Amongst all the vocal dissent against Julia Gillard after last week’s flood levy announcement, many seemed to forget that they voted her in. And it doesn’t seem to be the levy itself as perhaps the way it is proposed and the Government that is proposing it.
All evidence suggests that Tony Abbott, despite opposing Gillard’s levy, would have imposed a similar levy were it his decision to make. And the Howard Government imposed a number of levies that were not has vehemently opposed as this current flood levy.
Many decry the levy because they’ve already donated. Others dislike the idea of subsidizing the rebuilding of infrastructure on flood plains. Still others don’t understand why they should have to fund the building of public infrastructure at all, considering the many billions of taxpayer dollars which currently fund the erection of bridges and roads. But there is a minority who doesn’t particularly care what the money would be spent on; they believe it won’t be well spent regardless of good intentions. They simply don’t believe this Government has the ability to spend well.
The Government could scrap any number of overly generous grants which subsidise the lifestyle choices of Australians – first home buyers, paid parental leave, baby bonus, child care rebates. Perhaps it should have thought with the budget in mind when they paid for election campaign advertising. Or maybe they could slash the public service workforce like the Opposition promised to do if they made it into power.
One would not begrudge a levy if the Government was able to manage the budget, but it is difficult to trust a Government who went from a $20 billion surplus in 2008 to a $54 billion deficit less than 2 years later. After all, we have a Prime Minister who has never had to pay school fees or buy over-priced school uniforms; never struggled to pay a mortgage while meeting the other financial demands of raising a family.
But then, we did manage to vote her in.
© Eva Whiteley 2011