Sunday, 21 October 2007

A bribe by any other name - not quite so sweet.

As a follow-up to the previous posting, and the debate which was starting between Anni and myself, re the views expressed by Annabel Crabb, I was interested to see Ms Crabb appearing, with Ray Martin, on the Channel 9 version of the Debate between Mr Rudd and Mr Howard. I should say Ms Crabb appeared with Ray Martin and "The Worm".

No sooner had I finished sending my comments in reply to Anni's posting than I went to the TV and saw Ms Crabb.

Then I returned to the computer, and found the following email from Patrice Newell, on behalf of the Climate Change Coalition:

  • A Bribe or Not a Bribe? - That is the Question.
  • Tonight's debate must give the nation leadership on our countries economic development, not a poll driven discussion on whose tax bribe is better.

    What a pity that tonight’s debate will not focus on the most pressing national issue of our time – climate change.

    John Howard's tax bribe, released last Monday, is an action that completely contradicts his claim that he is not going to spend a nano-second thinking about the polls. He reads the polls as saying Australians want to be bribed - so he has put his bribe on the table – and up front.

    John Howard's tax bribe will not benefit the economic development of our country - it will put pressure on our interest rates - and will be clawed back through taxation, GST payments, petrol excise and payroll tax.

    It ignores the long term planning for our country and can only be described as a bribe.

    Today John Howard said "the debate tonight is about one thing, our tax policy - nothing else" and inferred that Labor does not have its own.

    Kevin Rudd's tax bribe is not much better. His plan gives $32 billion back to tax payers and also gives, to quote Peter Martin in The Canberra Times today under the heading "A bribe by an other name not quite so sweet", "a handout to parents who already own a computer and use the internet".

    So have the Liberal party and the Labor Party contravened the Commonwealth Electoral Act under section 326? -

    It is up to the nation, the five journalist who will be asking the questions and the “Worm”, to decide tonight.


Paul Kelly was right on the money with his questions to both Mr Howard and Mr Rudd: - tax cuts have consistently led to interest rate rises, and so, why do both leaders persist in this policy, which will have adverse effects on household budgets across the nation?

I return to the theme of my previous post: Give us increased services - for those who need them (nearly everybody), and do not give enormous tax cuts to the mega-wealthy.

It is time for a social justice theme to emerge in this election campaign - but it did not come from either Howard or Rudd tonight. I am not ashamed to say I feel like an old-fashioned socialist tonight. Its time to be counted.

Stop the degrading, statements appealing to the selfishness of voters, Mr Howard.

And Mr Rudd, please realise that you are a Labor Party politician - read the history of your own party, Mr Rudd - not just opinion polls. Show us you believe in something, other than trying to get elected. Where is Ben Chifley's "Light on the Hill", Mr Rudd?

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