PM, please put the stage 3 tax cuts on hold
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Andrew DysonCredit: .
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Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has kept most of his election promises, but please could he put the stage 3 tax cuts on hold until inflation is brought under control. If his staffers read the comments sections in this masthead, they and he will get a good idea how the average Australian feels about this. Also, well before parliament breaks for 2023, the leader of the opposition, Peter Dutton, should be required to express his opinion on maintaining the tax cuts in view of the high inflation.
Judith Hudson, Elwood
More people should throw their hats in the ring
Hats off to your correspondent who admitted he will ″be receiving a tax cut of around $230 a fortnight, which I don’t need” (Letters, 1/12). If only there were more protests about the stage 3 tax cuts from those who don’t need them.
Mark Hulls, Sandringham
Time to move on to new strategies
The government made a serious mistake in appointing an insider to head the RBA. We are seeing a continuation of the groupthink in both the RBA and central banks globally that played a major part in creating the current economic situation. They are still basing their policies on textbooks that were written in the 1990s. It worked then, but the world has moved on. According to the textbooks the rapid rise in rates should by now have crushed inflation, raised unemployment and pushed us into recession. Instead, spending and employment remain strong while inflation is only easing slowly. We need new thinking. First, rethink the target. The 2-3 per cent inflation target was always arbitrary. In a world with high government debt, high interest rates will push debt up further and faster. Living with somewhat higher inflation will ease the adjustment process. A brave government would raise taxes on those currently doing well, maybe as an “emergency″ measure. It would also push further against poor-value programs designed to harvest votes. And maybe cut the remuneration of the RBA board to the minimum wage for six months. Simon Westfold, Bittern
Labor, show some old-fashioned guts
As a long-time Labor supporter I feel dismayed that the party continues to let those with plenty rise above the have-nots. Old-fashioned guts is what’s needed to scrap the stage 3 tax cuts and scrap negative gearing; those with plenty should not be given more. It would be great to be at a house auction where a young couple can be given a chance to buy instead of an investor. Guts is what it takes to stand up for those with little against those with plenty and thus create a more equal society.
Nola Cormick, Albert Park
Getting to the tooth of the matter
Your correspondent (Letters, 1/12) suggests that the stage 3 tax cuts should be abolished in favour of a $14 a fortnight tax cut for everyone to help pay for haircuts and dental fillings. It might get you a haircut once a month, but is unlikely to cover a dental visit more than once or twice a year. Alan Inchley, Frankston
The judgment given in the Federal Court this week was bitterly disappointing and thoroughly disheartening.
The court found that voluntary assisted dying was considered ″suicide″ and was therefore subject to overriding Commonwealth legislation that prevents dying and suffering individuals consulting with their doctors about voluntary assisted dying over a carriage service. This includes telehealth and phone consultations. It also means that if an interpreter is required for consultations or any discussions relating to VAD, they must be physically present.
Those who live in rural areas, or bedridden because of crippling pain or burdened with medical equipment that severely limits mobility, have been discriminated against since the operation of voluntary assisted dying not only in Victoria but all states in which VAD has become operative. This finding will ensure that such discrimination continues.
We, and other organisations around Australia, will not give up fighting for these discriminated individuals who deserve a compassionate end-of-life option, like other terminally ill Australians.
Jane Morris, president,
Dying With Dignity, Victoria
A concern for all
The Federal Court’s decision that advice about legal voluntary assisted dying is ″counselling″ suicide and thus, bizarrely, illegal, should concern all those involved in end-of-life care. Friends and children of a dying person can now be charged and jailed for advising them about legal voluntary assisted dying by phone, letter, email or even by birthday card. Everybody, not just doctors, is affected by this decision. In particular, anyone who calls their family doctor and says ″my mother has asked under state law to shorten her agony, please write the legal prescription″ is, by making the request, ″assisting suicide″ and will end up behind bars.
I encourage everyone who doesn’t want the government telling their dying friends and relatives precisely how much they have to suffer to contact their federal MP urgently.
Real issue on cannabis
Politicians owning up to youthful indiscretions smoking weed contributes nothing to the serious issue of legalising marijuana (“Leaders, treasurer admit they’ve tried cannabis”, 1/12). The conversation must start with a very clear outline of how the many vulnerable people in our community – and most importantly our young – will be protected.
Given the train-wreck that has been Australia’s response to vaping I want to hear that front and centre. Please, no more well-paid, middle-aged politicians (my age) telling us what they did decades ago.
Tragically, Vanuatu is correct that ″Climate battle is fight for nation″ (1/12). But this COP28 is also more urgently than ever, a huge struggle for world agreement on decarbonising for a liveable future for all species.
We need agreement on staying close to 1.5 degrees; and no reliance on carbon capture and storage because it doesn’t work at scale.
No one can succeed at cheating the science or the planet.
As for Australia, we must really reform and set the example for speeding renewables in the next six years; end fossil fuels including exports; and fund poorer countries for their clean energy.
