Possums Pollytics

Politics, elections and piffle plinking

e-Too! on Tax.

Posted by Possum Comitatus on October 19, 2007

The ALP tax response is a simple one; Me Too for those earning up to 180K using the Coalition tax plan as the base, remove the top tax rate and flatten the system over the coming years as the reform sizzle, and offer 50% tax rebates through FTB Part A for $750 and $1500 for education expenditure on primary and highschool children respectively with a big focus on net connections, computers and software.

It’s an e-Too on tax😉

The framing is interesting, “tax is education and the future”. As long as they don’t hide the “money in the hand” nature of the tax cuts, but play both the “you’re better off” and the “you’re kids will be even more better off” lines in concert, they should get traction with this as it plays right into the broad Rudd narrative.

Costello will come out and attack Rudd’s dismissal of previous Coalition tax initiatives as being “not much” – Rudd should have answered that question better. Considering the way press conferences usually go when an Opposition launches a tax policy, if that’s the worse thing Rudd did, it was probably well handled.

Although Wayne Swan reminded me of a Giraffe.

On something completely different, Peter N sent me THIS

The lovely people of WA and their Possum Power project, replete with powerline Possum Superhighways!

UPDATE:

Thanks to the heads up from CK, you’ve got to play the Fairfax Whack*A*Poll.

Endless, mindless fun.

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55 Responses to “e-Too! on Tax.”

  1. John V K said

    Simple message. Simple is effective. And it links and makes the other thing a bribe and this is a strategy.

    The flattening of the tiers will play well, if the numbers work. It hooks BroadBand as well, making them the party of the future. It plays well on a lot of fronts and wedges very little.

    It’s extremely deft.

    Nice few accurate punches to counter the king hit.

  2. John V K said

    On an ecology basis, possum road kill prepared on a charcoal bed and served on a baguette is quite sustaining, is recyling and therefore enviro friendly and the skins can make nice tea cosies saving money reheating the tea if it goes cold.

    But we really dont need dead possums does we.

  3. Bingo said

    Great stuff – nicely buttresses the ‘grand narrative’ of the education revolution. The only thing missing is a tax deduction for possum lovers.

  4. Beach Ball said

    The tactical play is the most cunning seen for a long time. This wasn’t just a TAX release, it was Education, Technology and Communications and Health releases.

    Costello would’ve been waiting for a doorstop within the hour claiming it was without vision, had nothing new and just a replication of his own announcement.

    K-RUDD and the crew now don’t just have to talk about economics, they can weave their strengths (education and health) into the discussion.

  5. Possum Comitatus said

    It’s clever tactically alright BeachBall, blurring the distinction between tax (a Coalition positioned issue) and education (an ALP positioned issue) plays like a raid into Coalition issue positioning, as well as framing it in very 21st century terms.

    Costello is about to come on, probably attacking Rudd’s dismissal of previous Coalition tax cuts.

  6. steve_e said

    As a basis for a distictive pitch for the Sunday debate, the differences between the two sets of tax policy all play into strengths for the ALP (the worm will respond well when these issues are raised and presented).

    The contrast in the two tax plans (no tax cuts at the upper end of theincome scale) will also contrast well. There are little votes lost for the ALP and a whole lot to be gained with the education support.

  7. Raw Toast said

    How well will this play in the leafy heartland of the Libs? I expect we’re going to here lots of mentions of class-warfare by the Coalition to try and bed down the restless small l Liberal voters.

    I agree that the overall package seems very cunning, but for it to work the ALP need to keep bringing the narrative back to education, technology, health etc and away from class struggle (not that there’s anything wrong with that🙂 )

  8. stevet said

    The point that nobody seems to have picked up, but I bet will be by the economists is that the education rebate is a great incentive to get those people back into the workforce that have just been tossed off parenting payment by the government. These people are only going to receive it if they are employed, and they are the ones who need the cash a lot more than high income earners. I think this is a good selling point.

  9. El Nino said

    The reds under the bed are in the black.

