Have you ever heard the word ‘family’ bandied about so often as in the Government’s ‘response’ to the Henry Tax Review last week? I put the word ‘response’ in parenthesis because, as Alan Kohler so aptly pointed out on the ABC website, Henry’s comprehensive review and the Rudd/Swan tax ‘reform’ statement (sorry, our ‘leaders’ have driven me to parenthesis hell) had bugger all to do with each other. Except they were released on the same day. And they both mentioned tax a fair bit.
Why you would commission a tax review from some of the sharpest thinkers this nation has to offer and then ignore its findings is beyond me. Fine, waste every-one’s time but, damn it, leave my family out of it! I don’t think I would mind so much if they were only ignoring the first opportunity for progress our country has had for yonks, I just wish they wouldn’t do it so loudly. And cheesily.
A key recommendation of the report was for the introduction of a universal 1% land tax. Such a tax would encourage optimal use of land, discourage speculative land hoarding and promote housing affordability and worker mobility. But not only are the Government and Opposition ignoring this recommendation, they’re jumping up and down and yelling about their deliberate ignorance.
“Taxes on the family home,” says Abbott, “We reject that.”
“We want the Government to be honest,” says Hockey, “(about) land tax on the family home.”
And Rudd used the term ‘working families’ approximately 1.4 million times before “reject(ing) any moves to apply land tax on the family home,” (Herald Sun).
So a truly progressive and common-sensical reform has been rejected in a gush of fear mongering that implied it would somehow hurt our families and their homes.
Attention Rudd, Abbott, Swan, Hockey et al! You are not our parents and we are not little kids: we do not buy your clumsy spin. Especially when the tales you’re spinning are about our parents and our little kids. Honestly, if I have my family thrown at me one more time as an excuse for rejecting tax reform I’m gonna divorce my parents and tie my tubes.