My letter to THE AGE (below) wasn’t published today because of a near-identical letter from Leo Gamble of Mentone. Well said, Mr Gamble!
Letters editor, THE AGE 23 May
Mark Kenny is quite wrong that “GST may be the answer to balancing the books” (23 May). Simply because the Henry tax review was proscribed from considering the GST doesn’t necessarily qualify it to be “the answer”.
The GST falls most heavily on those with little or no propensity to save, and it certainly has not wiped out the black economy, as it was bruited to do. So, adding back fresh food, education and health care can scarcely repair the GST’s “fundamental injustice” as seen by Kenny, the Grattan Institute and others who’ve apparently missed the fact that businesses can claim their GST back. Make no mistake, the GST is a person-based tax and, more particularly, a poor-person-based tax.
It’s interesting, too, that the GST is a favourite of the Property Council of Australia, who are also pushing for the privatisation of our highways. What, apart from the self-interest of the 1%, is keeping us from investigating as a genuine answer one of the key recommendations of the Henry review, a federal land tax, where the wealthiest would at last have to pay their fair share? Oh, sorry, I forget myself! An all-in land tax is a form of class envy whilst a disproportionate GST on the poor is not.
There was another anti-GST letter in THE AGE on Saturday 25th, presumably representative of many others, from a Mr Tim Mahar.
And one from Dr Terry Dwyer in the Canberra Times on Sunday 26th.
Nevertheless, I think it’s a done deal because the 1% has spoken, folks.