On gambling ad restrictions

John Kotsopoulos writes: Re. “Gambling restrictions are an assault on free speech” (Friday). I am gobsmacked that Bernard Keane has taken up the fight against the so called nanny State especially as it relates to the phenomenal rise in sports betting.

Does he not see the irony of tax deductible advertising being used to promote an activity that potentially exposes the sporting community to corruption and taxpayers to an ever growing welfare bill.

Complaints against the growth in sports betting have nothing to do with restraining free speech. Gambling promoters have the benefit of tax deductible advertising to spread their message. The rest of us have no such advantage.

Why a universal basic income is a good idea

Peter Kemp writes: Re. “Why a universal basic income is a terrible idea” (Friday). Andrew Leigh does not believe a universal basic wage is good policy. He directs people as follows:

“So next time someone advocates a universal basic income, ask them how they’d like to pay for it: by making Australia the most unequal country in the world, or by making Australia the most highly-taxed country in the world.”

I advocate  a universal basic wage, and my answer is: I would pay with increased taxes. But here the honourable gentleman is being disingenuous at the very least. Every person already paying tax would have this extra income taxed at the marginal rate. Our taxation would appear high but only because it recoups money given out by the government in the first place. Adjustments to the tax rates could result in a steady (not necessarily straight line) increase in living standards and cancel the handout for higher incomes. We may even be able to completely eliminate DSS. 

So far so good but the real sticking points may be:

  1. Multiple person households.  Shock horror … no need to divorce and pretend to live elsewhere!
  2. Children. Allowances for parenting? Transfer age to child? Age-related taper?

On suing the ABC

Glyn May writes: Re. “Mayne: 25 media personalities who have sued for defamation” (Thursday). I didn’t sue the ABC, I simply  pointed out the obvious: that, in my case, Paul Barry’s rant was a  display of disgraceful, incompetent journalism. He was WRONG!  Just like Crikey.

And, by the way, I spent 40 years as a working journalist — 20 of those on metropolitan daily newspapers. Then another 20 years (60 years in all) as a journalist/PR consultant for a string of international corporations.

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Peter Fray
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