On super concessions

Peter Matters writes:When it comes to unsustainability, super concessions are king” (Friday). All that talk by this government about concessions to vulnerable people have to be paid for by savings elsewhere in the budget. There are not only billions of dollars available by increasing the taxes on those who can afford to pay considerably more  than they actually do, there is also another field to improve the economy than taxation — to wit, having the courage and the vision to spend heavily on fields which will increase quality of life as well as provide more employment in the foreseeable future and therefore increase the tax base.
Once again, quoting Warren Buffett’s remark: “My secretary pays more tax than I do”.

Still foolish after all these years

Steve Blume writes: Re. “Bernard’s (racy) book” (Friday). We were very proud in the Crikey bunker to see Keane at the top of the list, but we did manage to read all the way to page nine, where Greg Sheridan’s memoir When We Were Young and Foolish is listed. Surely the sub-title has been left out: When We Were Young and Foolish —We’re Older Now …  

The real infrastructure losses

David Edmunds writes: Re. “Abbott presides over a lost year on infrastructure” (May 6). In reference to Bernard Keane’s piece on declining public-sector infrastructure investment in Australia, it is worth noting that the destruction of the NBN and the renewable energy sector arguably have a much greater impact than the decline in public-sector investment. Further, the uncertainty surrounding the future Gonski education money adds to the likely decline.

As the investment that Mr Abbott is interested in funding has no necessary relation to economic or social good, and both the NBN and renewables investment are tightly linked to the future of our country in both the medium and long-term, this failure in public policy is far more profound than the ABS graph in Bernard’s piece suggests.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey