TONY Abbott appreciates the unpopularity of taxes. But he has yet to demonstrate a clear understanding of how taxes work in practice, let alone the difference between good and bad ones.
Drill down to the essence of his opposition to the carbon and mining taxes and you’ll find a very uneconomic way of looking at the budget.
These taxes hurt investment, the Opposition Leader told ABC1’s 7.30 program this week. “You’re not seriously telling me, Leigh, that the mining tax and the carbon tax have made Australia an easier place to invest in,” he said, in mock horror that anyone would dare suggest otherwise.
OK, here’s goes.
Ignore Abbott’s attempt to score a cheap point off BHP Billiton’s decision to shelve the Olympic Dam project – even though Labor’s tax policy had nothing do with it – and focus on the governing principle here. If taxes are bad for investment, is Abbott saying tax breaks are good? Australian and foreign-owned companies have never needed an excuse in the past to demand a handout. Abbott is writing their special-pleading script without realising it.
*Note, polling is specific to Queensland which should have been made more explicit – Mike @ WtD