has new polling today suggesting the electorate is split on the need for a debt tax. The Liberal fraternity, meanwhile, seems anything but ...
Former Liberal Treasurer Peter Costello
"The proposed tax levy has no economic benefit; it will detract from growth by reducing consumption."
Former Liberal frontbencher Peter Reith
"I don’t like the deficit tax, I don’t like it at all."
Former Liberal leader John Hewson
"You've got tax concessions, for example, in superannuation from which you can raise a substantial amount of money [instead of a debt levy]. They are heavily biased in favour of the wealthy, they don't impact on immediate economic activity, they impact on savings behaviour down the track."
Commission of Audit head Tony Shepherd
"I'd say that if they were to bring in something like that, they'd need to be very careful about implementing any of our recommendations which have an immediate impact on the individual."
Liberal MP Warren Entsch
"It’s a tax -- it’s not a levy."
With friends like these ...