I heard a survey once that a baby screaming and crying is the worst sound for a mother to hear. Something about maternal instincts.
Well, the worst sound for me is a politician screaming and crying. And that’s exactly what the past few hours has been full off. Peter Costello kicking and screaming about Rudd’s tax plan is a painful ring in my ear. He claims that “91.5 per cent” of Labour’s masterpiece was copied from the Liberals. Plagiarism? No. Smart politics? Most definitely.
Let’s look at the big picture: Australia is in a happy and ‘safe’ economic position for some people, for others, it’s a little rough. Overall, the Australia’s economy is on the rise, will slow eventually, but not too soon. The Coalition tout that it’s their doing – that their economic policies are what kept Australia productive, and will continue to do so. So wouldn’t it be great if someone came along, added in a few bonuses for the middle and working class, taxed the Elite a bit more than the rest of us (something that should be done) and continue with the prosperous policies?
That’s exactly what Rudd did. He released a tax plan that should be a vote winner, that should keep Australia growing, and should be in line with his voiced political philosophy (conservative). But not just the tax plan should win the votes. No no no …
The tax refund for parents of school students makes paying for education that bit easier. Granted, both parties should be shaking up the education system in a major way, but if they aren’t, at least making education more accessible for families is the next best thing. And Rudd said it best: if children don’t have Internet access at home, they can fall behind. Here’s just one facet the money can go to.
And that’s not to mention the Labour government’s efforts to invest a further $4.7 billion in broadband. Dearly needed, and dare I say it, a better plan that that proposed by the Coalition. Yes, I do dare, because reportedly the Liberal’s broadband plan covers 50% less (some speculate more) than what they actually propose for regional areas.
Also, a further $400 million into their health plan. Rudd said that he aimed to channel this money into cutting waiting times on elective surgery under the ‘critical’ banner. Having quite a wussified family, other than myself (who has the world’s greatest immune system), I know that if any party could cut waiting times for this type of surgery, it would be a vote winner. My grandfather have a knee replacement earlier in the year. He now needs the other one done. His wife, and my grandmother, really needs a hip. One of my aunts died before she could her two knees done. Granted she didn’t die of having dodgey knees, but it would have made her time a lot easier and less painful.
So, Mr. Costello, stop crying and screaming, bite the bullet and take the hit. Labour out-played you here politically. They might have copied 91.5% of your plan, but that’s because only 91.5% needed copying. It needed copying because Australia needs a certain type of fiscal approach – an approach that, now, both parties can bring to the table. If you were any smarter and any better, you would have put out a plan that would have been so great and so appealing that 100% of it would need to be copied. But you didn’t, and you gave Labour 8.5% of room to maneuvered and sneak in. And that 8.5% was all they needed to make a great tax plan. Similarly, if you had included that 8.5%, and not pandered the fat-wallets that have you in their pockets, then you would be getting the exact same reaction I’m giving Rudd right now.