Flood levy?


No, I don’t want. I don’t care if Julia says that it will be less than $1 per week, and only for 60% of citizens. I don’t believe her. It may be true, now, right now, but it won’t always be.

My experience of politicians issuing a ‘once-off’ tax, is that once in the previously unsupported becomes the expected. The rule of normalization. I don’t mean the statistical organisation of figures but the theory that once a appening occurs, and is accepted as having happened, it leads to the expectation that it may happen again. Society is sensitised to the possibility and from this sensitisation, comes expectation that it will.

We all recognise disasters of this level are rare. But by looking for out of the ordinary sources of income to fund them, even just this once, we are validating the availability of that potential source of income in the future, even under different scenarios.

(The following is not relevant at all to disaster scenarios but is mentioned to merely give you an idea of the process).

Remember Australia’s free tertiary education? Remember the ‘once off’ fee introduced to help fund university administration costs? Yeah, me too. My kids probably won’t go to tertiary level, in spite of their intelligence, because we simply can’t afford it.

Helping out the flood victims? Yes, so much yes. It being a dictated act, with lack of choice? No.

(And before anybody starts sending me nasty responses, I’ll have you know that I donated pretty much all of my last week’s salary to the Queensland Flood Appeal.  Does this mean that prior donors get slugged twice? In short, are people going to be financially punished for genuine altruistic responses?)


About quirkycharm

I like to think that I have a certain quirky charm but I am probably being optimistic. Acquired taste, perhaps, which many don't acquire. This is about my fifth blog out there. My hosting companies kept going out of business or my IT exhusband kept hacking into them and I would move again. I don't do twitter, I barely do facebook, I don't try and 'monetize' my blog. I love my husband, my grown children and my job and this particular incarnation of oversharing my life comes at a time when I am the most content that I have ever been. I write always, sporadically during the good stuff and exhaustingly during the bad.
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7 Responses to Flood levy?

  1. Snowy says:

    The donations went to the flood victims. The levy goes to repairing damaged infrastructure, such as roads, rail, and ports. The floods were the worst in living memory. If you earn less than $50,000 pa you don’t pay anything. If you earn $100,000 pa you pay less than $5 a week for year. That doesn’t sound too unreasonable to me.

    • quirkycharm says:

      The sum isn’t unreasonable. The method of getting it is. I am concerned that once a disaster levy is imposed, it will always be there. I haven’t noticed any government party being proactive in removing previously established taxes, once they have been already implemented. If given the option, I might voluntarily agree to a greater sum than five dollars a week being deducted from my wages to support the bill (always assuming it would benefit those flood victims here in my own state, which I think it would). I just resent being told that it is a given. If I felt that I freely had that extra income and I wouldn’t miss it, well, I’d have already purchased private health insurance and I’ve chosen not to do that because, currently, I don’t have that freedom.

  2. Snowy says:

    The government has already said the levy is for a year, so I don’t think that is a legitimate matter for concern, given that an election is due not long after. The levy is not about giving assistance to flood victims. It is about rebuilding infrastructure damaged in the floods no matter which state. Even the Liberal Premier of your state agrees with the levy. To his eternal credit, he could have followed Abbott and tried to make political capital from it. He didn’t. Private health insurance costs much more than $5 a week, and it’s only people earning $100,000 a year that have to pay that much levy.

  3. quirkycharm says:

    We are going to have to differ on our opinions here.

    I reiterate: I don’t care about the financial aspect of it. I do care that it is a levy forced upon people. I may not ever end up paying it but I don’t think that forcing it on higher income earners is at all fair.

    Yes, your points are all valid but my point is that once this disaster levy comes in, it is so much easier for everybody to accept it as the status quo.

    Only for a year? Then an election comes up? I have seen in the past how easy it is for future governments to first condemn their opposition’s policies and then quietly let the matter drop, before building upon those same policies and demanding more and more. After all, the hard work is in the initial acceptance.

    Seems to me that we’ve had quite a few changes of government since Medicare levels came in, since tertiary education billing…..I don’t see any sign of those initial ‘once off/purely adminstrative’ costs going down, or even disappearing.

    Yes, it’s above a certain income level now but, given past means tested levys and the rate at which the income threshold rapidly dropped each new budget, I don’t hold out much hope for the same situation not to occur here.

    (And once again, it’s not about what I would pay. Yes, I would. I don’t think it fair that people who have a higher income than myself, achieving it through their own efforts, should be penalized for that. For me, this really is the principle of the thing)

  4. Snowy says:

    Ok, we’ll agree to disagree. Have a good weekend, Kitty. And you know me well enough to know that I mean that.

    • quirkycharm says:

      I do know that. A great thing I have taken from the old whitepages site and its sense of community is that we can have opposing views, even debate them, and yet the discourse is not heated or malicious.

      There is not a comment of yours that doesn’t have me considering a different view and I am grateful that so many varying points of view can be the cause of discussion and perhaps a new perspective on things.


  5. Snowy says:

    Definitely a two way street in regards to mutual respect, Kitty. Yes, I have a soft spot for the community feel of the old Whitepage days. I’m sorry to see it fold, even though it was taken over by spammers. I cut my blogging teeth there, and for that alone I will always be grateful. I did post a link a few days ago that showed it was sold for five thousand dollars. I wonder if it will ever surface again.

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