Labor ramps-up attack on fuel excise levy

ScreenHunter_2363 May. 09 15.30

By Leith van Onselen

The Labor Party seems intent to follow Tony Abbott’s (aka “Dr No’s”) example in opposition and oppose nearly all attempts at reform.

Today, Opposition transport spokesman, Anthony Albanese, has come out strongly against the proposed re-indexation of fuel excise, claiming it is a broken promise by the Abbott Government, whilst slamming its effect on lower-income suburban commuters. From The Australian:

Mr Albanese, the opposition transport spokesman, this morning warned any increase would hurt families “every time they filled up” and showed the Coalition was “attacking the public through the bowser”.

“It’s a regressive tax because if you live further away from where you work and you don’t have public transport options … you’ll pay more and you’ll pay it every week,” Mr Albanese told the Nine Network.

“(It’s) bigger than the carbon price on everyone’s personal motor vehicle”…

Needless to say, Albanese’s position is disappointing. There are sound reasons for the Government to raise fuel excise, including broadening the tax base away from income tax, improving overall taxation efficiency, as well as the obvious environmental benefits. It would also go some way to closing the $5 billion Budget hole left by the Howard Government when it erroneously froze fuel excise indexation in 2001.

Albanese’s opposition is also curious in light of Labor’s previous support for emissions trading and/or a carbon tax. Fuel excise is a defacto pollution tax. Opposing an increase in fuel excise, whilst lamenting climate change, seems totally incoherent.

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Comments

  1. Labor ought to remember or come to terms with why they were destroyed in last year’s Fed election and TAS and WA state elections?

    Pathetic, pathetic , pathetic.

    • I agree. Tedious repetitive inane and frankly, boring. The electorate will soon tire of this pissant ineffectual whining.

      And good grief, Shorten is entirely unconvincing – a lacklustre wimpish performance, the effect of which is, dare I say “like being flogged with a warm lettuce.”

      • GunnamattaMEMBER

        But this is exactly the type of thing that got the Tories elected…..

        You can go through years of not developing policy, espousing an incoherent vision of the future revolving around bogeymen and bullshit, and the punting masses will slip you in provided you keep your message a simple ‘no’ to a few key things.

        The ALParatchiks should have no expectation of seeing government any time soon, but the simple fact of the matter is that these frauds dont deserve it either.

        and ‘No No No No No!’ and some carefully gilded lies is what got them there.

      • No Gunna. What got them elected was six years of what is widely accepted as one of the most shambolic governments ever. Riddled with internecine internal conflict, spite and hatreds readily shared with the electorate, policy on the run (or back of a serviette), ramp up of public debt, toxic marriage with the Greens, Gillard, the carbon tax, RSPT, the contrived class warfare, the boats, Craig, Peter, almost everything they touched turned to shite.

        A debacle. As it seems even former Labor luminaries now concede.

        That is why the Libs won.

      • GunnamattaMEMBER

        A large part of the reason they were shambolic was that the Torynuffs kept saying no to everything…..

        Now the ALParatchiks are seeing their chance to say no to everything

        …….and the Torynuffs – courtesy of Artie Sinodinos and the ICAC, the bullshitting of the media over refugees and employing thugs on Manus Island, and PPL and sundry other uglies they need to bring about to balance a budget they know stems from an eroded revenue base brought about by their own taxation concessions on capital gains and superannuation, and the general bien etre that Torynuff governments seem able to conjure at will (anyone want a knighthood?) – are well on their way to being in the League of Shambolic political parties.

        They do need an overt trouserman though – how long before one crops up you reckon?

      • No matter how many times you repeat it 3D, you know it is great political opportunity and one that Abbott set the blueprint on. They’ll write books on it in the future titled along the lines of Economic Suicide – How Australia destroyed itself through its no politics.

        Make bed. Lie in it. I’ll keep saying it as long as you keep uttering this nonsense that Labor in opposition should be any different to the Liberal Party in opposition.

      • The problem is Labor has adopted this overt negativity from the get-go and it increasingly looks like a reactive knee jerk policy free zone on the part of Labor.

        For goodness sake, the Libs first budget has not even been tabled yet. There is general agreement that the budget sustainability question needs be addressed – but Labor will resist and reject all change purely on a political rather than economic basis.

        They need to grow up and act in a bipartisan fashion on matters of national (and generational) importance.

        Shorten is the wrong bloke to lead at this time and much of what remains of the former front bench is just as bad. There is talent there but it is not getting a run. Labor needs its best thinkers, not its most politically connected to be prominent and it needs to concede that change both internally party-wise and nationally economy-wise is necessary.

      • GunnamattaMEMBER

        Mate,

        The problem is Labor has adopted this overt negativity from the get-go and it increasingly looks like a reactive knee jerk policy free zone on the part of Labor.

        Straight from the TestosterTone playbook – anyone recall Malcolm T as opposition leader?

        For goodness sake, the Libs first budget has not even been tabled yet. There is general agreement that the budget sustainability question needs be addressed – but Labor will resist and reject all change purely on a political rather than economic basis.