  10. B1 said

    #7 Agree with the class warfare angle; over at news.com.au the story is running under the headline “Robin Rudd Takes From The Rich” so the MSM are clearly going to help out with that one.

  11. El Nino said

    #10 Sounds like Uncle Rupert has signed up to the firewall strategy.

  12. B1 said

    Yes; also scanning through some of the 230 odd comments over there a lot of screams of “I don’t have any kids so I get nothing” Labor needs to make sure they get the message through that everyone still gets tax cuts; I would have thought it was pretty obvious but it’s amazing how selective hearing can be.

  13. CK said

    I like the focus on education and childcare, rather than the $34billion bag of lollies. Plays to the main themes. Let’s just see how successful Costello Treasury is at taking an axe to the numbers.

  14. stevet said

    B1, I think that the “Robin Rudd takes from the rich” line will go down well with the Howard battlers in Western Sydney.

    The classic line though, must go to Smirk McBlunder. After accusing Rudd of copying him, he came out with this surreal gem:

    “If Mr Rudd could not follow the government in cutting the top marginal tax rate in this coming parliament, who would believe the unions would let him do it in the next parliament, Mr Costello said.”

  15. Possum Comitatus said

    I wouldn’t pay much attention to what the commentary on most of the news.com.au articles are saying during the election, thread swamping by party members has become an official tool of the campaign.

  16. CK said

    “Agree with the class warfare angle; over at news.com.au the story is running under the headline “Robin Rudd Takes From The Rich” so the MSM are clearly going to help out with that one.”

    Oh for goodness sake, these people are still trying to fight the last war. Wasn’t that the Latham narrative?

    Ties in quite nicely with the ‘Learner’ Liberal TV ads: In other words they’ve got nothing new to say.

    How this pack of losers are going to sustain this for the next five weeks is beyond me.

    They are, in short, fu**ed. I mean you see a trick once, you know how it works, you marvel at the sleight of hand, but at the end of the day it’s just a craftily concealed cigarette.

    It’s certainly not tax-policy.

  17. B1 said

    Thanks Possum; I’m sure you’re right.

  18. Ronin said

    The SMH poll is running 75:25 for the Labor tax plan, but the comments are running 10:1 against Labor. Someone is busy threading the forum with pro-liberal comments.

  19. BlueSkyMining said

    Settle CK. It’s not even clear to me from your post which side you are spewing expletives at (Labor? Liberal? the MSM?). I for one would prefer if we Possum’s blog didn’t catch William’s unfortunate blogging virus.

    Can you clarify?

  20. Kirribilli Removals said

    There’s a nice line of distinction running though Rudd’s message, and it’s that he isn’t just talking about numbers attached to dollar signs. Howard is ‘giving’ us $34 billion (or, more accurately, ‘not taking it away’ in the future!), while Rudd is also giving us nearly the same amount, but he’s loaded it with the benefit of education.

    It’s truly masterful, fiscally conservative and socially progressive.

    Howard’s blunderbuss of an announcement looks more like bribery while Rudd’s looks like a tax policy.

  21. THB said

    Anyone want to take bets at exactly what time the absence of 08-09 from the ALP proposal will become (rightly or wrongly) an issue?

  22. Tom said

    Personally I always thought the Treasurer was a cleverer guy than me, but now it’s confirmed. When I learnt that the Labor tax policy was copied 91.5% from the Coalition, I repeat (as the Treasurer did with added emphasis at his press conference)… 91.5%, that’s when the penny finally dropped for me and my head started to sink. How can this man calculate election policy differences to margins as miniscule as .5%? That was when I realised the yawwwwwning gap between myself and the Treasurer, how can I ever compete?

    But later this arvi I was jamming out to some music on the Fox music channel and the analogy with the current political climate clearly struck me. If I can use a musical analogy and avoid litigous lawyers, I would like to compare the two parties as a face off between Delta Goodrem and Kylie Minogue. One is a national icon with a stellar career behind her, but the other is younger, far more talented, and bursting at the seems to prove her musical worth going forward. What does this analogy mean when applied as the campaign unfolds? Well, here is a tip for you musically inclined punters (including the pos). The mail is, it’s goodnight Coalition, and unfortunately there won’t be a chance for an encore!

