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Gillard Government

Democracy in tatters

John Hewison
Founder and Director
27 Feb 2011

I preface this blog with two statements:

  1. Whilst I may be politically biased, this is not a politically biased opinion; it is about the philosophy of democracy and fairness at a time when parts of the world are rebelling at the risk of their lives against totalitarian, dictatorial regimes.
  2. I, along with the majority of Australians, support pollution reduction and environmental responsibility.

Democracy in tatters

First a quick review of recent history. The Gillard government did not win political power in this country; in fact it didn’t even win a majority of votes let alone parliamentary seats. It did a deal with the Greens who won just one seat in the house of reps, and four independents. Just prior to the election, Gillard stated emphatically that “there will be no carbon tax under a government I lead”. Wayne Swan made similar statements. There was no mandate given for a Carbon Tax and there is no conclusive proof that this is a viable solution, particularly in the absence of an emissions trading scheme. Despite all of this Gillard signed a deal with the Greens that guaranteed she would introduce a carbon tax in order to gain a minority power. In fact, she ignored her commitment to the Australian people upon which they made their judgements at the polling booths and in doing so thumbed her nose at the democratic process. In responding to criticism this week, she insulted us all by referring to this as “word games” and “silly semantic debate”.

If the electorate voted in a government that stated it would introduce a carbon tax, then so be it. That is not the case and this government has no mandate.

The government’s pre election emphatic assurances regarding a carbon tax were nothing but lies, deceptions and treating the people with the ultimate scorn and disrespect. The core of democracy has been betrayed and we the people must restore it.

A tax on the people

We are now getting a carbon tax which means that the government will impose a tax on selected industrial polluters. But guess what folks; it is us innocent non-polluters who will pay. The polluters will merely increase their prices to cover the tax and it will pass on down the line to the end users – that’s right you and me. The government has said that it will compensate the people, but just like the Queensland flood levy, the offset will be means tested meaning that the burden will fall on higher income earning households.

Australia works on a marginal tax system which lessens the burden on lower income earners and loads the burden on higher income earners by the relative percentage tax rates. So the system itself already imposes a greater burden on high income earners but in this case, also holds it responsible for the default funding of the carbon tax. There is no emission trading scheme involved which penalises the polluters and rewards the environmentally responsible.

Make no mistake this is a tax, a blatant revenue raiser disguised as environmental responsibility and it is the already over-burdened tax payers who will foot the bill. Sadly, this tax will also make Australian industry uncompetitive so at the end of the day, the economy will be stuffed, we will all be out of a job, the government will have no tax to collect and someone will just turn out the lights.  

So while I’m at it, what about the flood levy? Again the government makes a mockery by negotiating away 25% of a purpose specific tax to the Green’s demands to fund their loopy policies. Is this fair dinkum? Do they think we are completely stupid? What happened to the maintenance of faith with the electorate – the people who supposedly put you in power and who pay your salary?

This is betrayal of democracy, pure and simple. This government is beholden to a handful of minority interests – not the citizens of Australia. They have sold their souls to fulfil their quest for power. It is time to kick them out and go back to the polls to regain our beloved democracy.

Hewison Private Wealth is a Melbourne based independent financial planning firm. Our financial advisers are highly qualified wealth managers and specialise in self managed super funds (SMSF), financial planning, retirement planning advice and investment portfolio management. If you would like to speak to a financial adviser on how you can secure your financial future please contact us 03 8548 4800, email info@hewison.com.au or visit www.hewison.com.auPlease note: The advice provided above is general information only and individuals should seek specialised advice from a qualified financial advisor. The views in this blog are those of the individual and may not represent the general opinion of the firm. Please contact Hewison Private Wealth for more information.