Tuesday last week I praised Kevin Rudd for his principled opposition to the pokies and for his claim that alternative sources of state revenue will need to be found to replace pokie taxes. His opposition, a week later, seems to have softened a bit – the states really need the revenues he stated yesterday and it is difficult to find revenue alternatives – anyway, it is all a matter for the states who decide these things.
One wonders if pressures have been brought to bear on Rudd by ex Labor pollies and political hacks taking backhanders and lucrative consultancies from the pokie and pub industry. There are plenty of them - come to Victoria! The Commonwealth could fill any revenue gap with predicted budget surpluses. The difficulty is, of course, that the pokie industry and the pubs won't like this.
In other news Rudd has refused to announce the Labor Party’s tax policy which is just as well – he needs to learn first what our tax scales are.
A Federal Labor Government with a ‘me too’ Prime Minister, a lacklustre policy team of ex entertainers and union hacks - and particularly with Wayne Swann as Treasurer - will not be something that provides quality government for Australia. Would they just devolve government to 500 hack-stacked committees?