced by Trump's tax reform) an increased GST is the only sensible approach. Successive removal of amounts people regard as legitimate entitlements are simply too little, too late. The Coalition is headed for defeat at the next election. A bold attempt to convince Australians that a 15 % GST with no exceptions might at least move the goalposts and show voters the current coalition has some courage.


Fiona Prior continues to report various cultural activities. Most recently is 'How to talk with Aliens'. Also a nice discussion of 'Your Name', a wonderful Japanese anime by Makoto Shinkai.

Louis Hissink comes off the bench to ruminate about the subject of Australians' inability to think, or at least to think well.

Sporting life.

Well done to the new, younger, Aussie cricket team. After a very poor start to the season, it is ending on a far higher level thanks to the young guns elevated to the test arena, and better performances by old guns who no doubt read the messages of the young guns.

Soon we shall be able to feast on the tennis and after that the next footy season will be upon us.

Image of the week.

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