13 October 2004

Pandering to Howard's Whingers

Do you see what's happening? Just as Medicare Gold would have favoured people on the basis of their age rather than their need, so Howard has already changed the tax system to differentiate on the basis of age rather than ability to pay.

If you're old, you shouldn't be asked to pay tax. If you're on the same income but are a young couple saving for a home or a family, however, you should pay full freight. This sounds like a fair thing?

Today's young people are compelled to save for their superannuation while also paying taxes to cover their parents' and grandparents' pensions and prescriptions. They've been lumbered with HECS debts. And the Howard Government's economic miracle has priced them out of the housing market while delivering a huge, tax-free windfall gain to their home-owning oldies.

If the pollies can't control their urge to buy the oldies' votes at every successive election, they're pouring petrol on a generational powder keg that may one day blow up in all our faces.

Perhaps at the next election Labor might start contesting an economic miracle that has, for many, ended the Australian dream of owning a home. Or promoting generational equity rather than geriatric handouts. Or even addressing those Australians who do not fit into the ever-narrowing definition of family.

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