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John Passant

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November 2014



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My interview Razor Sharp 18 February
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp on Tuesday 18 February. (0)

My interview Razor Sharp 11 February 2014
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp this morning. The Royal Commission, car industry and age of entitlement get a lot of the coverage. (0)

Razor Sharp 4 February 2014
Me on 4 February 2014 on Razor Sharp with Sharon Firebrace. (0)

Time for a House Un-Australian Activities Committee?
Tony Abbott thinks the Australian Broadcasting Corporation is Un-Australian. I am looking forward to his government setting up the House Un-Australian Activities Committee. (1)

Make Gina Rinehart work for her dole

Sick kids and paying upfront


Save Medicare

Demonstrate in defence of Medicare at Sydney Town Hall 1 pm Saturday 4 January (0)

Me on Razor Sharp this morning
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace this morning for Razor Sharp. It happens every Tuesday. (0)

I am not surprised
I think we are being unfair to this Abbott ‘no surprises’ Government. I am not surprised. (0)

Send Barnaby to Indonesia
It is a pity that Barnaby Joyce, a man of tact, diplomacy, nuance and subtlety, isn’t going to Indonesia to fix things up. I know I am disappointed that Barnaby is missing out on this great opportunity, and I am sure the Indonesians feel the same way. [Sarcasm alert.] (0)



Let’s abolish the GST, not increase it

Here is a snippet from an article in Green Left Weekly on the GST, quoting me, among others.

Bolton and Passant both called for the return to a more progressive income tax system so that those with the highest incomes pay the most tax — the exact opposite of the regressive GST.

You can read the full article here.



Comment from Alan Cameron
Time November 3, 2014 at 10:49 am

The GST is designed to tax the low paid more savagely than it taxes the high income earners, but most people don not understand that they are paying a “secret tax” on many things. It is a typical political system of deceit. Increasing it will be bad enough, but if the government extends to item now not covered it will be even worse.

Comment from John McRobert
Time November 3, 2014 at 11:35 am

The old Mexican Crab syndrome lives. Tourist in Tijuana sees basket of live crabs – they stay in the basket and none try to escape. ‘Why?’ asks the tourist. ‘Ahh’ says the stall holder, ‘That is because they are Mexican crabs. The minute one tries to escape the others drag him back in. And they are all condemned to the cookpot. And so it is with so-called ‘progressive taxes’. Tired old Marxist policies promote corruption and vote buying using money stolen from a richer and smaller constituency to purchase the favour of the larger voting block who vote for, rather than work for, a living. A handout society is the sure route to poverty and serfdom. We need a fair-field-with-no-favours tax system. Progressive income tax will ensure the size of the economic cake is limited. The proposed GST changes are also a hopeless bandaid on a dreadful accumulation of excrement. Time to clean out the Augean Stables. Where is Hercules when we need him?

Comment from Fred
Time November 3, 2014 at 3:19 pm

Couldn’t agree more John. I’m outraged that salted nuts have GST on them, but unsalted nuts do not. Time to take the GST off salted nuts.

Comment from Lorikeet
Time November 3, 2014 at 4:08 pm

Yes, let’s abolish the GST and make capitalists pay their fair share of the tax instead.

Foodbank cages are back in the shopping centres again, where we are expected to purchase food from those who are preventing the poor from being able to look after themselves.

Comment from Kay
Time November 3, 2014 at 5:49 pm

It is true that a consumption tax (GST) has a bigger proportional impact on the poor than the rich. On the other hand, those who earn enough to have some discretional spending money left after paying essential bills plus food, can choose to save or spend. It encourages workers to work extra hours etc so they can save for what they really want (house deposit, holiday, car, superannuation etc).

“let’s abolish the GST and make capitalists pay their fair share of the tax instead.” At the moment, the only tax that half the population pays at the moment is the GST. The poorer half of the population (earning less than 200K p.a.) pays no net income tax, only the GST. The richer half of the population pays ALL the net income tax at the moment, plus the GST. Seems to me that the richer half already cop a fair bit of tax as it is. To compensate for the loss of GST revenue, other taxes would have to be applied and income tax raised, and middle-class welfare payments significantly reduced. Either way, the revenue has to be raised.

However, high income tax regimes do allow significant wealth redistribution, thus increasing the size of the middle class. So, given the fact that the gap between the rich and the poor is increasing, a wealth redistribution regime might be useful. The problem that creates is that the incentive to work hard and ‘get ahead’ is crushed – a large proportion of your income just goes straight to the government as income tax. So the smarter and more entrepreneurial people just go overseas!

Either way, there are down sides.

Comment from Ross
Time November 3, 2014 at 7:18 pm

Totally agree John. Let’s have a turnover tax on all Corps and Business and lower income tax.

Comment from Chris Warren
Time November 3, 2014 at 9:09 pm

Taxes do not encourage people to work more so they can afford to buy things.

Taxes destroy the rights workers should have had to buy the things they produced.

Any compensation for loss of GST revenue can be applied on a means tested basis. The end result is no change in government revenue but a major improvement in social equity.

Any GST broadening or raising crushes almost everyone – with the very-rich capitalists hardly noticing.

Capitalism needs taxation to counter the adverse impacts of capitalism – socialism needs taxation to provide common services for citizens.

Comment from Kay
Time November 4, 2014 at 12:53 pm

“Taxes do not encourage people to work more so they can afford to buy things.” But lower income tax does. With a consumption tax, combined with a low income tax (as at present), you can choose to spend or save if you have discretionary money left over after paying for the essentials. And low income tax rates encourage people to work extra hours for the purpose of saving.

A high income tax discourages the working of overtime etc because the government gets too high a proportion of the extra wages earned. Not worth the effort.

“Capitalism needs taxation to counter the adverse impacts of capitalism – socialism needs taxation to provide common services for citizens.” So you get no services from the government? You must be the only citizen in Australia in that situation! What about Medicare? What about your pension? You don’t drive on roads? You weren’t educated? These are but a few examples of services provided to you courtesy of taxation.

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