Please stay strong Mr Storer.
It is dumbfounding that the Coalition would even be attempting to pass another 68 billion in company tax cuts whilst funding to important programs all over the country is slashed or frozen. If you are one of those people who like forwarding poorly spelt memes about how we can’t afford to support immigrants or refugees (never mind that offshore detention is by far the most expensive way of dealing with them) because we have homegrown issues with homelessness etc, then you should be equally outraged that the government thinks it can sacrifice tens of billions of dollars in lost tax revenue that it could spend on education, infrastructure and other vital sectors (I would like to say homelessness, but we know the Coalition has no interest in supporting the poor or disadvantaged).
The case for the tax cuts is pretty weak. The best that it’s most ardent enthusiasts can manage is that by cutting company tax rates, we grow the national economy which will result in more jobs and better wages for workers. Unfortunately for the Coalition, this has been largely shown to be rubbish. Globally the experience of vapid neoliberalism has shown that growth in the economy does not automatically mean benefits to workers, with wealth increasingly concentrating among a super-rich elite. Australia has been no exception. In an era of record corporate profits we have experienced major wage stagnation, even after 30-odd billion dollars worth of corporate tax cuts last year thanks to the treacherous Nick Xenaphon and One Nation.
No wonder then that a massive corporate tax cut is a hard sell to anyone who expects justification for such a huge expense. The argument is further undermined by most economic modelling casting doubt that the tax cuts would create significant growth in the economy, with analysis suggesting the growth could be a as little as 1% over 50 years!
So at best we can say about the tax cuts is that they may cause economic growth, which in turn may have a positive impact on wage levels.
If they weren’t so dishonest and self-serving, you could have almost felt sorry for the Coalition politicians charged with selling this rubbish, especially in the last week when a leaked survey by the Business Council of Australia (who had earlier taken out full page newspaper ads backing the tax cuts) revealed over 80% of businesses surveyed replied that they would not invest more or employ more staff.
Yet somehow, this “Jobs and growth,” government that in reality stands for neither was still willing to push this policy. Not even Newscorp- who as a direct beneficiary of the policy are doing everything they can to spin it- can really make it sound like a good idea. It seems truly bizarre that a government already struggling in the polls should even contemplate it, but in reality it shows who they really represent- with many of them eyeing lucrative corporate jobs after politics.
However while the Coalition is owned by big business, they don’t control the senate. Independent senators are not as beholden to the corporate world so you might think they are less easy to convince of this.
But you would largely be wrong. As she did for the previous tax cut and most cuts to welfare and services, Hanson once again proved herself the willing stooge of the liberal party. It is worth noting that while most figures have One Nation voting with the Coalition 80% of the time, the true nature of their faustian pact is somewhat worse. Check on Theyvoteforyou and you will find the times One Nation don’t vote are usually procedural matters when they don’t bother voting at all. In passing legislation, One Nation almost always votes with the Coalition.
So I was glumly resigning myself to the reality that more of this borderline corrupt mismanagement of our national economy was about to be passed into law.
Enter Time Storer.
Like most of Australia, I had no idea who Tim Storer was up until about a week ago. With One Nation in their pocket the government had reportedly been confident of picking up the final votes they needed through the volatile Derryn Hinch (who I don't trust to lie straight in bed) and the previously anonymous Storer.
However Storer was decisive in his stance that he would not vote for poor legislation and the Coalition has had to shelve the policy until after the budget. No doubt it will rise again- the corporations that own the Coalition will not be deterred so easily- with a selection of inducements for Mr Storer. And I note that Newscorp has already begun their attacks on him. Let’s hope he stays strong on this one.