        That would equate to the ‘You wanted the plate, you got the plate -but there is a turd on the plate when you lift the lid’ moment. The ALParatchiks will swap that for a ‘Ditch the witch/opposition leader misogyny/Liberal fundraiser menu item’ mantra (and the ticking time bomb that is the Torynuff’s spectacular lack of women in cabinet).

        They need to grow up and act in a bipartisan fashion on matters of national (and generational) importance.

        After what TestosterTone did to the Carbon Tax? and his accession to power on a direct action basis…….

        Shorten is the wrong bloke to lead at this time and much of what remains of the former front bench is just as bad. There is talent there but it is not getting a run. Labor needs its best thinkers, not its most politically connected to be prominent and it needs to concede that change both internally party-wise and nationally economy-wise is necessary.

        Good luck telling them that. I think they have the idea that being pricks towards the Government and ignoring the national interest is a means to get elected at least…..

      • Straight from the TestosterTone playbook – anyone recall Malcolm T as opposition leader?

        Exactly.

      • Hey 3d1kwit,

        Here’s a new poll for ya!

        https://twitter.com/GhostWhoVotes/status/464685343518646272

        #ReachTEL Fairfax Poll 2 Party Preferred: L/NP 46 ALP 54 http://bit.ly/Ru18vR #auspol

        Libs brace for backlash

        Support for Tony Abbott’s Coalition government continues to collapse in the face of a harsh budget known to contain cuts to family payments and a raft of services, a proposed deficit levy, a hike in petrol excise and a delayed pension age of 70.

        Story has been taken down from the SMH and Age websites. Will probably be in paper tomorrow.

        Looking bad mate. Looking REAL bad.

    • I’m really having trouble connecting the dots between those different elections. Care to shed some light?

      • “Labor was flogged. WA circa 20% of the primary!”

        The reasoning, not the result, is what I’d like to understand. I can’t see anything that connects those election results and the fact that Labor appears to be set to oppose a fuel excise levy increase.

        I’m sure Tony keeps telling us that Labor lost because they introduced a Great. Big. New. Tax. Which is really the opposite of what’s occurring here, hence my confusion about what Labor’s lesson is actually meant to be.

      • Labor was flogged. WA circa 20% of the primary!

        Not half as flogged as Abbott will be in 2016. At this rate the polls will be at 60-40 by June.

        Besides, most of Labor’s primary went to the Greens because the stupid unions put Bollocks at the top of the ticket.

  2. Ronin8317MEMBER

    Disappointing as it may be, you can only win elections by getting people who didn’t vote for you to change their vote. This is why saying ‘no to everything’ is politically expedient. Our political system doesn’t reward politicians for doing things for national interest.

  3. GunnamattaMEMBER

    Now what we have here is a simple hostage to hostage situation.

    The Torynuffs cant ramp up the revenue side without the Whigs yelling a populist No…….

    The Torynuffs can cut services and expectations but that runs them the risk of losing office (imagine that – a one term Torynuff government, they couldnt could they?)

    Their response – like that of the Whigs before them, will be to bullshit for as long and hard as they can while they contort themselves into more grotesque seasonally adjusted lies to explain the reality – forecast gap, and the have – have not gap.

    Australia needs a new politics (or political party at least) – neither the Torynuffs nor the ALParatchiks have the answer……

    And there will be increasingly obvious discontent amongst the punting masses until there is.

    • A party can only arise from the ashes of a crushed economy.

      The punterariat doesn’t want answer outside of local/parochial/individual and lack of funding for it should be extracted from someone else no matter what.

      The political parties are losers, because the electorate are losers, and that alignment will always remain.

    • (imagine that – a one term Torynuff government, they couldnt could they?)

      Its looking increasingly likely. Has there ever been a government this unpopular so early in their first term?

      Australia needs a new politics (or political party at least)

      So who joins that party? Turnbull obviously, but who else? A few of the Liberal wets maybe, but who from the Labor side? Bowen? Burke? Anyone from the Greens?

  4. Albo’s on a winner here. A fuel excise increase is political poison (and lazy policy).

      • He’s saying that it’s easier to just say no and utter a few things the dim bogans will appreciate. While I think it is pretty good policy because I look at it objectively, bogans don’t and they are the ones that matter because they look no further than their hip pocket. They just think tax = bad. No thanks. Abbott told them that for 3 years. Even dimwits get the message eventually.

      • Increase the GST rate and broaden its base. Revenue raising consumption taxes should be broad based and not apply to business inputs. Fuel excise is not creditable for many business uses.

        Its rate is too high for for the carbon externality. Its not well suited to addressing other externalities (congestion, air pollution) and is too high relative to what a road user charge on light vehicles should be.

      • “Increase the GST rate and broaden its base. Revenue raising consumption taxes should be broad based and not apply to business inputs. Fuel excise is not creditable for many business uses.”

        As you know, I agree with you on the GST. But regarding business inputs, doesn’t business get an excise rebate (e.g farmers, road haulers, and mining)?

