Morris Iemma’s first decision as premier was to abolish the controversial vendor tax on investment property, at a cost of
around $350 million.

But did the abolition of the vendor tax have anything to
do with the huge $1.6 million donations given to the ALP before the 2003 state election by property lobby groups (see this story)?

Was Bob
Carr’s retirement and Morrie’s move to power all part of the same play,
with the abolition of the vendor tax a major part of the
deal? With the “weight of money” theory at work in politics, was Bob Carr pushed because he wouldn’t or
couldn’t change the vendor tax which was hurting those eight big donors and the
many, many smaller ones in and around the party and head office in Sussex

Obviously Bob Carr didn’t like the vendor tax, but
because it was a parting gift from Michael Eagan who bolted from
Parliament last year, Carr was stuck with it.

The tax
was altered in Andrew Refshuage’s first and only budget as treasurer, but not
abolished. Is that why Refshauge went as well on Tuesday when his left faction
rolled him?

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey