Tuesday, 9 January 2018

A government without a vision leads you nowhere.

Since September 2013 the nation has had two Prime Ministers and many cabinet reshuffles. Observing these events in real time has been painful for me. The reason I find it so arduous to watch is I have ideas that I know would have had better outcomes for so many people who are suffering as a direct result of the current regime. How does a political party after years of opposition win government & have no vision for the future?

 They won government with a Jobs & Growth slogan & a claim they were, star economic managers. 52 Months in they have failed dismally in both. There are 15,300 more people unemployed than in September 2013. There are 151,000 more people underemployed. When they took office government debt was  $226 billion as it stands now it is just over $604 billion.

What do we actually have to show for this huge rise in debt? A third world NBN? An enormous offshore detention problem that seems to have no solution. A shortfall in power supply. High-cost gas that is this nation's resource. A long list of corporations using the nation's resources & paying no taxes. In 2013 there were 579  now there are 732 paying no tax. 
                                                                       
Ordinary working people are generally paying the advertised tax rates same to small businesses while millionaires & big corporations get a free pass using various advantages wealthy people have. The government's turning a blind eye to the problem as they cop political donations & various other gifts when required. The working people struggle to meet the rising cost of living a poor government provides. They are treading water at best, many are going backwards as wage growth is at a 30 year low.
The government's solution is a failed economic policy called trickledown economics or Reaganomics. Giving a $65 billion tax break to corporations who contribute nothing to society in the hope that some of the profits will spill out of their pockets. A hope that would be completely out of character for any corporation I have seen.
We are just losing position on the rest of the world. We seem destined to be in huge government debt with an alternative government waiting in the wings with a line up that has some talent but a poor record in government. I fear for Australia we are well on the way to being tenants in our own land. Nobody offers any hope of servicing the government debt in the short term & none have the courage to govern for the long term.

Friday, 5 January 2018

Religious freedoms submission.

This is a submission I have made regarding religious freedoms. 06/01/2018.
I am vehemently opposed to any changes being made to religious freedoms by the Australian parliament. This issue seems to have been stimulated by a failure to block, Marriage Equality in a recent postal survey & then again in our Australian parliament. There are several reasons why the parliament should not be introducing anything that changes religious institutions rights in any way. The first is fundamental to the parliament's existence. The Australian parliament is supposed to be secular irrespective of the personal views or beliefs of incumbent membership. I believe this is to ensure all Australians are represented without prejudice. I think this right is eloquently protected in the Australian Constitution s 116 & so are the rights of those who practice religion. This protection is moderate yet sufficient & is in step with other laws we have in Australia. To impose any extra freedoms or restrictions specifically based on religious beliefs would most likely be unconstitutional or would require that document to be amended lawfully. I also believe that our politicians are failing in their role by bringing their own personal views into the parliament. They are views they are entitled to have but have no right trying to force them onto the Australian public. I think this began with the 2004 amendment to the Marriage act & has gone unchallenged sadly.

                                                     Thank you regards, Mark Dickenson.

Friday, 29 December 2017

Letter to Senator Penny Wong regarding s44 compliance.

                                                                                                                                   Sent 30/12/2017


Dear Senator Wong,

 I am writing to you to raise an issue I believe has been overlooked either deliberately or inadvertently by many politicians past and present. It regards s44 iv-v & eligibility to be an MP or Senator.

What constitutes an office of profit under the crown? It has already been established that it includes jobs in the public service & probably would extend to anyone paid by the government.

My question is does it extend to politicians using Commonwealth revenue to generate profits? Do MPs & Senators use LAFHA to negatively gear Canberra properties breach s44 iv? They profit via increased equity reduced personal taxation & often via a capital gain. Over 50 current federal politicians use their allowance this way. It is important to note that when LAFHA was introduced it passed both houses. There was no referendum. It was never intended to be a source of profit for politicians.
                                                                                 
It has been written about extensively that MPs & Senators use family trusts to hide their investments the Prime Minister hides his in the Cayman Islands. What if these investments were to be awarded Commonwealth grants contracts or subsidies? How would we know if the 70 plus MPs & Senators using these methods are not awarding themselves secretly?

There are also questions over the eligibility of Dutton, O'Sullivan & Robert with investments receiving, contracts, grants or subsidies from the Commonwealth.

The parliament's handling of s44(i-v) compliance has been the worst governance of an issue I have ever seen by a government anywhere in the world. How an honesty audit of 20% of the law meets any standards escapes me. Particularly when the s44 issue began with Senators Day(v) & Culleton s44(ii-iii). It seems our laws are being selectively applied at best.

                                                                                       regards Mark Dickenson

Sunday, 17 December 2017

Tax freeloaders we can't keep carrying them.

The recent disclosure from the ATO that 732 corporations paid no tax last financial year, makes a mockery of the ATO advertising claiming they got a big one to actually pay. For one the ATO exists to collect taxes. If they feel the need to do an advertisement when they do their job, who is going to advertise when they don't? There were no bells and whistles regarding the 732 freeloaders.

This is disastrous for Australia as it means govt revenue is diminishing as all the costs associated with running a nation spiral towards the stars. It means there is an uneven playing field for competitors. I noticed Aldi were one who paid nothing while many of their competitors small & large did pay tax. They all use the nation's resources. They all use our facilities. Surely they all must contribute.

In 2013/14 there were 579 freeloaders, so we are clearly trending in the wrong direction. I think the government should be seriously considering shelving the current corporate tax system & replacing it with a revenue tax with no deductions. They have abused the privilege for too long in m opinion. I think that would see more parity & far greater revenue for the government.