  23. Ville said

    Actually, Tom, it’s 91.17% copied from the Coalition.

  24. nicko said

    The bit that I liked was that it got an “F” from our esteemed treasurer but was apparently within just under 10% of the same grade (91.5% of the coalition policy “Mr Speaker”…..oops sorry that was so 41st parliament). Doesn’t that mean that Tip as he “cascades” up the grades has given his own policy an “E”, which would indicate that he thinks his own bribe….sorry tax policy has failed or am I too 1980’s with that kind of educational reporting? (does “E” now mean “excel” in the “noughties”?)

  25. Ratsak said

    Can we all stop with the “no tax cuts for those over 180k” rubbish. They get the biggest tax cut of all (any tax cut to those under 180k goes to those over as well), it’s just that their’s doesn’t get any bigger the more they earn over 180k. Neither package really does much other than hand back the windfall from inflation in the next term, but Rudd has at least neutralised tax as an issue, and turned the debate towards his strengths in health and education.

    Rudd needs to sell the politics of the package though. With headlines like “Robin Rudd takes from the Rich” he won’t have the lobotomised MSM doing him any favours.

  26. ismark said

    If you have an electorate wanting to change but afraid of change….. what do you do…. don’t change the fundamentals, just change the people…especially if a few whom you don;t like are on the nose…. clever strategy… will there be a dead cat bounce for the ALP this week in the polls, hope so

  27. Stig said

    This looks like a good fit with the Labor strategy leading into the campaign, and into the campaign narrative as described. The voter blocs which have been deserting Howard are the battlers and the wets, and Labor’s approach to tax policy is bang-on to appeal further to these voters. The battlers will get basically the same tax breaks plus some extra money for the kids education; the wets will go for the emphasis on education and social development.

    Tactically, it’s been presented in a cautious and careful way – a good idea when you’re a way ahead in the polls. Costello has been left hanging out with nothing of substance to say; it’s a bad look when he’s smirking and uselessly flapping his gums at the same time.

    So, overall a good way to handle tax policy and politics. Has Howard got any ammo left? He’s going to need it.

  28. Why does everyone think this is great for education? It might be good politics, I don’t know, but it is not good policy. This is just a handout for anyone with kids. I don’t think it would be very difficult to claim the ‘education’ costs necessary to get the money (computers, books, magazines, etc). And, in any case, it is such a small amount of money, how is it going to appreciable education outcomes? Show me the evidence that laptops, or even broadband, improves grades.

    To me this policy smacks of Medicare Gold. It might seem ok on first glance but the more you look at it the more amateurish it seems.

  29. Enemy Combatant said

    Repots Ronan:”The SMH poll is running 75:25 for the Labor tax plan,”

    Subprime $weetie reckons it’s, “Me too, but…”.
    Close, Cossie, but no cigar.
    For many it plays, “Me too, but BETTER!”.

    MSM, I’d like to put in good word for CK, although she’s more than capable of sticking up for herself. The lady ain’t no troll. On song Christine Keeler can match it with Oz blogdom’s best.

  30. BlueSkyMining said

    EC, point taken and I wasn’t suggesting CK was a troll in any way like the infestations on William’s otherwise excellent blog, merely putting in a vote for preserving the peace in the Possum sanctuary. I was actually interested in clarifying what CK meant.

  31. BlueSkyMining said

    And I take offense at being acronymed down to “MSM” rather than “BSM”!!!😉
    ….I prefer to be associated with BS than that Main Stream mob!

  32. Evan said

    I am not happy with Labor’s effort.

    While they seem to be fully aware of the infrastructure problems facing the country and of the consequences of this in terms of future growth, they balk at doing something about it, choosing instead to come out with their own version of the Liberals’ tax cut bribe.

    I mean, what the hell is going on?

    Rudd can be an infrastructure-builder or a Liberal lolly-man, but he can’t be both at the same time. Attempting to do so just makes him look schizoid.

