Jan 30, 2011

Gettin' Heavy on the Levy

There's been a fair bit of contention about the federal government's proposed flood levy - a one-off boost to the Medicare Levy to raise $3 billion to rebuild infrastructure destroyed by the January floods.

Opponents say it's another example of poor economic management from Labor; suggesting they're reaching for a tax to solve their problems rather than budgeting properly. There are concerns the levy will stretch beyond its allocated year. Opposition Leader Tony Abbott claims it's unfair, as it taxes people like donors and volunteers who've already given their time and/or money; and even went so far as to say Prime Minister Julia Gillard was using the floods to mask her government's addiction to spending.

A neat online calculator I discovered allows you to plug in your yearly income and get your projected contribution.  Now don't be fooled by my lavish urbane lifestyle - journalism and occasional jobbing actor gigs don't fetch as much coin as you might think. According to the calculator, I'm up for about $25 extra in tax this financial year.

I realise contributions increase exponentially the more you earn, meaning someone on $100,000 a year will pay around $250. But still, don't people on $100k these days drop $250 a year on smartphone apps and skinny mochaccinos alone ?

All right, that is a gross generalisation. Maybe $100,000 isn't "rich", as some people would like us to believe. All I know is that it's a fair bit richer than me, in the same way I'm a fair bit richer than someone on $35k a year. And the levy doesn't apply to anyone earning under $50k, so low-income earners don't have to worry about an extra slug. As far as I can see, I'm at the very bottom of the paying scale. And yet, I am more than happy to sling $25 towards part of a bridge, or a few centimetres of bitumen, or a bit of cabling.

So I kind of want to tell people on higher incomes who have a problem with the one-off levy to, you know, get over it. "Build a bridge", you might say ironically. Is it really that much to ask, to help rebuild the shattered parts of our country? It's not like you'll starve. Chances are you've got accountants who can help you "streamline" your taxes effectively anyway.

But maybe I don't understand their side of the story. Perhaps there are financial pressures I've not considered. Perhaps the Labor Party IS just a bunch of nakedly greedy toads eager to extract every last spare cent from its desperate subjects (er, constituents).

So here is my challenge. If you earn between $50,000 and $100,000 per year, and you don't want to pay the levy - I WILL PAY IT FOR YOU.

That's right. I will hand you the $25 to $250 in CASH.

All you have to do is pose for a photograph.  To be precise: this photograph:

Yes indeed - fanned five-dollar banknotes, self-satisfied smug look, righteous pointing finger - the lot.You'll also need to sign the photograph, under the statement "That's right - I don't want to help!" And you surrender any rights to where that photograph may appear. On this blog, for example. Or perhaps a bus stop, or billboard.

But surely that's a small price to pay to get your $25 to $250 in sweet, sweet cash?

Oh wait, maybe it's actually just a small price to pay to help your country.

I await your applications. Don't forget last year's tax statement as proof of income.


  1. I think the government made a mistake pointing it out. I think if they'd said they were raising the amount of tax a smidgeon to help out with the floods they wouldn't have had the problem. But they saw all the public support and thought "We can get a bit of good publicity here" and now it's perceived as a forced donation.

    Now a voluntary donation makes people feel good about themselves. It has value. But a forced donation makes people feeling tricked or coerced.

    Maybe, when it comes down to it, you don't need to feel good about paying taxes.

  2. You should really add a caveat that you will only do this for 1 (or 2,3,4) people... Cause I know a shitload of tightarses earning $80k+ who will take this up if they hear of it....

    I earn a bit more than average and feel very happy to contribute.
    Rachel & I can drop more than this on one dinner...

  3. Great post Nat. I think you have nailed it, totally.

  4. Interesting, Monster - I would've thought $250 wasn't worth your dignity. After all, I WILL make them meet me, take the photo, make them sign it, and publish it!

    And Dan - the government HAD to mention it. They had to lay out how they were going to pay for the rebuild. In fact they tried as much as they could to stress that it was a modest, temporary measure.

    I don't understand why people have to feel "tricked" or "coerced" by the tax - surely it's one to be relatively happy about - at least you know exactly where it's going. Surely you can feel just as satisfied and valued knowing your wages are helping, as to making a voluntary donation?

  5. I'm paid really well and will have no problems paying the levy but I think there are two big problems with the debate:

    (1) The floods are being used as a cover for austerity measures and cuts that Swan & Gillard were already planning (pushed by Treasury since the election as part of a further neoliberal attack on the welfare state)

    (2) Nobody wants to seriously talk about making income tax more progressive (so people like me pay more) and raising the corporate tax rate. Imagine if the latter was back to 49% like it was in 1983. We could do a lot of infrastructure and decent public services then!

  6. You know what. Sadly, I think the ones who don't want to pay will have no problem posing. Because they just don't give a shit.

    I wrote this blog post, kind of from an accounting point of view, but also a common sense point of view.


