Labor was right to target those who can best afford it

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Labor was right to target those who can best afford it

Annika Smethurst – “Labor politically savvy in picking its targets” (Comment, 26/5) – implies that the state budget was a cynical political manoeuvre. So, a Labor government, re-elected with an increased majority, targets the big end of town for tax increases to cover the deficit. Really? Would she expect Labor to slug sole parents and pensioners? People, especially young people, might be getting wise to wealthy tax avoiders and the laws around home ownership that keep them on the rental treadmill.
Patrice McCarthy, Bendigo

Costs must be built into what you market

Yes, Daniel Andrews government is very “politically savvy”. On first glance, hitting the big end of town, landlords and property owners appears to be a great idea. However, if you do not cover a cost in your business and build it into your sale product, you will go broke. Ultimately renters will pay for this land tax as the market factors this cost in. Increases in tax will be reflected in the price of goods and the Reserve Bank will have an added pressure on containing inflation. We really do not have an opposition in Victoria but I am amazed the media allows the Andrews government to get away with outrageous denial of this fact.
Paul Sebastiano, Strathmore

Sympathy for those who can’t afford a first home

Depending upon the cycle in which you buy second or more properties affects their taxable value. In 1974, we bought a second home at Anglesea for $17,500. At the time our accountant advised, and we agreed, that this was a lifestyle choice and not an investment. The property sold in 2016 for $880,000. Allowing for cost of living adjustments, and no capital gains tax applicable (land tax only), this was a good return.

We were fortunate that we bought and sold when we did. However, if we still owned the Anglesea property, we would be willing to pay the extra land tax. We worked hard, but so do many thousands of people now who cannot afford second properties let alone their own home. I have no sympathy for those who are complaining about being taxed for the privilege of having a second (or more) property.
Graeme Montague, South Yarra

Onus on private schools to pay their fair share

Independent Schools Victoria chief executive Michelle Green thinks independent schools should be exempt from payroll tax because they “perform a public good” (The Age, 26/5). Surely paying tax like other businesses is also a “public good”.
Margarete Lee, Blackburn

Andrews’ scapegoats to pay for Victoria’s debt

The premier has steered Victoria into oceans of debt with the insouciance of Captain Edward Smith of the Titanic speeding through ice fields. Can we expect Daniel Andrews (like Smith) to go down with the ship of state now that it has come to a shuddering halt? Not if he can help it; he is busy blaming others and vilifying those whom he has chosen to provide bail-out, extra taxes.
Arthur Roberts, Elwood


Paying our fair share

I am quite happy to pay more land tax on our second property which is rented to friends. I would have no objection to paying land tax on the house we live in as well, especially if it replaced stamp duty.

The land-only (site valuation) as shown on our council rate notices has increased by many, many thousands of dollars in the past 20years, without the slightest effort from me.

I would suggest it is probably due to decisions by successive state governments which have made Victoria a pretty good place to live. A small increase in land tax seems a fair and reasonable contribution to the state’s finances and perhaps will enable younger Victorians to afford their own home one day.
Jenny Backholer, Clifton Hill

Privileges of private

I heard the headmaster of an elite private school complaining on the television news that, with the payroll tax hit, it might need to drop some programs. I wonder how many of these programs are actually available in public schools.
Laurens Meyer, Richmond

High price of electricity

While Daniel Andrews and Tim Pallas are thinking about capping rents, could the same measures be applied to increases in electricity prices. These, after all, have a greater impact on cost of living pressures for most Victorians.
Martin Newington, Aspendale

The best of the ABC

Ah, I am so enjoying ABC Classic FM’s wide range of programs, in contrast to your correspondent (Letters, 23/5). This station just gets better and better. Of particular interest is this year “favourite instrument” competition. The support program exploring classic instruments is a “must listen” and has probably altered my original voting intentions from the violin towards another – the voice as an instrument.
Jacki Staude, Staughton Vale

Power of big business

So there will now be an “ethics test for federal work after the PwC scandal” (The Age, 26/5). I can’t help but think of my dear old dad who was on a jury in the early 1950s. It was the judge’s comment that left my dad in a state of quiet fury. The judge told the accused, “If it were not for the fact that you are a business man, I would send you to jail.” Little seems to have changed in the world of big business and big money.
Carol Reed, Newport

Win-win for consultancy

Who will run this ethics test for federal work contracts? From the auditor-general’s recent critical reports, it certainly shouldn’t be either defence or home affairs. And the general lamentable performance on FOI requests suggests other departments have challenges as well. Do I detect an opportunity for a consulting firm?
Tony Ward, Elsternwick

PwC must pay the price

As your editorial states re the PwC scandal, “This must not be the end of the matter” (The Age, 26/5). The federal government should stop mucking about with Senate inquisitions and in-house investigations and piecemeal penalties.

Former High Court justice Kenneth Hayne blew open the corrupt and hypocritical actions of the Big Four banks – individually and as an industry. Bring him back to shine a light on the big four consultancy firms and the related lobby industry in another royal commission.