    People can say what they like about Whitlam, but at least he had no problem making the right decision when faced with a choice between funding desperately needed roads, schools, Unis and sewerage systems, and handing back a few bucks each week to the punters to spend on fags and the TAB . Thanks to him, half the outer east in Melbourne got their septic tanks replaced with dunnies that flushed properly, so they could take a crap in comfort for a change, just like the rich folks in Hawthorn and Kew.

    We face the same choices now, and the best Labor can come-up with is, apparently, bloody tax cuts.

    C’mon fellas, lift your game, fer Chrissakes.

    People are aching (sometimes, quite literally) for proper services. There’s parts of Lagos with better transport than Campbelltown and surrounds. Providing the necessary infrastructure requires adequate funding.

    So forget the goddam tax-cut candy-man bollocks and get-on with providing people with what they expect of you: Infrastructure. They’d much prefer it to rotten teeth.

    End of rant.

  33. Enemy Combatant said

    Fair enough, BSM. Mass morons spoil the open comments sections at many of the “best” USA political sites where well written articles are posted. This aspect of cultural hegemony needs to be resisted and I agree that the turf here should largely remain an imbecile free zone. Non Passerons.

    ———————————————————–

    On Lateline unabashed Narrowist, Michael Kroger, got all his lines right three times but didn’t appear terribly convinced. No winners smile tonight.
    Rod Cameron was tired and reckoned El Rodente was all cannon-balled out. Both correctly stated that Team Ruddster were in front. Nothing dramatic at all really.

  34. Kramer said

    I would just like to say how much I am enjoying Possum’s election analysis. I was gutted when Bryan shut down the blog comments on ozpolitics.info. The community here is much more gentile and I’ll be more than happy to throw in my two cents over the course of the campaign.

    I was impressed with the Rudd tax plan. Opposing the tax cuts, or completely matching them would have both looked equally bad. The emphasis on tax credits for children’s education and more money for the health sector at the expense of the cuts for high income earners was a smart move. This strategy is entirely complicit with Labor’s traditional strengths in education and health.

    This will give Kevin plenty of ammunition going into Sunday’s debate. Honestly, I don’t see Howard doing that well in the debate. Just wait until the questions start flying about Iraq, climate change and, above all, Workchoices. These are all key election topics and represent gaping chinks in Howard’s already battered breast-plate.

    Howard simply doesn’t have as much ammunition to throw at Rudd over the course of the campaign. I’m already beginning to think that the government would have served themselves better by designating a shorter campaign.

    We shall see…

  35. CL de Footscray said

    Lateline was yawn city tonight – enemy combatant got it right. But why do they say the wallop? Current theory – because most of the journos don’t know enough to know what they actually think, and some of them will think Kroger knows something … or Cameron or whatever. yes, I know that’s the bleeding obvious, but it’s still boring. That’s why Possum is the furry friend of election junkies wherever they may be … and why are they all lining up to say the rat’s back in town? Of course, it’s more interesting than 6 weeks of Ms Lohan’s wickedness in glossy photos on p. 5. Nonetheless, why haven’t any of them pointed out what Possum did – that basically it’s all business as usual and the libs are f@#&*d. Kroger’s demeanour said it all in fact. he looked exactly as he did the night of the last Vic State election – ‘Libs will win’ until they didn’t (about 7:30), and then a gripping take on how they could never win. A long 5 weeks loometh.

  36. The Keegan said

    Dear Gentle Furry Feral,

    It’s late, we are all a bit tired and emotional, we’ve got short attention spans and we need a new dolly (the tax thingy is passé already). Can you give us a bit of chat about what to expect in the wormathon on Sunday? Who will cut, who will thrust, who will parry, and what weapons will they be thrusting, cutting with ect…. We await your prognostication.

  37. Stuart Latter AKA Dinsdale Piranha said

    I think that Kroger should be fined for overuse of sporting and rock ‘n’ roll analogies.

    BTW I am an undiagnosed ADD sufferer and am thoroughly bored with being Dinsdale.

