Tuesday, 29 April 2014
In The Canberra Times on 24 April 2014 Australian Treasurer and millionaire Joe Hockey is quoted as saying that proposed new co-payment charges; would "encourage moderation in demand for services", noting that "nothing is free - someone always pays" in a discussion of a possible Medicare co-payment fee for GP visits, possible increased PBS prescription charges and increased co-payments for aged care.
Yes Mr. Hockey, somebody always pays. Every living person who has ever paid tax has contributed to the funding of government services.
In 2014 even people on pensions and benefits pay tax on life’s essentials. They probably pay more if they live alone and have no savings or assets .
The Federal Government’s Goods & Services Tax (GST) would likely take an estimated non-refundable 8% to 14% out of the weekly incomes of single pension/Newstart recipients when they rent the cheaper range of accommodation and live modestly.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), in 2009-10 there were an est. 3.8 million people across Australia receiving either an age, service, widow, wives, partner, disability, disability support, pensions or partners allowance or Newstart.
This number represents a great deal of consumption tax and indirect taxes paid into federal government coffers. In fact it probably represents billions of dollars annually.
So there is virtually no-one left in Australia who is receiving anything from the federal government for free.
In 2011-12 the ABS estimated that 2.2 million people were in the lowest income decile (before and after computing rent) and 22.3% of these were 65 years of age or over.
Time for the man eligible for that taxpayer funded super-sized parliamentary pension, with additional perks, to come up with a new argument for ripping the safety-net welfare system to shreds.
Time also for the Treasurer to look to the breach in the Medicare system which costs the federal government millions of dollars each year - fraud perpetrated by both individual GPs and medical practices.
In April 2014 the Auditor-General delivered Audit Report No.26 2013–14: Medicare Compliance Audits which clearly showed that the Dept. of Human Services was not seriously pursuing debt recovery.
The audit report states that between 2008–09 and 2012–13 there was a $128.3 million shortfall in the savings achieved by the department, when it came to monies actually recovered as a result of Medicare compliance audits of doctors and medical practices.
In fact the amount recovered to date is verging on the pitiful:
Yes, it seems that Mr. Hockey would rather turn low income earners, the unemployed, those with a disability and pensioners into beggars - rather than address a known flaw in the universal public health care system.
Perhaps because doctors have a powerful union of their own which might campaign against the Abbott Government in 2016 and, Hockey believes those voters with little money or power are easy to bully into submission.
As for the 'hidden' taxes low income families, Centrelink & Veterans Affairs pensioners, self-funded retirees and the unemployed pay........
The Sydney Morning Herald 3 May 2014:
Figures from the Australian Tax Office and federal government show the average Australian can expect to pay about $4600 in indirect taxes this financial year....
The Henry Tax Review, which reviewed Australia's taxation system after the global financial crisis, found Australians pay "at least" 125 taxes each year.
Of these, 99 are levied by the federal government, 25 by the states and one by local government (council rates).