Turnbull’s Thought Bubbles

Malcolm Turnbull now has quite a number of thought bubbles that are going – or have gone – nowhere. A running list is clearly needed:

  • March 2016 – Turnbull thinks about introducing a negative gearing cap and reducing the CGT discount before taking them ‘off the table’ in April 2016:

After weeks of suggesting the government might make some changes to negative gearing at the higher end of the income scale, Mr Turnbull said it was “common sense” to make no adjustments to existing arrangements.

In other words, Turnbull wants to fix the finger pointing and overlapping with more complex tax legislation, more overlapping and nine income tax jurisdictions (*) – all with the intention of collecting essentially the same amount of income tax, just with more government administration and double handling:

“From a taxpayers’ point of view, he or she would pay the same amount of income tax but the states would be raising the money themselves. We would obviously administer it and collect it for them so again there’d be no compliance costs.”

Yep, that should definitely do the trick.

(*) Six States, two Territories plus the Commonwealth.

  • 1 April 2016 – two days later, Turnbull thinks against building the taxation revolution, even though it was supposed to be the ‘the most fundamental reform to the federation in generations’. The date couldn’t have been more fitting.
  • April 2016Super tax (Episode II) – Turnbull tries to out-left Labor by increasing super contribution taxes for anybody earning over $180K.
  • May 2016 – Turnbull and Morrison announce corporate tax cuts over a period of 10 years – something which has absolutely no chance of happening. Turnbull then crashes the plane into the mountain with a complete disaster of an interview regarding the costings.
  • August 2016 – Turnbull announces that he wants to change the GST distribution system. Many misinterpret this to mean that Turnbull’s proposed change will improve Western Australia’s GST share. A review of what Turnbull actually said shows otherwise:

“We believe that we should take that opportunity, as the West Australian share of the GST increases under the current system, to change the arrangements so that we set a percentage floor below which no states receipts can fall,” he said.

“Setting a floor below which a state’s share of the GST cannot fall, immediately after it has been exceeded in this cycle, means that no other state will be disadvantaged based on their projected GST shares.”

In other words, once the current system has finished screwing over Western Australia, Turnbull will introduce a floor so that no other state suffers the same problem. In the meantime, Western Australia is free to continue suffering under the current flawed system.

I would have put together a list of what Turnbull has done as Prime Minister to make Australia a better place. However the laws of physics prevent this. This leaves the following questions which are still getting asked to this day: what does this man stand for, what has he done and what will he get done?

Even Nikki Savva is shriveling up at the prospect of continuing her hopelessly conflicted support for Turnbull, which is quite an achievement on her part.

Here is some of what TMR had to say about Turnbull in February 2016. Six months on, nothing has changed:

Does anyone have even the faintest idea of what is coming next?

You would have to be intellectually amputated to think that Turnbull is simply being ‘measured’ in his policy approach. He’s not some run of the mill new employee. To the contrary, he’s:

  • already spent many years in his current workplace;
  • clearly spent significant time in recent years considering why he would make a better Prime Minister than Abbott; and
  • spent a lifetime aspiring to be Prime Minister.

He’s had plenty of time to ‘measure’ the ‘course of action’ he thinks Australia needs and it’s not asking too much to be clearly told what it is.

Turnbull’s very own words used to attack Abbott five months ago have now become ironically prophetic:

What we have not succeeded in doing is translating those values into the policies and the ideas that will excite the Australian people and encourage them to believe and understand that we have a vision for their future.

There must be an end to policy on the run and captain’s calls.

Australia is experiencing its worst generation of politicians since the Whitlam-Fraser era. A highly compelling case could be made that it’s even worse this time – particularly given that it’s Shorten, Albanese or Plibersek around the corner and not Hawke.


6 thoughts on “Turnbull’s Thought Bubbles”

  1. The worse generation of politicians were the parliament between 2007-2010. Kevin Rudd as prime minister and Malcolm Turnbull as opposition leader. That is my opinion.


  2. Good list. He really is the dog who caught the car.

    It’s surprising that so many are still to twig to how bad the Turnbull Spring has been. Critics are still assumed to be pining for Abbott, as if the last eleven months never happened.

    Maybe the future for democracy involves politely asking Goldman Sachs etc for a new PM or Premier, pointing out that we’d prefer a John Key to a Turnbull or Baird. They have a good supply of past/future political leaders and might just take mercy on us if we are nice.


    1. While I don’t pine for Abbott, I do lament the fact that he wasn’t given a fair go as PM. As for Turnbull, I just can’t see how he can survive for much longer. His ambition clearly was to ‘become’ PM, not ‘be’ the PM.


    1. Thanks Tezza. This is how politicians get away with so much – it’s hard enough remembering what they did last month, let alone last year!


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