How can Abbott accuse Labor of being addicted to new taxes and say his solution is a spanking new tax, in defiance of his election promises?
For four years Abbott has campaigned against new taxes. He has said you can’t “tax your way to prosperity”.
Abbott’s excuse is that a temporary levy does not constitute a broken promise. The public won’t buy that. A tax is a tax is a tax. And Abbott’s pledge to cut taxes down the track is just that — down the track.
The further risk is that Abbott compromises his policy pledge to reform the spending side of the budget.
I particularly like this line:
Imagine the embarrassment on budget night if across the forward estimates higher taxes play a bigger role in reducing the deficit than spending restraint.
JOE Hockey’s coming “sharing the pain” deficit levy is — very — clever, entirely reasonable and indeed appropriate politics.
It is also good and necessary budget policy.
If we wanted a government that put politics ahead of the economy, we could have stuck with Labor. As explained by an unknown senior Liberal:
“We didn’t vote for a f***ing Abbott government to increase taxes did we,” said a senior Liberal figure. “And I didn’t hand out how-to-vote-cards to pay more f**king tax.”