Tuesday, 30th April 2013


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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Labor Flags Higher Taxes

"Prime Minister Julia Gillard raised the prospect of a Medicare-style levy to fund her proposed National Disability Insurance Scheme as she warned that business, families and institutions will be hit at the May 14 budget to help pay for the scheme and the government’s school funding reforms."

Coalition Gets a Lucky Break

"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."

Also: Kudelka's View

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

"A doctor who worked at the immigration centre on Manus Island says he informed authorities that the facility was inappropriate for children well before they were sent there, but nothing was done about it. ABC1's Four Corners program has gained significant access to the centre and spoken with a number of staff."

The Ploy That Torpedoed Turnbull

"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 Morgan Poll: L-NP Strengthens Lead 

"Last weekend’s multi-mode Morgan Poll shows support for the L-NP jumping to 58% (up 3.5% since April 18-21, 2013) cf. ALP 42% (down 3.5%) on a two-party preferred basis."

Medicare Rise to Fund Disability Scheme

"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."

Tasmanian Parliament Backs Forest Peace Deal

"Tasmania's Lower House has passed historic legislation designed to end 30 years of conflict over logging in the state's native forests.
The final deal will bring almost $400 million worth of state and federal funds to Tasmania to restructure the industry and create new reserves.
But the compromises made along the way have left the Australian Greens to deem the final result almost worthless."