        “Its rate is too high for for the carbon externality. Its not well suited to addressing other externalities (congestion, air pollution) and is too high relative to what a road user charge on light vehicles should be.”

        I obviously disagree with you on these points. The fact is, tax has gotta come from somewhere, and better it come from excise than personal or company taxes, which are highly inefficient.

      • Many small businesses that use light vehicles do not get a credit for fuel excise.

        By the way, small businesses that are unincorporated will also pay the debt levy if their income is high enough.

  5. StomperMEMBER

    I don’t know why Albo didn’t just point out its the equivalent of a carbon tax!

  6. The interesting question for me is whether Labor will have the same success following the Lib’s opposition approach.

    The problem with people like Shorten and Albo is that they talk too much. You have to have the ability to just say “axe the tax” and “stop the boats” over and over without letting yourself get tripped up in details.

    The political point that Labor needs to score here is that billionaires and foreign companies are getting a break while “ordinary” taxpayers pay more. So far Labor have done a lousy job of selling that political message. Or, really, any political message. If Abbott and Hockey manage to pull off the “budget emergency” message then Labor is doomed. Labor has to be able to sell the “why am I paying more tax when XX isn’t” message.

    Though of course it won’t work if the “XX” are baby boomers.

    • I’ve got one to get them started…

      Jobs Not Greens

      …should appeal Labor’s traditional base, if there’s any left.

      • Here’s a message for Labor to sell:

        You pay 38c/L tax at the petrol pump.
        Gina Rinehart pays 6c/L.

        That’s a killer message and you know it.

      • GunnamattaMEMBER

        How about

        …..’We will decide who pays for who’s benefits, and the circumstances in which they pay………….’

      • Yes, a really terrifically catchy slogan. I can imagine the rumble of closed mouthed guffaws and knee slapping that will cause at Mining Council luncheons from Perth to Darwin.

        It should also help that same traditional base forget that they’re now being told by ocker Joe and Tone that they’re overpaid, don’t work hard enough, and will have to work longer.

      • Thanks Spleen. Coming from a wordsmith such as yourself, I am honoured.

        Of course there’s always the alternative

        Greens Not Jobs

        Each has appeal, the second may even find a few Greens wearing the TShirt.

      • Loraxative it’s a hard sell, but the punters will have a couple of years to get used to it – best hope oil doesn’t shoot, the AUD stays strong and the ACCC overturns its crazy restriction on supermarkets offering petrol discounts, eh?

        Fuelling the future.
        Fuelling the future, paying down debt.
        Fuelling the future, defeating the deficit.
        Fuelling the future, for a strong Australia.

        There’s more, but you get the idea 😉

      • GunnamattaMEMBER

        or even

        …… ‘Greasing the palms of those who own your assets already’

  7. You really can’t blame Labor for taking political advantage at every opportunity given what Abbott did over the past four years.

    Ditch the Witch? JuLiar? Government died of shame? You don’t forget sh*t like that in a hurry.

    What’s needed is a peacemaker. Someone who steered well clear of the political opportunism over the carbon tax.

    I nominate Malcolm in the Middle.

    #libspill

  8. I’m really enjoying watching Australia go ‘full retard’.

    Australia truly has the government and opposition it deserves. As Australians have shown time and time again with their voting patterns, the average Australian wants to be ruled by belligerent loudmouthed liars, and now that’s precisely what they’re getting.

    You’ve shat in your bed, Australia, and created the political machine you deserve.

    • That’s true Lord Dudley and all of it is reinforced by our media. I’ve quoted this before so forgive the repetition if you’ve seen it.
      When John Hewson lost the election on introducing the GST Laurie Oakes wrote in the, at the time, pre-eminent political commentary magazine ‘The Bulletin” that Hewson was a naive fool because he told the truth.
      Now the media just goes after ratings by telling people they can have everything. You cannot have a policy off any kind that requires any postponement of indulgence. You will never get elected.

  9. Ah yes Albo has it right and yes this is yet another broken promise.
    A Big Fat Tax
    This engineered budget deficit which was purposely doubled by Hockey`s 68 $billion add on is only there at the behest of the IPA and corporatocracy.
    The RWNJ`s who inhabit here are only rightard Liberal apologists who never had an original thought in their lives.
    So the infrastructure PM {what codswallop as no Liberal PM ever does infrastructure} is only wanting to sell everything like Howard and it`s not his to sell.
    Do some QE you Libtards and don`t borrow.
    Create some jobs Libtards I dare you.
    Your bent is to have a prices explosion to create inflation so interest rates skyrocket to help out your banker mates.
    I hope Clive helps block SUPPLY.

  10. Stop Abbott’s fuel tax.

    The fuel tax is costing households $400 a year.

    Abbott’s fuel tax is Abbott’s carbon tax.

    Axe the fool’s tax.

  11. I love reading these articles and the comments, makes me feel like Neo in the matrix seeing the world for what it really is and deflecting agent Smith’s attacks with an expression of amused boredom on my face.