An ATO beat-up

Martin Gordon writes: Re. “Corporate tax avoidance is rife — but the ATO is willing to trust them” (yesterday). I was surprised when the media reported breathlessly that the oversight of taxpayers would be outsourced with some spin about it being of great benefit to bigger taxpayers. When I worked for the ATO it had assessors who looked at returns.

Then about a quarter of century ago came self-assessment, tax returns are occasionally audited and over many decades taxpayers have relied on tax agents and accountants. So has the ATO, as it would not be possible to keep the cost of collection of revenue around 1% if you did otherwise. The vast bulk of revenue comes to the ATO automatically, it has for many decades. The best interpretation of the front page treatment of this “issue” that it is a beat-up.

Too much opinion, Razer

Gwen Andrews writes: Re. “Razer’s class warfare: it’s the economy, stupid (or why Scorsese is a girl’s blouse)” (yesterday). I can’t decide because by the time I got through her article, I couldn’t remember what she was writing about. It was a shock to see Martin Scorcese pop up again at the end — I had forgotten all about him in the welter of views about Rudd, Bolt, Swan, Plibersek, O’Reilly and others.

Too much opinion, Ms Razer, for one article.

Asylum seeker secrecy the real problem

Romina Aquinchay writes: Re. “Government, not people smugglers, set immigration policy” (yesterday). On reflection I re-read what I sent Crikey, and I never meant to imply that all Coalition voters are “bogans”, indeed they are not. Perhaps I should have taken more care in my phrasing.

What I meant was that there is a section of Australian society that works itself into a frenzy about asylum seekers / refugees / illegals, whatever you choose to call them. Some of these “bogans” would have voted for whatever party was stronger on border protection.

I too think we should take more refugees, but I am not holding my breath for this to happen. I agree that we should treat refugees more humanely. I accept that mandatory detention happens and we cannot solve all the world’s problems. What I object to is the government secrecy, the refusal to give updates, the changing of scheduled updates.  I also object to most media passively accepting the hiding of information.