Look for equity
While there is much discussion on the political pain from reversing the stage 3 tax cuts and the inflationary impact of implementing those cuts, missing from the discussion is the question of equity (“Meddling with stage 3 spells danger”, 1/12).
Equity is one of the prime requirements of a taxation system and requires that taxes be fair. It is difficult to see how having a single 30 per cent tax rate for taxable incomes between $45,000 and $200,000 satisfies that requirement.
Mangrove Mountain, NSW
Advent of consumerism
As children we were excited when the advent calendar came out. It was the same calendar every year, albeit looking a little bit more worn every year. We took it in turns to open the next window and the excitement grew as more little pictures were exposed. There was no need for gifts or lollies behind the little windows. But I guess consumerism has taken over everything.
Ralph Frank, Malvern East
Robbed of a career
I thought that after retirement, I could embark on a new career as a bank robber. To my dismay, it became impossible to find a bank anywhere convenient, and if a branch was located, it was also impossible to squeeze in, so great were the crowds of customers.
I’d better go to Plan B, and write a book about the royal family.
Margaret Ady, Avondale Heights
Brolly good idea
There is umbrella etiquette (Comment, 30/11) although not widely practised nowadays.
When two people on a footpath approach from different directions and meet, simply tip the umbrella a little to the side (away from the other person) in unison. Works a treat, especially if accompanied by a smile.
I can rest assured
Thanks to the article ″The secret to a great sleep? A manky pillow″ (30/11) I shall no longer be embarrassed about my even mankier pillow when I travel. I can carry it proudly onto a plane without the need to try to stuff it into a suitcase, and worry about that case not arriving. I shall carry it as a badge of honour with a copy of the article in my pocket.
Kevin Drinan, Bentleigh
Having had to have a wheel alignment done on my car because of the wear done by potholes on the road to the Grampians a while back, I can sympathise with your correspondent (Letters, 30/11). It’s been my observations that, in Victoria at least, potholes are simply not properly repaired. The tarmac is not compressed with a motorised heavy roller once it is laid, so it is easily washed out by heavy rain.
Anthony Whitmarsh, Bulleen
Improve the roads
Like your correspondent (Letters, 30/11), I live on a street that suffers from cut-through traffic, but I have some sympathy for drivers. Councils’ response focuses on making local streets difficult and unpleasant to navigate, building humps, contraflows and roundabouts.
It is reasonable to ask what, if anything, councils are doing to improve traffic flow. Much could be done: parking restricted, lights synchronised and timed according to demand periods, and school crossing supervisors asked to safely hold back the children to allow turning vehicles to clear.
After all, no driver would choose a route through local streets if the main roads were faster.
John Myers, Hawthorn
Satirist Tom Lehrer said of Henry Kissinger that when Kissinger won the Nobel peace prize, satire died.
Kissinger nurtured the art of war, wanting American values and virtues to be either embraced or enforced around the world. Kissinger’s tenacity and acolytes have created a diplomatic world of turmoil, be it in the Middle East, South America or South-East Asia.
It’s important to remember that despite the accolades, Henry Kissinger was an embodiment of the worst aspects of American empire. The dust of the destruction it’s caused has yet to settle.
Leon Zembekis, Reservoir
Please, come together
Is it too much to ask the leaders of the Israel and Palestine communities in Melbourne to come together to organise a joint march calling for peace in the Middle East? Perhaps they can invite the rest of us in the broader Melbourne community to join them.
Bill Manallack, Prahran
AND ANOTHER THING
Chris Bowen’s climate policy reminds me of Saint Augustine’s prayer: “Oh Lord, make me chaste, but not yet.”
John Hughes, Mentone
Super funds investing in clean energy networks rather than gambling stocks would be a win-win for us all.
Jenny Smithers, Ashburton
How can we say we are on target to reduce emissions to 43 per cent when, according to the International Energy Agency, we don’t measure them accurately and may underestimate them by 60 per cent?
Peter Hansford, Woodend
I hope that teacher Farah Khairat also discusses with her students the actions of Hamas.
Jan Grutzner, Richmond
Bite the bullet Anthony Albanese, scrap the stage 3 tax cuts, which are unnecessary, unfair, unwise and unaffordable.
Jon Smith, Leongatha
My husband has received a card to show that he has a pacemaker fitted. On the back it says, ″If you lose this card contact the address below″.
Sandra Torpey, Hawthorn
It’s getting to the stage that we need to take out insurance as insurance against our insurance premiums rising.
Bryan Fraser, St Kilda West
I’m a reticent sort of bloke, but we should not be reluctant to uphold the distinction between reticent and reluctant.
Harvey Mitchell, Castlemaine
The Australia Post tracking number for my parcel is 24 digits. Try reading it out aloud or typing it without mistakes.
Warwick Spinaze, Tootgarook
Using word length as a crossword clue? Nein danke DA.
Sue McKenzie, Belmont
Potholes? On our way to school we had to carry our horse over the potholes. (Also apologies Monty Python)
Lee Guion, Portarlington
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