In the meantime, PwC should return the fee paid by the federal government for the “confidential” tax advice (which it revealed to clients) and also a multiple of the tax then avoided by those clients.
Peter Thomson, Brunswick

Pies’ shameful decision

For Collingwood Football Club CEO Craig Kelly to partly blame the ongoing disputes with netball players over their pay and conditions to justify the club’s decision to withdraw from the competition (Sport, 26/5) is farcical. Perhaps he should have volunteered for his and the other Collingwood executives to take a pay cut as a way of supporting the maintenance of the netball team. As a very long time Pies fan, I am bitterly disappointed at the decision.
John Varley, Abbotsford

Experts “five doughnuts”

Is this some sort of record? Five football teams competing across the weekend (Hawthorn, Fremantle, GWS, Gold Coast and West Coast) failed to attract a single tip from The Age’s 14 experts (Sport, 26/5). Five doughnuts in a row. It would have been six zeroes except for Emma Kearney’s loyalty to the Kangas. (Well done, Emma. However, as a loyal Magpie, I hope you are wrong).
Anthony Clifford, Wendouree

One and only ’Dimma’

The lights may have dimmed at the Richmond Football Club. However, many thanks, “Dimma” (Damien Hardwick), during your 14-year tenure. You brought back the club from the AFL wilderness to the top of the tree team, with three prestigious premierships starting in 2017 and culminating in 2019-20. You have been a modern day, great coach and you have left lasting and joyful memories for all Richmond fans and all who follow this mighty game.
Martin Rose, St Kilda East

Yes will benefit all

I remember when the republic referendum was being held and we were told “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. We kept the status quo. With all the poor benchmarks for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples with regard to life expectancy, morbidity and incarceration rates, just to name a few, clearly we can see that the status quo is broken. The best outcomes are achieved when Indigenous people are consulted with policies that affect them because they are invested in their success. This introduction of the Voice will cost the majority of us nothing and give our First Nations people so much. Saying Yes to the referendum will benefit all of us.
Lynda Clarey, Woodend

Strategy lacks decency

Niki Savva – “Albanese no shrinking PM” (Comment, 25/5) – writes that Peter Dutton’s survival strategy depends on “destroying the referendum, hoping the economy crashes and xenophobia rises”. His whole strategy is negative and lacks any sense of decency and humanity.
David Baker, Parkdale

We know the difference

Your correspondent wonders whether all Yes voters “realise that the Voice will be permanent and there will be no chance of the government reversing the decision should the Voice face difficulties” (Letters, 26/5). May I assure him that most of us who are planning to vote Yes in the upcoming referendum are just as likely to know the difference between constitutional change and legislative change as the No voters.
Jo Bond, South Melbourne

A statement of fact

I am not generally a supporter of Peter Dutton but I believe his use of George Orwell was perfectly reasonable in the context. All comparisons become invalid if they are pressed too far.

Dutton’s point is that the Voice will give one minority group a right which is unavailable to other minority groups, and that is clearly a matter of fact. Whether the minority in question deserves this special or “unequal” right is another matter. Those who think it does should vote Yes at the referendum.
Lindsay Zoch, Mildura

Sleep, blessed sleep

Re “Sleep those baby blues away” (Life, 23/6). On the arrival of my son nearly 44 years ago, I took him regularly to the local baby health centre. I will never forget the best piece of advice I received from the nurse there.

At lunchtime, when encouraging my child to have his afternoon nap, she advised “put your feet up, read, do the crossword, take a nap yourself. Try to do all chores (housework including washing and ironing), shopping, etc before lunch. When baby wakes up, you are then free to give him your undivided attention”.
I followed her advice. And even today, I don’t do household chores after lunchtime.
Caroline Heard, Glen Huntly


Credit: Illustration: Matt Golding


How many public servants could have been employed with PwC’s $537 million worth of government contracts over the past two years (Editorial, 26/5)?
Barbara Lynch, South Yarra

Both major parties want to be in the middle but I’m surprised Labor wants to be on the ″⁣right″⁣ side of history.
Peter Venn, East Bentleigh

Peter Dutton, the Great Divider.
Shirley Purves, Gisborne

DeSantis or Trump may be ″⁣leader of the free world″⁣? Rock and a hard place.
John Hughes, Mentone


I’m happy to pay a “COVID tax” on our humble rural holiday home if big industry repays a portion of JobKeeper payments it received during the pandemic.
Kevan Porter, Alphington

Do we have to live with the mantra “one house good, holiday house better” or should we regard second homes as a luxury which only some people can afford?
Judith Hudson, Elwood

The rental vacancy rate is very low. Rents will go up to cover the cost of the hike in land tax. A bad result for renters and more homelessness in Victoria.
Helen Leach, Bendigo

Dan’s “big build”…of state debt.
Jim Pszczolkowski, Hughesdale


Since when is “nugget” spelled with three Gs (Quick crossword, 25/5)? It’s just not riggght.
Keith Harvey, Nunawading

Vale Tina. The only question is Ike Who?
Bryan Lewis, St Helena

I’m a lifelong Hawthorn supporter. The club needs to bring this racism inquiry to a conclusion now. Enough is enough, let’s move on.
Christine Hammett, Richmond

The recent overuse of the term “eye-watering” has reached eye-watering proportions.
Graeme Rose, Wangaratta

Call me an Australian, no problem, but never an ordinary Australian.
Cliff Ellen, Rye

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