Irrespective of how much effort conservatives and the mainstream media are putting into downplaying the significance of the secret ministries of former Prime Minister Scott Morrison, the fact that the two people at the apex of Australia’s political system – the Prime Minister and Governor–General – made secret executive decisions, will reverberate for some time to come.
Secrecy and low levels of accountability – or in Morrison’s case, no accountability at all – are the hallmarks of autocratic societies, and are not the basis of democratic governments. It is of great concern that two journalists from News Corporation knew of these arrangements at the time, which remained a secret to everyone except for Morrison, David Hurley, the Attorney–General, the Minister for Health – and certainly remained a secret to the Australian public.
For sure, these two journalists are the reason why the public now knows about Morrison’s secret appointments, but they sat on this knowledge for well over two years, and decided to release it only after Morrison and the Coalition was out of government, and safe in the knowledge that it wouldn’t spoil the Coalition’s re-election chances at the 2022 federal election.
Australia’s mainstream media is among the most mediocre and corrupt in the western world, and this is another example of how vested interests will always act to protect conservative governments and leaders, even when there is clear evidence they have acted improperly and, possible, corruptly.
The only clear course of action is for Morrison to resign from Parliament, and Hurley to resign from the position of Governor–General: there is no public trust for either of them and both of their positions are untenable.
And should Labor repeal the Stage 3 tax cuts? Morally, ethically and economically, yes, they should. It’s a tax cut legislated by the Coalition, it’s not Labor policy, and it’s not a part of the Labor Party’s philosophy to provide massive tax cuts to high income earners and virtually nothing to low and middle income earners.
So, what are they waiting for? The big issue is that, historically, any politician or political party that repeals a promised tax cut is asking for political trouble, irrespective of how valid or economically responsible it might be for the circumstances of the day. It gives the mainstream media – most of whom would be the beneficiaries of tax cuts – and the Opposition of the day to weaponise against the Labor Party, and they’d be shouting about it from the rooftops everyday until the next election.
The Labor Party doesn’t have enough political capital to repeal the Stage 3 tax cuts and, perhaps, no party every would. For the Albanese government, keeping the Stage 3 tax cuts is the lesser of two problems: they’ll have to recoup the $157 billion of lost revenue in other ways.
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