Wednesday, June 22, 2016
Everyone knows that most people who are negatively gearing a housing property have a win, win situation, for not only are they having their mortgage on the property paid off by renters who aren't in the financial position of being able to purchase their own property, but they are also able to offset any tax they are required to pay on their own wages by this negative gearing. A report by the Grattan institute reveals that the top ten percent of earners have 50% of negative gearing tax deductions, three quarters of taxed capital gains. Those on higher incomes receive the largest share of tax benefits from negative gearing.
Which brings me to the 'fake tradie' add currently being run by the coalition government. I can only assume that they have used the 'fake tradie' to appeal to workers out there perceived to be the 'salt of the earth', 'real aussies' who get their hands dirty, you know, those in the construction industries: carpenters, plumbers, brickies, plumbers, electricians, forklift drivers, blue collar workers, those who do manual labor, though I can't imagine any of them going to work wearing a gold bracelet, as this 'tradie' is shown to be doing. The tradie, presented as a battler, says he's just trying to get ahead, but hey mate, you are already ahead. There's evidence to suggest that blue collar workers are the 'new rich', for tradies and construction workers earn an average of $1229 per week, $144 more than those working behind a desk, coupled to a computer.
The appeal here is that 'we' traditionally associate these workers with a time long past when there was housing affordability and the dreams of Australians to walk into a job after leaving school was still a possibility. The advertisement is intended to evoke a nostalgia that comforts the population at a time when there is no comfort or security. A time when one woman per week is killed by her male partner or husband, a time in which women still earn only 80% of the wage of a man doing a similar job, where you can study at University and still not be guaranteed full time work and security. A time in which, on any given night in Australia one in 200 people are homeless and nearly 23,000 of them in Victoria. Where the waiting list for public housing is twelve long years. Oh yes! It's a 'very exciting time to be an Australian' (Malcolm Turnbull's words, not mine) as long as you are part of 'the mob' that wealthy people belong to.
And, talking about money and houses, why is the coalition proposing to hold a Plebiscite on marriage equality rather than (as Labor says they will do) introduce a bill to the house that by all accounts would pass without much fuss? A plebiscite will cause a debate in our society at the expense of lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender and intersex folk who just want to be able to marry those they love, it will also cost approximately $525 million and this amount of money could be used to fund 5,000 new pubic housing units and by doing so employ many tradies as well as mitigate the pressure on low income individuals and families currently paying high rentals.
Malcolm Turnbull called a double dissolution because the Senate failed to pass a bill to reinstate the Australian Building and Construction Commission, which was dissolved in 2012 and was responsible for monitoring and promoting workplace relations in the industry. So, I can only assume that the 'fake tradie' add is directed towards workers concerned with issues that surround trade unions, whilst making a grab for these workers away from the labor party that has strong links with the trade union movement. The coalition wants to bring back the ABCC to investigate trade unions, Labor wants big business and banks to be investigated. It's nine days until Polling Day and I know on which side of the desk I'm sitting and I also know that it's vitally important to maintain Independents in the Senate.