In yesterday's pre-budget speech, Julia Gillard announced the revenue situation is such that the government needs to have 'every reasonable option on the table'.
New revenue streams need to be considered to cover the NDIS and school funding reforms – even measures that were previously ruled out.
The Australian Financial Review said Gillard's pre-budget speech "sparked widespread speculation and alarm". As it did, in some parts.
The Herald-Sun started totting up the cost to an 'average worker' and Joe Hockey announced that everything up to a death tax loomed and the family home was under threat. This is how it goes when new taxation measures are flagged, but no detail is provided.
Hints from the government suggest a Medicare-style levy is the most likely option to cover the introduction of the reforms. This would do little to address the long-term revenue problems that produced the $12 billion hole in this year's budget. But it is at least a start – and a sign the government is finally willing to deal with the elephant in the room: tax.
Nick Feik Politicoz Editor
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"If the ambition of the Prime Minister’s speech on Monday was to unleash the hounds of rabid and hysterical budget speculation, it was a great success. If the ambition of the Prime Minister’s speech was to clarify the federal budget task, and the strategy to deal with that task, or even keep up political pressure on the Coalition on fiscal policy, it was not."
Before We Tackle the Budget, Let's Clarify a Few Points
"The Charter of Newspaper Honesty (would) require newspapers to report budget issues accurately, impartially, and without ignoring issues of relevance. That would be a bit of innovation for some of our papers, who, like the North Korean press, feel they have a duty to guide their readers constantly by ensuring that everything is reported through the prism of eternal truths, such as The Gillard government is bad or Government spending is too high."
Doctor Says Manus Island a 'Disaster' For Children
"On small things political history often turns. For John Hewson it was the icing on a birthday cake, for which he could not explain the implications of his GST policy during the 1993 election campaign. For Kim Beazley it was a sad moment of confusion, mistaking Rove McManus for Karl Rove in November 2006, after which Kevin Rudd launched a Labor leadership challenge. For Malcolm Turnbull it was a handwritten note from a treacherous colleague."
"The change would raise an estimated $3.3 billion in the first year, and $20.4 billion between 2014-15 and 2018-19, when the full scheme comes into place. Ms Gillard said if the Coalition refused to support the levy while maintaining its support for the NDIS, Tony Abbott must set out exactly how it would fund the scheme."
Why Fund NDIS? Because One Day You Might Need It
"For people with disabilities, myself included, discussions about the money are simply beside the point. We don't think about the NDIS in terms of dollars; we think about it in terms of showers per week, mobility aids that meet our needs and general access to our communities."