Friday, August 13, 2010

The guarantees in the Coalition tax policy.. they couldn't have lifted them from somewhere?

(Mostly word-for-word)

Here are Hockey's guarantees released yesterday:

Coalition Guarantee

And here are Swan's released on May 2:

Swan's Guarantee

In today's newspaper...

We won't get extra tax cuts in the first term of a Coalition government but we will get "thank you notes".

Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey released a dummied-up version of the thank you note with the Coalition's tax policy yesterday along with a timetable for attending to the reform process started by the Henry Review, but after the 2013 election.

Within a year the Coalition will release a green paper canvassing views about the Henry proposals followed by a white paper outlining its plans. It will take those proposals to the poll.

"We need to have a mandate. We will politically survive or fall on those recommendations," Mr Hockey said.

He would be unable to deliver further income tax cuts in his first term as Treasurer, although he would like to.

"We will do it again, but if the government continues to run significant deficits and if the government hasn't paid off its debt, then tax cuts would keep reducing the taxation pie while we had to pay back the debt."

Addressing Financial Advisers in Melbourne Mr Hockey produced a list of what he said were 25 Henry recommendations the Coalition would never introduce.

Among the recommendations ruled out wee death duties, removing concessions for charities, means testing the family home, restricting rent assistance, tightening up on tax breaks for landlords, taxing luxury cars and rationalising alcohol tax.

All but 7 of the 25 items appeared to have been copied from a Labor list of recommendations it would not adopt released with the Henry Review, many in the same wording.

The Coalition's extra seven ideas include not scrapping the private health insurance rebate, not taxing Australians driving to work, not means-testing the child care rebate, and not further taxing business.

Treasurer Wayne Swan mocked the plan as no tax policy, saying the only thing the Coalition would do was to tax "Coles and Woollies" by an extra 1.5 per cent to pay for its parental leave scheme.

Mr Hockey said a Coalition government would remove the proposed 1.5 pent impost on big businesses as soon as it could.

"In government we removed th Ansett levy, we removed the gun buy-back levy, but when you have a deficit, you have to find the money somewhere and this is a hard decision but it is a fair decision," he said. "And we’re not having a mining tax".

Mr Hockey’s proposed "thank you note" would include a detailed breakdown of where the government spends its tax dollars. The draft version thanks the taxpayer for the $20,000 of tax they paid in 2010-11 and includes a graph showing that $6480 would have been spend on welfare, $3200 on health, $1860 on education and $1180 on defence.

"This is something that should not be trivialised," he said. "Australians want to know where their taxes are going. This is part of the accountability so necessary in government and has been so missing."

The draft includes a running total of Australian government debt, but unlike spending the total is not divided up per taxpayer or augmented by a running total of government assets.

Published in today's SMH and Age

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. Joe Hockey's really good idea

. Don't confuse the Swan's tax moves with Henry's Tax Review