The subject of the GST and whether either side of politics has any intention of raising it is creating some intriguing comments.
The facts are that Australia is one of the lowest-taxed countries in the Western world.
History shows that taxes introduced by any government are rarely repealed and, when they are, they are often reintroduced by their adversaries.
For example, the repealing of the carbon and mining taxes will cost $40 billion.
Is Mr Abbott seriously trying to tell us he is going to spend $40 billion – 11 per cent of annual revenue – to repeal two taxes that are now central to any government’s fiscal outcomes?
History also shows that in the past, the Coalition has opposed many measures introduced by Labor governments. For example, Medicare, compulsory superannuation, Aboriginal land rights and so on, indicating this suggested form of action can be taken with a grain of salt, for two reasons.
One, because of the enormous cost and secondly, common sense tell us that any future government is going to continually require extra revenue as a consequence of our aging population, just for starters.
If not, why is the subject of the GST being discussed?
The mining tax, whatever the amount, is revenue returning to the people, but for reasons best known to themselves, the Coalition reject this initiative but accept the same argument for the oil and gas petroleum rent tax.
The Coalition, which continually tells us it is a free-market party, have done the opposite and intends to plunder the taxpayer to the tune of $30 billion to encourage the big polluters to improve their habits.
Talk about striking gold without having to dig for it.
The GST was introduced with much fanfare, but has created a difficult environment for the collection of maximum revenue for obvious reasons, with arguments ranging from whether it should be increased to whether its base should be broadened.
Neither would be necessary if existing welfare entitlements and other concessions which exploded under the Howard government’s reckless handout mentality could be brought under control, including the examination of generous taxation and rebate concessions to large companies, as well as to a privileged section of our society – a measure Joe Hockey tried to address, but was tripped up by the National Party.
Apart from the continuing problems in the US and Europe, our problems in the future have been clearly spelt out – we have an ageing population increasing at a rapid rate, with the cost of health treatment for the elderly to skyrocket into the future as just one huge concern.
Can the Coalition seriously continue to tell us it is going to reduce government income by $40 billion, income it cannot do without?
Apart from history, facts and figures say no.
Would that be a broken promise?