At present small businesses & companies paying the top rate are forced to compete with larger corporations who aren't paying at all. This is counterproductive to a healthy economy. Growth in employment comes from smaller companies making gains. Big corporations grow generally by buying out competitors & culling staff. We are encouraging the wrong groups.

Corporations use lobbyists to win favours from politicians. This is how this tax evasion has grown to the point it has reached today.

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Over 50 MPs & Senators in breach of s44(v)

Watching Senator Brandis on the Today show talking about the obligations of federal MPs & Senators who are not compliant with s44 of the Australian Constitution. Every candidate signs a declaration that they comply with all five sections of this law.

Our major parties are trying to protect one another by limiting the scrutiny to dual citizens but the law requires scrutiny of all five parts of section 44.

My opinion is the major parties know they are not allowed to profit in any way from subsidies, grants, contracts
& allowances issued by the Commonwealth. Over 50 current MPs & Senators use a (Living away from home allowance) LAFHA to negative gear Canberra homes. This allowance was never intended to be used in this way. It has evolved without any thought or care of the consequence. Very important to note that when LAFHA was introduced it passed both houses it was never put to the people via a referendum. To override the Constitution a referendum is required. The MPs using this allowance in this way profit via increased equity reduced taxation & often via a capital gain when sold. Any profit constitutes a breach of s44 (v). At the very least this should be referred to the High Court for adjudication. Not covered up by the major parties because of the people it involves. Many senior people on both sides of parliament.

Monday, 20 November 2017

We don't need another Labor govt. We need new ideas.

I've been watching our political system reward mediocrity for so long. I'm sick to death of the same political parties with similar faces regurgitating the same ideas that have failed over & over. This LNP government is a classic example of that. Trickle down economics for fuck sake. It was debunked as an economic theory while Ronald Reagan was President. Yet our govt uses it to fill the pockets of its political donors with no care for the impact on society.
Both government alternatives have no care for the refugees they have banished to islands out of sight & out of mind. Both gleefully whack their opponents from the opposition benches yet really they both have blood-soaked hands.
Then we have people on social security. Forever the whipping boys & girls of governments of both persuasions. The #notmydebt fiasco last Xmas where the government issued vulnerable people with debts, many that have been discredited over time as bogus, with no care for the impact at all. The silence from the opposition when that story broke was fascinating. They were sluggish at best.

Both our major parties rely on distractions. If they need to throw a few welfare recipients under the bus to get their heads out of the news they are fair game.
It just isn't good enough. Our combined governments are $600,000,000,000 in debt or thereabouts. It isn't Labor's fault as this govt says, nor is it the fault of the LNP. They both own it. They are both woeful economic managers. I would rate the Labor misfits slightly ahead of the LNP clowns. Why are they rated so poorly by me? Apart from the huge, debt they have done very little to address massive issues. Tax integrity, for example, both parties have for decades ignored diminishing corporate tax revenue. 679 of Australias top 1500 corporations paid no tax 2014/15 the remainder paid less than 5%. The advertised rate was 30%. It has taken decades for the fancy accounting firms to master this but they have. Governments have just watched. Personal taxation has also taken a whack. Negative gearing has taken off like a freight train to a point where millionaires are paying less tax than low & middle-income workers. As a direct result society suffers. Funding too services are cut. Governments rob Peter to pay Paul, and Paul is generally getting less anyway.

Governments job is simply to maintain the integrity of tax and to provide services for society. If they don't want to go back to the tried and true method there are other options. I found one that would generate over $300,000,000,000 every year without fail. If I can do it why can't parties with access to the best economists on speed dial? If we do have to have another Labor govt can we have one willing to do the hard things? Can we start getting the Aussies that aren't doing well off the canvas instead of ignoring their plight?

The Liberals are about to implode.

There have always been ideological differences within the Liberal party. In days gone by, they have always been held at bay by the greater lust for power. In recent times that balance has been precarious. Early on the exodus of Bernadi suggested all was not well. The issue of marriage equality has been a catalyst for great angst for the Liberal party going all the way back to 2004. When Howard altered the marriage act to stymie same-sex marriage.

We all know that some people within this government have strong religious beliefs that conflict with marriage equality. Religion & politics can coexist but they should be kept separate. This is great in theory but doesn't work in practice in my opinion. Being raised a Catholic until 18 when I walked away I can see how difficult it would be for somebody committed to their religion to be objective on issues that conflict.
Andrew Bolt who I have no time for has broken a story that a Liberal MP has threatened to quit in one month if Malcolm Turnbull remains Prime Minister. The by-elections are already threatening to end the tenuous hold the government has on power. Particularly in Bennelong where incumbent John Alexander has his work cut out for him with Kristina Keneally. Bolt will not name the MP but you can bet it is either Abbott, Andrews or somebody with leadership ambitions.
The extreme right of the party wants religious protections attached to the marriage equality bill.  Depending on who is delivering them they range from bigoted to just plain offensive to most people. They would also probably conflict with the Australian constitution s116.
Yesterday parliament sitting was moved back one week. In my opinion, it has everything to do with the same-sex marriage bill & the inability of the factions to find balance. I have little doubt that they are considering a coup of some type. In the history of the last 4 years, Abbott & Turnbull and all the failed Ministers attached with both leaders, I have difficulty seeing anyone with a brand that is worthy of the leadership. Mainstream media has thrown up Dutton, Morrison & Bishop & various times over the last few month but none are popular and all have various baggage before they begin.