A FAIR TAX SYSTEM?
Four-time Walkley Award winning political commentator and Churchill Fellow, has returned to the fray over concern that the integrity of news dissemination is continually being threatened by a partisan media.
My problem has always been my abrasiveness. If I figure something is wrong or unfair, I go in boots and all.
It has come back to bite me often but I don’t give a fuck. Too many incompetent people gain important positions in private enterprise and government through blatant brown-nosing. Some of the most competent people remain unutilised on the shop floor because they refuse to demean themselves.
People may possess the gift of the gab but it does not necessarily make them good administrators.
The best administrators have the ability to recognise ability. The value of a company is dependent solely on its personnel and clientele. Buildings can be leased by any fool.
Australia’s worst administrators are safely ensconced in the public service where there is no yardstick for ability or accountability.
Fat public service pay packets and luxuriant conditions, a supporting private sector could never justify, attract the worst of the workforce.
Given competent administrators and diligent underlings the public service could function at 15% of the workforce… not at the inflated, costly, outrageous 53% of the workforce it does now.
Can governments challenge this obscene obesity that goes hand in hand with socialism? No! Why fuck with over with 53% of the workforce? That’s a sizeable chunk, in fact it’s the majority, of the electorate! Governments hide the true percentage. Try asking for the true numbers in Question Time. All you will get is total obfuscation.
When Conservative governments finally get to take the reins, they can’t wind back the excesses. If they try to, they are sentenced by the electorate to further terms in opposition.
So, Labor governments now grace the nation’s Federal system and every State in the country (at this moment). I wonder why.
The poor small-business operator puts his life savings into his business and works 100 hours a week at the cost of time with his family. It’s a huge risk for the small businessman as only 10% of all new enterprises ever succeed. The public servant has no such stress. He leaves work at 4 minutes past 4 and has every weekend to himself with paid holidays, superannuation, loadings, stress leave (can’t find my pencil) endless sickies and other conditions it would take a page to list.
They sit their fat non-competitive arses on soft chairs pushing pens around, pretending they are part of a system that matters. The small businessman works into the wee hours each night attempting to complete compliance forms under the threat of penal provision. The public service demands such compliance in order to ensure they don’t have to do any work to bleed his little business for every cent they can so their pay packets can get fatter. When small businesses go broke (as they regularly do) the public service does not assist their milch cow. They simply move on to bleed dry the next new business.
Before the end of each financial year, public service departments order thousands of computers and other equipment they will never use and don’t ever intend to use. This equipment sits idly gathering dust in costly, rented buildings, destined eventually to become landfill. If it was shown that they could operate with less or the same funds, their inflated budgets would be cut. Catastrophe!
This is the perennial joke in Canberra… spend it or lose it! The mad rush each year to spend superfluous, unneeded funds on superfluous, unneeded equipment is a regular Canberran giggle.
The poor businessman actually does need the equipment but has to find the funds and pay exorbitant taxes to secure it.
Is it fair? Of course not but most people turn a blind eye.
My stance is of little significance but if more people took the same stance, things would change.
The problem with the bureaucracy and government is that they are paid good wages. But good wages don’t attract good people. High wages attract good people. Singapore has had their act together for decades. They compete with private enterprise for talent. A million dollars a year is at the lower end of remuneration for the public service there.
The whole country is run like efficient clockwork… it is a business, as it should be. If only we offered that sort of money we would attract people with proven business acumen, we would need fewer of them and rid ourselves of incompetent fools. A competent CEO is worth a minimum 10 million a year… our Prime Minister doesn’t get a quarter of that! So, what quality of administrators can we expect?
My friend Rick Seib was told by the ATO that he owed them $18,000 for driving his car in a private capacity and not necessarily in the course of his business.
Rick objected and told them he was seeking his accountant’s advice. The reply from the ATO? “Seek any legal or accountant’s advice and we will assess you at double the amount.” Rick paid the $18,000.
Blackmail is also a valuable tool of their trade which surreptitiously usurps over 80c of each of our earned dollars. The GST is (and was always going to be) a fraud and has increased poverty. This blatant theft is still hidden in undisclosed prices of commodities. These hidden costs were supposed to be replaced by the burdensome GST… they weren’t.
Up to 30% of the cost of a new home is taken in taxes and charges. So how much do they really care that young couples can’t afford a home?
Will any government seek to curb these Agencies’ abuses? Bullshit they will! Why would they? They can appear to be at arm’s length from such illegality while reaping the ill-gotten funds… and the funds are used to pork-barrel electorates, ensuring them incumbency.
They could raise their own levels of pay but prefer to have a Commission do that for them so they can keep any potential criticism of that at arm’s length.
My company’s 5-year contract with Rupert Murdoch was determined by the ATO as having been worded incorrectly. Therefore, they said, I needed to back-pay them PAYE tax for the five years, a figure of $800,000.
