A Strange Day

Posted: May 8, 2013 in Local Politics, Politics

It’s not every day that a member of the Liberal Party supports my position on something, so when it does happen I feel it is only fair to give them credit.

It is even more pleasing to me that this Liberal MP is my local member, and although he doesn’t do much at all in his electorate, certainly not a lot that is noticeable at any rate, at least this time he is at least saying the right thing. Although unfortunately it has taken quite a long time for the penny to drop, and his motives are questionable.

Alex Hawke, a Liberal backbencher has come out criticising one of the few policies that his Party have managed to cobble together.

Not only that, it is Tony Abbott’s “Signature Policy”, the Parental Leave policy that Abbott wears like a suit of armour. Many believe Abbott thinks that this is the policy that will deflect all those claims of misogyny, as if having an expensive parental leave policy somehow makes up for throwing punches at a womans head.

Wall thumper extraordinaire

Wall thumper extraordinaire

 Back in March I wrote a piece “Another Version Of The Truth” which went into the adverse effects of Abbotts Parental Leave policy, little things like soaring grocery prices and a cost of living blow-out. I included the below table of just some of the companies that will pay the extra tax, there are over 3,000 of them in total who will see a 5% increase in their tax bill with a 1.5% rate lift. The chart shows how much money these companies will pay in extra tax under the scheme, money that Abbott thinks they will cop on the chin and not try and retrieve from the public.

 What planet does Tony Abbott live on?

Company

Profit 2012

Extra Tax To Pay Under Coalition

Commonwealth Bank

$7,100,000,000

$106.5 Million

Westpac

$5,900,000,000

$88.5 Million

Woolworths

$1,816,700,000

$27.25Million

Wesfarmers (Coles, Bunnings)

$2,126,000,000

$31.89Million

Telstra

$3,400,000,000

$51 Million

Caltex

$57,000,000

$855,000

Origin Energy

$980,000,000

$14.7 Million

There is a certain amount of hypocrisy in decrying the effects of the Carbon Price on the economy, while promoting a policy that imposes a tax rise for over six times the number of companies and offers no compensation, a truckload of hypocrisy in fact.

Luckily Alex Hawke seems to have read my post, and it has now sunk in just how reckless and foolish this policy actually is.

Alex Hawke and his ex-wife. At least it lasted longer than a Kardashian marraige... just

Alex Hawke and his ex-wife. At least it lasted longer than a Kardashian marraige… just

Hawke is using this issue to try and make a bit of a name for himself, as being invisible in his own electorate doesn’t seem to have worked. Hawke is seemingly trying to squeeze his way into a position where he might have a shot at a Ministry post, given his lack of “living in the real world” style life experience, he clearly needs some kind of political stunt to do it.

Hawke may be right in his view of Abbotts Parental Leave Policy, but it’s his timing that shows his true colours. This is not a new policy, but Hawke is coming out at a time when Ministry positions are being considered.

 Alex Hawke may well say that is just coincidence, and these are not his motives, and he may actually be right, given his performance in his local electorate, the alternative is entirely possible. The alternative being that it has taken Hawke months, years even to realise that putting up the tax rate for Coles and Woolworths may impact grocery prices. Clearly fast thinking is not something Hawke exceeds at…

Tony Abbott finds a bench further at the back for Alex

Tony Abbott finds a bench further at the back for Alex

Some of the things that Hawke has said about his own Party’s “Signature” policy are:

 “…we can’t afford big new taxes and levies at the moment.”

 Which makes me wonder what others the Coalition have in store and when that “moment” is.

 “Most importantly for Australians, the policy does not pass the fair-go test.”

“unjustifiable impost on business”

“…levying the top 3,300 Australian companies will have a number of consequences. Higher prices for customers is the first.”

“…shareholders in these companies could potentially see their returns reduced.”

Christopher Pyne although not supporting Hawke’s opinion and statements, was quick to come out in defence of his back-bench man, supporting his decision to speak up saying Hawke’s ststements proved that the Coalition did not impose a…

“Stalinist discipline regime”

…on its members.

Pyne then went on to say:

“I think Alex is a good man and if that’s his view he is entitled to put it. He is not on the front bench and if he was he wouldn’t be able to put it.”

In doing so Pyne confirms that it is only those Coalition members deemed good enough for the frontbench who have the “Stalinist discipline regime” as he puts it imposed on them.

Future Coalition Front Bench?

Future Coalition Front Bench?

However unfortunately for Alex Hawke, his ambitions of being promoted to the “Stalinist discipline regime” may have to wait, because as Malcolm Farr of news.com.au tells us in his article on the subject:

“One point should be clear – Tony Abbott doesn’t like Mr Hawke and is unlikely to be given a slot in a Coalition government. And Mr Hawke knows that.”

It would seem then that I also agree with Abbott on one thing also.

Strange days indeed….

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Comments
  1. Clair says:

    As I said on twitter, my big concern is that Alex Hawke is just being used as a pawn for the coalition to drop PPL all together. What better way to make women (because they are the primary care givers for our children in the vast majority) even more irrelevant in our society. It’s a brave move from Alex Hawke, for sure.

  2. Maureen Butterworth says:

    An analysis yesterday, predicted that Abbott will no doubt give Big Businesses a payroll tax deduction, which will in effect neutralise his proposed Parental Leave “Levy”. Consequently, us muggins tax payers will again be footing the bill for his scheme out of revenue collections, and, yes, another example of the LNP treating us like fools. An interesting piece by Ross Gittins of The Age, last Saturday, traces the deficit woes back to the tax cuts and middle class entitlement era of Howard/Costello to the 2004/2005 budget. Costello’s management was not as good as what many have assumed and Swan’s not as bad, and luck has played a significant part when taking into account the mining boom which the LNP squandered .Costello’s tax cuts cut the real rate of income tax which proved to be temporary and did not offset bracket creep. His decision to spend rather than save the mining tax windfall resulted in the Reserve Bank increasing interest rates. As we know the tax cuts favoured the better off, the top 10%of earners getting more than the lower 80%. It is a travesty that we don’t see this type of unbiased and factual analysis on the front pages of the newspapers, instead of an opinion piece on page 8 of Business Day. Thanks for bringing up again the trickery and manipulations of the LNP.

  3. David says:

    The Torys have been looking for a mug to enable them to drop Abbotts scheme and with the assistance of their mates in big business, the despicable Reith and the IPA, Alex will do nicely. Doesn’t do him any harm either to have those three behind him in the short term.
    I suspect Abbott will be given the message before Mondays caucus and has no choice but to comply.
    As I have said on Twitter he will do anything to get into The Lodge and will eat humble pie if he has to over the Parental Leave scheme. The man is a psycho to even contemplate majority of Australians want him as Prime Minister is terrifying

  4. Maureen Butterworth says:

    David, just listening to Abbott & Hockey on Skye, their inevitable reply to Greg Combet’s announcements this morning. Hockey’s lies are infuriating. His debasement of Swan goes beyond a decent reply to the structural changes to the budget. To call Swan the worst Treasurer of all time when Costello & Co., have been the real cause of the budget deficit problems. I hope we all stand up and hound Hockey when he is Treasurer because he will be an inevitable disaster for this country. The Societe Generale already call him a dinosaur….and the prospect of Abbott and Hockey running our nation is a horror story, but, the Murdoch press will manipulate it so that that power freak Rupert gets what he wants…in short, control of the NBN and our Country. I could have put my foot through the TV…

  5. Joy Cooper says:

    If this is a quote from the Minister for Education-in-waiting then woe betide our country’s education standards. He contradicts himself totally in one small statement & was probably not challenged on this by the lazy, gullible MSM.

    Christopher Pyne although not supporting Hawke’s opinion and statements, was quick to come out in defence of his back-bench man, supporting his decision to speak up saying Hawke’s statements proved that the Coalition did not impose a “Stalinist discipline regime” on its members.

    Pyne then went on to say:

    “I think Alex is a good man and if that’s his view he is entitled to put it. He is not on the front bench and if he was he wouldn’t be able to put it.”

    In doing so Pyne confirms that it is only those Coalition members deemed good enough for the frontbench who have the “Stalinist discipline regime” as he puts it imposed on them.

    As for Hockey (who is perfecting his smirk) & Abbott, they would have to be two of the worst mean-spirited people around, totally incapable of running this country with any honesty, intelligence. or decency. The rest of the shadow ministry is as frightening as well.

    As for Hawke he only worked outside of politics while attending uni so he has very little experience of life outside of the Liberal Party & the Hillsong Church which would give him such a narrow viewpoint..

  6. Adam Smith says:

    With a christian name like Christopher he could be an expert on Joseph Stalin the Soviet USSR dictator who when asked to encourage Catholicism in Russia by way of conciliation with the Pope at a gathering in May 1935 said, “The Pope! How many divisions has he got?” But seriously, I get the feeling that as we draw closer to the next federal elections the poor bastards will vote out of spite in order to reinforce the idea that some Australians still ought to be seriously rich and that the lower the wages go the richer the few will be. Seems to me that many people in working waged electorates actually adore very rich people.

  7. Maureen Butterworth says:

    I agree with you Adam Smith about the working class voters, who economist Ross Gittins of “the Age” has called the “Aspirational Voters”. This is because they hope that one day they will be rich and they had better vote for the party who they foresee that one day “might” make them rich. Sad really that these are the suckers that Abbott & Hockey constantly target with their lies. Small business is thrilled that big business will foot the bill in regard to paid parental leave, and, interestingly, organisations like the Institute of Public Affairs etc. have been ominously silent regarding public debate on this proposal which Abbott said would benefit women “of a certain calibre”. Women, who can well afford some unpaid leave. If that is not snobbery and class warfare, what is? My daughter is studying her masters at Harvard University, but, her sense of justice tells her that this does not put her in a select “calibre” above the rest of her fellow hard working female friends. Whether Hawke has a sense of justice or just politicking remains to be seen. We all know how the LNP deals with people who are out of favour.

  8. clarittee says:

    Silvio Berlesconi attracted many voters because HE was very rich and successful. His questionable exploits seemed to be overlooked. “Working class” may not wish to acknowledge that status and as you say “aspire” may be on the mark. Not everyone votes entirely in their OWN interests. they may have children or aspirations for the “country” od such like.
    Lately there is an increasing reference to “CLASS” This is not a very Australian thing, ( or wasn’t). Are things changing< and if so WHY? IF it exists, what is it based on? Money and conspicuous consumption? Surely there is something better to aspire to. There are no pockets in a shroud.

  9. JB says:

    I work for a fairly big public company with 3 major manufacturing sites around the country. Before the carbon tax came in a consultant’s report said the impost to the company would be about $600,000/yr. Our net profit last year was about $95m – so Abbott’s great big new tax of an extra 1.5% would be nearly double what the carbon tax has cost us. Does that rate as a wreaking ball through the economy. Go figure.

  10. […] A Strange Day May 8, 2013 […]

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