Abbott gets in touch with boat people. I was down at Villawood on Saturday visiting some detainees when guess who walks in the door — Tony Abbott. He was on a tour of the facility with his entourage. He sees the detainees, obviously isn’t sure what to do, and then walks over to them and starts shaking hands in default electioneering mode. His only words: “So did you arrive on boats?”

ATO in catch-up mode. Just how far behind is the Australian Tax Office? I filed my 2009 personal income tax return through my accountant mid-February. It’s a simple one. But my accountant only received the ATO’s assessment notice on May 27, which mean it took something like 13 weeks instead of the usual two weeks. Even more funny, the ATO is still sending notices saying I owe them tax when I don’t because I was made bankrupt in February following action by … the ATO.

What is going on with the Tax Office? When you call their 131142 line it seems to be a lottery to which automated phone line you are transferred. Then there is no-one to take your call, or even the option to stay on hold. If you are lucky enough to be put through to the Automated Call Back service, there is no immediate notification as to what times are available — instead you have to enter times one at a time to find out when one is available. The callback system says that it operates between 8am and 6pm, but when you eventually get through to finding out what times actually are available, they are after 6pm. And woe betide should you enter too many times to get one in business hours that is available — you will be cut off and have to start the entire process from scratch once again.

Problem children bring more school cash. Top ranking public schools advise parents their children have Aspergers, attention deficit disorders and social problems in order to rubber stamp extra funding.