Latham, tax, and bouncing babies

Who said blokes can't give birth? In what seemed to resemble giving birth to a watermelon, or a small elephant, or something else that's not supposed to pass through a small hole, the ALP have finally pushed and pushed and pushed and produced their own cute-as-a-button tax policy. The pressure was on for 4 months solid since the budget, and the ALP took a softly-softly approach, telling anyone who'd listen to wait until the election campaign and all would be revealed. Like all new babies, this one is small and a little delicate, and with some rough handling can be in big trouble.

$8 a week saving for working families is a pretty ordinary result for such a long awaited document. And it gets worse then that when the reduction in Family Tax benefits is factored in. At least Latham had the targetting right, helping those below the $52k threshold. The size of it just doesn't seem like a real vote swinger, the sort of thing that could win over a family already concerned about interest rates, towelheads and other things that Howard tells us are a threat to national security.

There are two possibilities for why we are being underwhelmed by the ALP's tax cut. Firstly, there's more to come, and this is merely a teaser for more cuts to be announced during the campaign. This is, if you like, the first of twins, triplets, or maybe even quads. The second possibility is that Latham is keeping plenty of cash up his sleeve to spend on more initiatives to be announced during the campaign. There might only be the one baby, but it's going to have a 24-carat gold rattle to play with, to continue an already strained metaphor.

Either way, on Medicare and tax cuts, it seems like it's two to Howard, nil to Latham, in the PR stakes at least, even if it's pretty equal on substance.

POST SCRIPT: A bit like the tax policy itself, this post is very late and rather poorly timed. But snot my fault. The Blogger software was down for 48 hours, and turned me into a mute.

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