Saturday, January 29, 2011

Natural Disaster Tax?

–verb (used with object)
1. to cover with sugar: to sugar coat a pill.
2. to make (something difficult or distasteful) appear more pleasant or acceptable: There was no way to sugar coat the bad news.

as in: Flood Levy.

The proposed Flood Levy (tax) whilst being sugar-coated as 'mate ship' is nothing more than our Government shirking responsibility to provide basic, necessary infrastructure; services we already pay for, via income tax.

As it stands, the immediate effects we can expect are an increase in basic living costs
; food, home rental costs etc. Less immediate effects are a predicted increase in home insurance costs and the Medicare Levy (funnily enough, the rise in the Medicare Level is reportedly to subsidise the Flood rebuilding cost). Throw into the mix a predicted 1% drop in the GDP and, of course, a rise in the current inflation rate - is this the time to introduce a new tax?

Is taxing the non-flood affected population of Australia necessary, when a scheme that cost $420+ million (a third of the funds the Government is trying to raise) such as 'Cash for Clanks' is still on the table? A scheme created to get older, less efficient cars off the roads, in place for newer, more sustainable vehicles; a scheme that is of no relevance if basic infrastructure is not present; you cannot drive your spiffy new car, if there are no roads. Surely the Government can assess and adjust current spending and future planned schemes, in order to avoid placing a further tax on the Australian population.

I would like to make it perfectly clear, that I personally have no qualms in providing financial assistance to those whom have been affected by the floods. I have, as have most of the Australian public, made a donation to the Disaster Relief Fund, a donation which goes directly to those affected. A donation which was in fact, a larger sum than I would be required to pay if the proposed Flood Levy legislation is approved and initiated on July 1st 2011.

Whether you personally believe that as a nation we need to support those affected financially, is not the question I am raising, it is not what I am asking you to ponder. The issue I would like to raise is whether the Government introducing a new tax to cover the costs of rebuilding basic infrastructure, infrastructure it is responsible for providing and which we are already taxed for, is necessary and justified.

It will take 5 minutes of your day to contact your local member of parliament to give your opinion; email, phone call, snail mail. I urge you to do so, even more so if you disagree with the proposed new tax; you have a voice, use it.

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