Is Labor’s Class Warfare Anti-Environment?

May 13, 2008

The new Labor led Australian Government will announce its first budget tonight and harking back to the class-warfare of the past, Labor is expected to increase taxes for the so-called rich, and at the same time reduce or remove non-means tested benefits such as the baby bonus.

I won’t spend the post writing about how the seriously rich hardly pay any tax anyway and that a couple earning $100k a year in Australia isn’t rich in an age of unaffordable housing and astronomical rents (for the record we pay $550/ wk for a 3×1 in Canterbury, VIC). Consider that the average weekly wage for men in Australia is now $1101, or $57,000 a year, and a women the average is $725/ wk ($37.7k/ yr), so presuming both couples work the average family with 2 people working brings home $95,400 per year. (source). So apparently Labor wants to strip away breaks and bonuses from average Australians.

But I digress, because I wanted to talk about the tax increase for so-called luxury cars. Labor thinks that “luxury” cars start at $57,000. WTF? It can cost $30-$40k (even more) to put an Australian built car on the road. 4WD’s, needed in regional areas and the bush are higher than this (indeed Land Cruisers can go as high as $100k), no luxury there.

But consider this: European cars are frequently offered in Diesel variations. It’s less common with other makes, although we are slowly seeing more diesel cars. What’s the one great trait of diesel powered vehicles: they are frugal on fuel use, resulting in less consumption of oil and less environmental damage. In the age of the great Global Warming scare, shouldn’t an allegedly green friendly Government be encouraging motorists to buy more diesel cars? Wouldn’t a tax break on cars based on fuel consumption be better than INCREASING taxes on these very same cars?

For the record I drive a 2003 Toyota Echo which I’ve owned since new, it does roughly 4.5l/ 100kms.

15 responses to Is Labor’s Class Warfare Anti-Environment?

  1. I agree, I just paid $1000.00 on stamp duty on a 2003 model car. A friend just paid <$400 stamp duty because he bought a rust bucket which burns oil like no tomorrow.

    Why am I punished for buying a newer car.

  2. Exiled Ostraylian May 13, 2008 at 7:41 am

    Duncan, I enjoy your blogging — really — and I like the new site, but you complain a lot.

    We pay US$800 a month for a new four bedroom house with swimming pool, walking distance to the beach and international school, $60 a month for (real) broadband, hire a car when we need one ($10/day) and pay no tax. If the gov bothers you so much, there’s really few pressing reasons to stay…that’s the one thing I can thank Howard for making oh so clear.

  3. Good article! The question is, when are you joining federal politics?

    Ignore Exiled Ostraylian’s flight suggestion and take up the good fight instead. 🙂

  4. Exiled Ostraylian
    I couldn’t rent a dog box just about anywhere in Australia for those sorts of dollars. Not interested in leaving though, food in Melbourne is too good 🙂

    there’s no space for a neo-libertarian in Australian politics I’m afraid. We live in a hand out society that values personal greed over the greater good. People love to complain about the Government but they wrongly presuming more Government is the solutions to their ills, when it’s the Government that’s causing many of the issues to begin with. I’m just sad I preferenced the ALP: The Lib’s needed a good kicking, but I thought this class warfare BS was something from the past that we’d never see again. I was wrong, and when people start realizing that the ALP is attacking the average Australian they’ll start thinking the same way as well.

  5. Agreed. Me and my partner are slightly above the average family oz income and we get penalised with tax as if we’re millionaires. Try paying off a mortgage on a new home on average wage is close to impossible. The so called “aussie-battler” is an oxymoron.

  6. there?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s no space for a neo-libertarian in Australian politics I?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢m afraid.

    Disagreed. I ran for the LDP — and put my studies on hold to do so — and I saw that you considered doing so; it’s a pity you didn’t. The way to have space for good policy is to get up, kick and scream and carry on like a pork chop until the space gets carved out. There’s no easy way to do it.

  7. I am in a single income family and earn under $100K mark. We are living reasonably comfortable. We had to move from St Kilda to Noble Park to buy, but that is the choice we made. If someone gave me and extra 100/1000 a week, I wouldn’t knock it back but we are doing well enough.

    I don’t have a problem with the government moves on the Means testing of bonuses and family payment. When we hit that figure, then it goes but we are doing better off ourselves. There are plenty that are doing worse then us and they deserve the most help. I think its a myth to think that they could all just snap their fingers, work a bit harder and get themselves out of their situation to the higher wage level.

    I would hate to get into a US style system where you have to go to an emergency room and use a fake name to get seen by a doctor!

    On the cars, we where talking here where you would have thought they might of had a clause on the tax to not penalize environment friendly cars (hybrids and the likes).


  8. The Luxury Car Tax is a farce indeed. I am awaiting delivery of a new diesel Volvo wagon. I will be saving 50% on fuel compared to what I drive now but there is zero incentive to do so. If you have a more expensive car (but more efficient), you get less tax deductibility than a cheaper car with higher fuel consumption even if you outlay the same every month (payment+fuel). How is that a good idea ?

    WTF isn’t there a Luxury Tax on 60″ plasma TV’s or big boats ? – more of a luxury than a car used for doing 50,000kms a year for work like mine ?

  9. And what about scrapping the $8,000 rebate on solar panels for households earning over $100k? Ridiculous, because they’ve taken away the biggest incentive from the largest potential market. Or do they think low-income Australian households will be keen to take money away from their mortgage and kids’ education for a long-term investment in green power?

  10. Get a Geo Metro. (circa 90’s small car)
    It does 40+ mpg.

    It does very well, even surpasses some hybrids – but you don’t have to pay no premium hybrid price.

    there was an article about it, on cnn-com, the ‘living’ section today.

  11. In reading some of your posts I would like to recommend a book for you to read. A buddy of mine just published this excellent book of his and I really think that you would relate to his topics well. The book is entitled Deer Hunting with Jesus, by Joe Bageant. Dispatches from America’s Class War.

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  13. Its all in the components too of a diesel engine. If you put some more fuel efficiency device you can get more savings and less consumption of fuel. I added this Cylinder Head CC Measurement Kit on my engine. I think this addition helps me consume less diesel.

  14. Its all in the components too of a diesel engine. If you put some more fuel efficiency device you can get more savings and less consumption of fuel. I added this Cylinder Head CC Measurement Kit on my engine. I think this addition helps me consume less diesel.

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