When governments of all persuasions have run out of ideas to raise more revenue they turn to smokers, drinkers and motorists to pick up the tab.
These are the easy targets for lazy politicians keen to show off how useless they actually are.
The issue of hitting motorists with an extra tax burden has reared its head again in the People’s Republic of Victoria. As part of the recent budget, the Labor party has decided to increase the tax on vehicles priced over $100,000. This is on top of the federal Luxury Car Tax.
Now the geniuses governing Victoria didn’t conceive this idea on their own, it’s copied and pasted from their colleagues in Queensland. That word lazy keeps coming to mind.
Tony Weber, chief executive of the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries came out swinging claiming the move was “money grabbing at its worst.”
“But what’s more disturbing is that it is a tax on safety and technology. It targets vehicles that introduce innovative safety and technical features to the market.
“And the vehicle which attracts the most LCT is a Toyota LandCruiser – a popular vehicle for families and landholders. Hardly a luxury vehicle,” Mr Weber added.
While most people can understand the logic behind continually increasing taxes on tobacco and alcohol as these things are a lifestyle choice, that can’t be said about every motorist.
Now the vast majority of the electorate is unlikely to shed tears over more tax on cars costing over $100K, but it could easily be argued that motorists from all walks of life are already contributing more than their fair share.
When looking at the overall taxes levied on motorists, a significant proportion of the population have no choice but to own a car which instantly separates motoring from tobacco and alcohol.
Due to the awful state of public transport in Victoria, which by the way is another problem caused by lazy politicians, there are no other options on the table. A car is required to function in society. Yet country people are subject to the same taxes as those who live in the city and enjoy a choice.
There is currently a debate about whether or not to expand the free tram zone in Melbourne, a great move if you happen to live in the inner-city, but it does nothing for those who live and work outside of the network.
When there is a choice, lazily going after motorists is slightly more on the palatable side. It’s much harder to stomach when there’s no choice.
So should those in the regions be subject to the same tax structure as those in the city? We would say no. Tax concessions should be offered in areas where car ownership is a requirement to participate in the economy.
Building up the regions to alleviate the growing pains experienced in our cities is a popular topic during election campaigns, yet there’s no proper policy direction to achieve a result. Again, lazy. Perhaps doing something about public transport outside of the city or lowering the taxes on cars is a good place to start.
While it's easy to brush off extra taxes on luxury cars, the move speaks to the attitudes of the political class. A fairer tax system requires some effort, time and political will. But why would any politician want to bother with that when smokers, drinkers and motorists are so readily available?
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