A tax increase by any other name. I am sure that most Australians agree with the ideas behind a plan to give people with disabilities a better life by governments spending more. I am equally convinced that most Australians object to having their taxes increased. Which sentiment wins out is to be tested at the ballot box on September 14, and I am backing selfishness over altruism. Today's announcement of a 0.5% "levy" on incomes to pay for a National Disability Insurance Scheme looks like a political suicide note to me. Peace in her time. Tasmanian Premier Lara Giddings must be the political optimist of all times if she believes what she said yesterday after the state parliament finally passed legislation described as a peace deal between the forestry industry and environmentalists.

Giddings might have got most of her state Green coalition partners to support the deal, but federal Greens leader Christine Milne was having none of it. She declared the deal "dead."