Some
interesting information on the new deserving poor in The Australian today, courtesy of Patricia Karvelas:

John Howard has been told by his department
he could save taxpayers up to $100 million a year by scrapping payments to
stay-at-home mothers if their family income exceeds $125,000.

The advice coincides with research by the
parliamentary library revealing that more than 2,000 families in NSW’s ten
wealthiest postcodes receive family payments, as do more than 1,500 families in Victoria’s top ten wealth postcodes.

The briefing note to the Prime Minister says
the non-means-tested Family Tax Benefit (Part B) supports single-income
families, and is “sometimes cited as welfare for the rich” as it is
handed out regardless of the working parent’s income.

Do households with six figure incomes need to be on
the public teat? Maybe. The Government is raking in record amounts in tax, after
all.

The Treasurer cited a testimonial from a curious
source on the GST in Parliament on Monday:

I was rather interested in an unexpected
endorsement of economic policy last week from the new Premier of Western
Australia, Mr Alan Carpenter, who
noted the growth of the national economy. He noted the low unemployment and
said, “The GST, which I opposed, has been in the interests of the country.”

Could Carpenter actually be talking about the record
revenue flooding in to government coffers, thanks to the GST – money that the
government is taking to spend rather than trusting us with our own funds?

That sort of thing may well delight Labor premiers,
but should be anathema to a Liberal treasurer. Absolute anathema. Just like welfare payments doled
out regardless of income, in fact.

Peter Fray

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