  38. Stig said

    Thanks EC for the wrap on Lateline. I missed it, but I’m OK with that now..

    I’d reckon Kroger was just there to try and rally the troops. So, wouldn’t have expected much in the way of content there. Piping Shrike has been commenting substantially about the internal crisis unfolding in the Liberal Party; I’d expect there to be many more attempts at rallying in the next 5 weeks, and beyond.

    Rod Cameron always looks tired. However, he can usually cut through the media noise and identify the substantive events, albeit with an ALP bias. I’d agree that Howard’s now pretty much used up his policy options. He is now waiting for the miracle to open his parachute.

  39. Craig McGarty said

    Possum
    I thought of what I think would be a neat addition to your sidebar.
    Include the four poll average from the 2004 election at the same point of the campaign and the seat prediction for that election.

    If you do this though I think you should recalculate the preferences based on allocations based on outcomes at the 2004 election.

    For example the first Nielsen of the 2004 campaign (Sep 3-5) said ALP 40 Coalition 46 Greens 9 and others 6 (yes I know it adds to more than 100) for what Nielsen said was a 2PP of 50/50.

    At the same level of imprecision the election result was ALP 38 Coalition 47 Greens 7 others 8 (TPP close to 53).

    If you could get the data to one decimal place for the pollsters then that would be even better.

  40. Bushfire Bill said

    “Me too”, disappointed, that is.

    The charge that Labor didn’t have a comprehensive tax policy looks stickable, now that we’ve seen how easily they adopted the government’s basic numbers.

    OK, they were new numbers and therefore cream. But to cave in because of the imminence of the Sunday debate looked weak.

    All Howard did was taunt Labor into appearing and they swallowed the bait, which meant they had to cobble together a tax response. It all fell into place.

    I think Rudd could have easily survived not showing, and perhaps even profited from it by saying Howard isn’t going to bully us into anything. There would have been no need for the Acme Instant Tax Policy and things would have been on more of an even keel. Also, any subsequent tax policy could have been announced in clean air.

    We have to hope there’s a greater strategy afoot here, but – as many have pointe out – if 2004 is anything to go by, that’s no certainty.

    Are the same bunch of losers who ran Labor’s 2004 campaign running this one? I am thinking in particular of Gary Gray, a perfect name for this turkey, by the way, or anyone remotely connected with him. I’ve never forgiven him for 1996.

  41. S said

    The government’s line is simple

    “We are better at the economy, tax policy is most of the economy, you don’t have a tax policy, boo hiss”

    This would have been underlined in red ink and capital letters during the debate since it was the only real policy out and it would have defined the campaign. A copy cat tax policy after the debate would be seen as a panic response, a radically different tax policy would be painted in 14 shades of economic recklessness.

    Following the libs may not be courageous or ‘smart’ in qualitative sense, but when was politics about anything other than leaving the right impression at the right time (and forgetting the reality?).

  42. Bushfire Bill said

    Alright S, I take your point and hope you’re right.

    But if Rudd uses the words “Education Revolution” once more without outlining what it means in practical, concrete policy, I’ll scream.

    And if Labor is cornered again by some bombshell ambush by Howard, I’ll yell and I’ll scream.

  43. Dave Solomon said

    I don’t think that they had much choice BB.

    Howard didn’t bully them – the MSM were canning them: the tax issue needed to be neutralised.

    What Rudd needs to do now is set the agenda early next week on an issue that is a Labor strength: let Howard play policy chasings.

  44. S said

    BB: I agree with you on the Education Revolution thing…… it does need a little meat in that sandwich.

  45. Dave Solomon said

    Should read “MSM were CANING them.” I should have got that right: I copped plenty of it at school!

  46. Bushfire Bill said

    Just got rung by Newspoll. It sounded busy in the background. As soon as I said I’d participate the guy said he had a computer problem and would ring me back in 15 sec.

    Rang back in a minute or so and said “Sorry, sir, there seems to be an IT problem and we won’t need your participation this time, sir. Thanks for agreeing in the first place, sir and sorry for any trouble caused, sir.”