“Hang on”, I explained, “what about the PAYE tax and all the company tax, at a much higher rate, that I have already paid you?” “Oh, we have decided not to take that into consideration”, they explained.
They knew I would need to spend a fortune to get the ruling reversed. I wrote them a letter saying that they were a bunch of thieves and would never get a cent!
I heard not a word from them until 3 months later; “We have reconsidered the assessment and will settle for $100,000.”
I sent another letter: “Please refer to the first letter, you are a bunch of thieving pricks and you will not get one cent!” After another few months, I received a further letter saying: “We are prepared to settle the whole matter for $25,000.” Again I wrote back saying: “Please refer to the previous two letters. You are a thieving bunch of bastards and you will never receive one fucking cent!” I never heard from them again. They never received one cent!
It’s a giant game of bluff. They play the game with people they believe they can scare into paying them money that is not owed.
It’s really a game of chess with a difference… if they start to lose, they upset the board, back-date the rules, and claim they won anyway!
If they can’t win legally they convince the government to re-legislate retrospectively. Then they win, no matter who was right!
All I can say is stand up to them… tell them to get fucked and dare the lazy bastards to sue you! They won’t if they are wrong… and they are nearly always wrong… they know they are wrong, but will try the bluff tactic first anyway.
How many billions do they extract from fearful, hard-working people who do not owe them anything? Lots! And why do they concentrate on celebrities? Because they get the publicity necessary to appear like they are actually doing something.
I have paid all my taxes over many years but I refuse to be bullied into excesses by the very servants I pay wages to.
If the original Country Party proposal of 25c in the dollar flat tax had been adopted, there would be none of this chicanery and there would be no buildings full of over-paid mercenaries attempting to steal from us. The government would get more in taxes than it does now because the ATO could be run economically with six people. The tax-paying public, in general, is happy to self-comply to what is fair.
The Australian Tax Office is anointed with Draconian powers that operate in defiance of our Constitution.
Illegal default judgments imposed without judicial countenance, mean the accused is found guilty until he can prove his innocence… and at his own cost!
What chance does the small businessman have when faced with the limitless coffers of the ATO. They have all the best law firms on retainer so that you can’t approach any of them or seek the best advice and the law firms soak up the assured funds with glee.
They use our hard-earned money to fight us with. We cannot afford to kick against the pricks. They know that!
They target their victims well. They have the ability, via compulsory disclosure of our affairs, to discover all about us that is relevant to their case before it even gets to court.
The ATO has buildings full of hundreds of people poring through newspapers looking for likely targets, preferably celebrities, who will give them the publicity they need to reach their budgets.
Ever noticed, just before the end of each financial year, the ATO issues a Press release informing us of new computers they have acquired to catch us cheating with? Purely scare tactics, as the ATO is an incompetent, bloated organization that cannot hope to monitor anything. They just pretend they do. Pity we couldn’t have some new computers to catch them cheating with.
They lie and blackmail, cheat and coerce. They make new rulings constantly that have no judicial relevancy and if you disagree you have to take them to court. In other words they make a new policy ruling, you must pay. They have the full support of every money-hungry government in their concocted cases against you.
PM Fraser even encouraged insidious retrospective legislation, at the ATO’s instigation, to get money they had no right to as a result of their own original stupidity. Retrospective legislation is akin to making it illegal to park somewhere when you are currently legally parked there… you pay the fine, retrospectively or you go to gaol.
The ATO has mountains of unattended paperwork from 25 years ago and the pile is growing. By targeting celebrities, they get the quick publicity and the quick dollars they want and anyway the case has to fall on to their desk fortuitously. Thus they ensure they keep their jobs and wages via rapidly increasing budgets as a result of appearing to be vigilant.
The vast majority of profits from Paul Hogan’s movies went to the tax office. They aren’t happy with that so they publicly call him a tax cheat, hoping he will capitulate in order to avoid the bad publicity.
He didn’t… he told the bastards to fuck off. If a few more celebrities did the same it would send a message to the ATO that such filthy tactics won’t work.
There should be an awards night each year for all the people who have successfully told the ATO to fuck off.
Never be concerned about being called a tax cheat… it’s an honor and should be rewarded.
If you prevent a bunch of hoodlums robbing a bank you get a bravery award… so too, it should be, if you can prevent the ATO hoodlums from stealing money illegally from innocent people.
I think I’ll get hold of Hoges and we’ll start a Logie night. (Maybe a Hogie night.) The prestigious FATO Logies awards. Should work.
Any public service Departmental Head (and I have known many) has, as his main consideration, the maintenance (or escalation) of his department’s budget. Nothing matters more. It is what he works toward each year and it is his acknowledged mark of “success” against his peers.
Public Service is a misnomer…it’s Self Service!
(excerpt from my bio written aprox 2010)