They’re an impromptu mess.

A government that took office promising to cut red tape in half (and then
introduced a mountain of new tax paperwork) is reforming IR regulation with a
687 page bill that it expects Parliament to pass in a few weeks.

It’s supposed to enhance workplace choices – but not if the Government
doesn’t like your choice. You can swap two weeks’ leave for more cash, but you
can’t even offer to trade less cash for re-instatement of your current
protections against “unfair dismissal.” If your union suggests it, it can be
fined $33,000.

I asked the Government’s WorkChoices hotline if this was true. A quite
senior officer responded: “How would I know? The bill is 687 pages long.”
That’s choice for you. In fact clause 101 D of the bill empowers the minister
to ban any other choices made in agreements he doesn’t like them.

But the big problem is that as the dole is withdrawn and tax is paid on
wages, those going from welfare to work still often see around forty cents in
each additional dollar they earn. Yet we’re still pre-occupied with cutting the
48.5 percent marginal tax rate for high income earners.

Read the full article here.