    Then he hung up.

  47. Beach Ball said

    Bushfire Bill, the big difference for the ALP between this election and 3 years ago is that there is no Mark Latham.

    It is folk-lore how Latham turned his back on the the ALP machine once the election was called and ran his own show, there was little to no co-ordination between the two. There’s only one person to blame for the debacle of 2003, and that was Mark Latham.

  48. Bushfire Bill said

    Yeah, Beach Ball, he turned his back on the same bunch of turkies who claim to be campaign geniuses for Labor today. No bloody wonder, I say.

    BTW I applied my own spreadsheet formula (based on real preference figures from the Parliamentary Library from 2004) to Nielsen and Galaxcy’s primaries.

    Galaxy came out 53.1/46.9 (about equal to their own 2pp prediction) and Nielsen came out 54.6/45.4 (a bit above their 2pp prediction). Average between the two is 53.85 for Labor.

    Incidentally, this same formula generally pulls Newspoll back a bit, say from 56/44 to 55.5/45.5.

    Anyway to those who’ve been saying the Galaxy 2pp figures look a bit suspect (on the low side), my spreadsheet (at least) says they’re pretty-well spot on.

  49. Neil Cammack said

    I expect that Rudd is holding back until the campaign launch – “don’t fire until you can see the whites of their eyes, Carruthers” and all that.

    At the same time, if he can win by selling more sizzle than steak it makes sense – time enough later to suss out how much is really in the kitty.

    That presupposes that he’s not Bob Carr reincarnated, i.e. that he wants power in order to actually do things, and as things stand I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt there. I hope I’m right, because if Labor wins he’ll be PM for a long time.

    Judging by the generally positive headlines, and a lot of the comment, in this morning’s rags I think Rudd and Swan have gone a long way to neutralising the Coalition’s tax package as such, but they need to dispose of the perception that Howard is back in the game.

    If I were Rudd I’d be hoping for that Costello gets as much exposure as the media can manage – the more you see, the less there is to like, and there wasn’t much to begin with. His smart-arse persona utterly lacks the gravitas you’d hope for in a prospective national leader.

    More Tony Abbott would be icing on the cake.

  50. Tim said

    Costello’s problem is that he always thinks he’s the smartest person in the room – no matter which room he is in. The smirk betrays this megalomaniacal belief.

  51. dave said

    This weeks battle has mainly been on rodents turf, ie the economy, tax and union bashing.

    Hopefully the tomorrows debate and next week will not be allowed to just focus on those matters.

    Its time for Kevin to highlight to people that howard had the money to help fix hospitals and health in general nationwide, but wouldn’t do it and actually decreased the commonwealths contributions. Same on roads, schools etc etc.

    The point on health really needs to be rammed home forcefully – heaven only knows how many deaths have resulted from the commonwealth not providing their 50% hospital contribution. The money was there but rodent turned his back on australians in need of help.

    He must not be let off the hook on this.

  52. e-Too! on Tax

    Published by Possum Comitatus @ 3:09 pm

    The ALP tax response is a simple one; Me Too for those earning up to 180K using the Coalition tax plan as the base, remove the top tax rate and flatten the system over the coming years as the reform sizzle, …

  53. Verity said

    I was out in a marginal electorate today. The mood was positive for Rudd while the Liberal poster on the light poles showed manboobs. We know how this was the real downfall for Latham.

  54. Samuel K said

    Is anyone else starting to think that our beloved PM might be going senile? I am not joking. He didn’t know the cash rate the other day, he called a candidate by the wrong name – the guy up against Rudd no less – and now he says “Mr Speaker” in the middle of a speech to Bennelong voters… He tried to smooth it over, but you have to start wondering whether he is starting to like grandpa in the corner who everybody respects for what he has done in the past, but has lost his piercing intellect, sharpness and firm grasp on reality?

    A few more of these gaffes and you have to expect this question to start getting asked in the mainstream. The man is 68 years old after all.

    Any thoughts?

  55. kitty cannon

    e-Too! on Tax. « Possums Pollytics

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