Flood Levy An Unnecessary Political Move

by on 31 January, 2011

THE Prime Minister first raised the prospect of a flood levy 10 days ago. Her government wants taxpayers to believe the levy is an unavoidable consequence of the natural disaster in Queensland – imposing a special tax is regrettable, but out of the government's hands.

Yet the day she signalled the flood levy also happened to be a day when her minister Kim Carr quietly announced the start of the government's Automotive Transformation Scheme. This scheme packages up $3.4 billion of taxpayers' money and wires it directly to the dilapidated (but very well connected) car industry.

All up, the government will spend $5.6 billion on flood reconstruction in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria; $1.8 billion of that will be raised by the flood levy. The rest, certainly, will come from budget cuts. For instance, Julia Gillard announced she would cut $234 million of automotive subsidies to help pay the Queensland bill. But that is a paltry sum, considering the rest of the government's car programs will continue. Especially considering eliminating the balance of these programs would easily cover what the flood levy is intended to raise. The full New Car Plan for a Greener Future totals $6.2 billion.

via www.smh.com.au

Great piece.
Click the link to read the rest.
(TVA)

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