Crikey writes: Re. “The Oz continues to digest Biz Spec, as Kohler’s end date nears” (yesterday). Crikey’s corespondent wrote that Stephen Bartholomeusz’s contract with News Corp ends before Alan Kohler’s does in July 2016. This isn’t true — it ends at the same time.

On the NSW election

Ben Aveling writes: Re. “It’s back to the future with the jubilant Greens” Margot Saville writes that she’s not worried about WestConnex because “the potential financiers of this project will work out it’s a dud years before the politicians”. Does she realise that she, and I, and everyone else in NSW are the financiers for this? The federal government is throwing in a few billion of taxpayers money and the NSW government will borrow the rest, supposedly to be recovered by selling the tunnel, once it has been built and traffic volumes (or lack thereof) are clear.

Frank Ward writes: A thorough drubbing or a remarkable swing for NSW Labor? Depends who you ask” (yesterday). What the election showed is that the ALP has to get back to selecting grassroots candidates. Here in Port Stephens Kate Washington was active all over the electorate for the last five years including the previous election. She came across as concerned and interested whereas the Libs were working on their usual basis that if you have a problem just spend more cash and you can win as always, and as they did in the last council election. Candidates like Cameron Murphy in East Hills have no local profile to make voters interested in changing their vote.

Niall Clugston writes: Re. “Baird’s secret to success: serving his constituents” (yesterday).  How can we take Crikey’s editorial comment seriously: “Labor needs to take a hard look at itself, or risk the fate that it will never govern in its own right in NSW again”?  This is after, according to William Bowe, the biggest swing to NSW Labor since 1941. Another “drubbing” like this would put the ALP back in office.

On the tax white paper

John Richardson writes:Treasury’s panacea: surrender to tax dodgers“, yesterday. Who gives a toss what the regulated corporate tax rate is? I’m more concerned about the effective tax rate, with the 40% or 326,665 companies producing taxable income averaging an effective rate of just 26%. Meanwhile, the remaining 490,000 or 60% of companies and 70% of mining companies pay no income tax at all. If the government was truly serious about taxation reform, it would busy itself campaigning for simple single rate, revenue-based company tax, rather than fashioning more straw men to argue about “the one that’s already got-away”.

It’s often said that the best taxation systems are the simplest and by adopting a revenue-based tax on companies, the huge cost to them and the economy of working out what taxable income is would not only disappear (as would most of the tax minimisation industry) but the tax rate necessary to underwrite government programs would be far smaller & the outcome far more equitable if applied to all companies.

Of course, those companies who currently contribute nothing would obviously be unhappy with such a suggestion, as would the taxation accountants who derive their living from gaming the current system; but then again, if the entire system wasn’t so driven by greed and irresponsibility, perhaps it would still be working and there wouldn’t be such compelling arguments to change it?

 

Peter Fray

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