Now that the details of the Flood Levy have been officially released, the coalition is on the war path. What did Tony Abbott say?
“As soon as the Government puts on a tax, it is not an expression of generosity.”
Of course the first words out of Abbott’s mouth was that it was a TAX!!!
But wait a minute, hold the horses… what did Joe Hockey tell me when I posed the following question to him on Qanda back in May?
JON HARRIS: Over here. The Opposition will impose a levy on business to fund a paid parental leave. When does a levy become a tax?
JOE HOCKEY: When it becomes permanent.
TONY JONES: So when you propose it it’s not a tax, it’s a levy, but when…
JOE HOCKEY: Well, can I tell you I think…
TONY JONES: …you do it it’s a tax?
JOE HOCKEY: Look there are a vast number of levies. There have been gun buyback levies, sugar levies, Ansett levy. Remember that levy that was in place for a lot of travellers, and you would hope and expect and we have a history of it, that when you get the budget to surplus you get rid of levies. That’s what we do. We did that. We had the gun buyback levy. We had the Ansett levy and we got rid of them. We got rid of them once they had raised the funds necessary.
Oh I see – when the coalition proposes a levy it is just that, a levy, but when the ALP proposes a levy it is immediately labeled a tax. And note the parts that I put in bold.
I trust that Mr Hockey will be correcting his leader. I wont be holding my breath.