Business as usual won’t cut it after a bailout
Mathias Cormann correctly pointed out this week that ‘‘not all businesses are going to be able to be saved’’ as a result of the pandemic.
A likely recipient of any bailout is Qantas. Once again, the people doing the bailing out will be the people who bailed out the banks to the tune of $120billion 12 years ago – ie, mums and dads. They are the economy-class mums and dads who have to endure the increasingly cramped seating arrangements and other forms of passenger discomfort imposed by Qantas so as to increase its profitability. Qantas cannot be allowed to fail. It is a critical component of Australian infrastructure and has an impeccable safety record. But why can’t any bailout have regard to what steps the company agrees to undertake in future to improve its treatment of its customers and employees?
Alternatively, what portion of its future annual net profits will it undertake to allocate to a capital reserve fund to deal with future Black Swan events?
Shenton Park, WA
Making the case for a Universal Basic Income
There is debate about mechanisms for providing ongoing support for casual workers, self-employed workers and small business owners in the situation caused by COVID-19. Similarly, the recent bushfires highlighted the plight of workers and small business owners deprived of income through no fault of their own. The recent drought and floods also identified a lack of support for farmers and regional businesses doing it tough.
The ad-hoc responses to all these “disasters” should give pause for a rethink about the feasibility of a Universal Basic Income to be paid to all those over the age of 18 years. A revenue-neutral UBI system overseen by the ATO and accompanied by the abolition of the plethora of inefficient grants, exemptions and supplements would see many of the current anomalies in our system overcome. It could mean that deeming rates could be abolished and investment income added to the UBI and taxed at normal rates instead of the current distortions. It could also mean that self-funded retirees and others benefiting disproportionately from the current broken system pay their fair share.
UBI would mean that citizens affected by disasters would have ongoing support without the need for emergency relief, currently badly organised and administered.
If UBI were adopted, Centrelink should be almost abolished, adding to the savings.
Soldiers Point, NSW
Cap credit card interest at a maximum 10pc
For a very long time the banks have been getting away with highway robbery. Credit card interest rates are still around 20 per cent when interest-bearing deposits attract about 1.5 per cent if you catch the bank manager in a weak moment.
It’s time to cap credit card interest rates. That will help no end of people through this crisis. Not a cent more than 10 per cent, and that’s generous. Parliament should legislate this next week as part of the package.
Small businesses need effective tax relief
I confess to not being across all the government’s efforts to deal with the economic chaos presented by COVID-19, so I may have missed the one thing that would help me with my small business.
Between February 29 and May, I will have handed over to the government two months’ worth of GST, three company tax instalments, two quarterly PAYG instalments and the balance of my income tax for FY19. I am also handing over my staff’s PAYG and superannuation contributions.
I do not need more equipment that saves me some tax one day well into the future. I need immediate relief from the relentless drain on cash flow.
If the government really wants to keep small businesses running, it needs to defer some of our forthcoming tax obligations; nothing else will save many of the small businesses that are perilously close to folding.
Is Tasmania’s closing of its doors even valid?
Not being of the legal profession, could one of our more knowledgeable citizens comment on section 92 of the constitution and the recent requirement of the Tasmanian government to force Australian citizens crossing the border into a 14-day quarantine?
‘‘Intercourse’’ is the ability ‘‘to pass to and from among the States without burden, hindrance or restriction’’, “where a law imposes a burden by reason of the crossing of the border, or it has the effect of preventing or impeding the crossing of the border, it will be held invalid if that is its only or chief purpose”.
Umpires have last word
For the first time ever, no one in the AFL crowd will doubt the umpires’ eyesight or call them a maggot, and itonly took a worldwide crisis to achievethis.
Box Hill, Vic