    Great post and you are one hawt mumma! xx Bern

  7. GC never underestimate a cheapskate.

  8. I'm with you. I have no problems with paying the levy. I'm not going to miss my $4.30 per week.

  9. Oh, don't get me wrong. I love paying tax. My roads. My Parks. More Infrastructure. That's worth a handful of grands.

    In Switzerland they have a huge tax rate but they're also the happiest country in the world.

  10. Brilliant idea! Looking forward to seeing if anyone takes on the challenge. You there, Messrs Rabbit and Bolt?

  11. Just took part a rather lengthy Facebook comment-fest (54, to be exact) regarding this on a status update that reflected your sentiment entirely, GC. Unfortunately, it involved someone that would probably take you up on your offer.

    The argument that LESS THAN A DOLLAR A WEEK for the lowest levied bracket is "going to affect families' bottom line" for me simply holds no water (no pun intended!). If you can notice, let alone not afford, an extra fifty fucking cents per week you're the best financial manager on earth. Hell, I hear we've had a financial crisis recently... care to help out?

    As far as I'm concerned it's the regular tightarses and entrenched conservatives brewing a storm in a teacup for cheap political gain.

  12. I would build a bridge, but I'm scared the government will tax me for it :P

    I don't pay tax yet, but can I pose for the photo and sign it anyway just for the fun and no money included? :D

  13. What about people on more than $100k? What about them, I ask you? Won't someone look out for them??


  14. I don't have a problem paying the tax. My problem is that our Federal Government has an appalling track record in spending money wisely and I think a lot of people's concern is that this new tax is going to be pissed up against a wall. Look what a great job they've done with insulation programs, BER, NBN... The big issue isn't paying the money, but rather trusting the government to be able to manage it.

    It also amazes me that the government does not have an emergency fund budgeted for. Australia is constantly struck by extreme weather events, you'd think our governments would know by now to budget for this type of event instead of putting its hand out for more.

    And I'm sure the pollies won't be knocking back another pay rise or any of their generous perks either.

  15. Well done. Stick it to the whingers. I'm happy to pay the levy myself so no need to provide an incriminating photo.

  16. Mr. Abbott, photo op with Girlclumsy.. Asap

    Show us your shiny grin.

  17. I don't have a problem helping people who were flood affected. I've given to the flood appeal many times & donated time & money via #bakedrelief. I do however object to giving money to the government because they don't plan very well. I can't remember having to pay a tsunami levy when our government gave a shit load of money to people overseas when they needed help. And now it's here that needs help & our government wants to tax us. I dont hear any other countries donating shit loads to our flood affected people. Maybe we should care for our own communities first & foremost.

  18. The Government did have a fund, $34billion of it but the GFC (remember that) took that, which is why Oz came through as sweetly as it did

    Hey Anon what did you do with your $900 maybe you would like to give it back? As far as I know Indonesia donated a million And maybe you can tell us how you would plan for unprecedented disaster Oh, I know, always have a large surplus of multi billions in the kitty and do nothing for all of Australia's infrastructure for 11 years.
    Government is not a business. It should not aim for larger and larger surpluses (profits) at the expense of Education, Health Transport and other infrastructure
    Allen Rowbotham

  19. This post is sobering for different reasons for me than for most of your readers I imagine. A tax in which the rich pay "exponentially" more? Plus it was enacted in what, about a month? This could never happen here (guess where?).

    That said, the only ones who don't have problems with tax increases in general are those who benefit directly from them. In this case it sounds like that is a significant percentage of the population though.

    Here's hoping you don't have any takers on your offer.

  20. Great blog! I happen to live in the grand old U S of A and taxes are just as commonplace as breathing. Sadly, our government has lost the ability to pull this country out of a financial downfall by its boot straps without increasing taxes again and again and again. The economic classes have divided again. People are struggling everywhere. The rich get richer and the middle class to poor get poorer. Your whole idea of having pictures posted of those who choose to be above helping is a great idea, but I fear that there will be an onslaught of cheapskates that would be more than willing to send you a picture to relinquish themselves from responsibility. You might want to set a limit on the number of people that you are willing to flip the bill for.

    Hopefully, you don't have that many takers on your offer. Best of luck that everything gets fixed and all is well again.

  21. The photo shaming is GREAT! I'm in the US so it's unfair of me to weigh in on ya'lls taxes but..... if there's that guarantee of one year, then what's the beef? And I hear there's a cyclone now? :(

  22. I love the photo! What a hilarious way to get your point across. Talk about a great blog :)

  23. Brilliant idea CG, I so wish more folk knew about you, you are a lot more entertaining to read than many of the pundits who get paid in our newspapers.

    I want to see a website with all these “I don't want to pay the levy I’m selfish” photos. Me I won’t be taking up your offer, happy to pay my $6.52 extra tax a fortnight.

  24. Alan said something really interesting. This is, in effect "A tax in which the rich pay exponentially more". That's brilliant. And just imagine, everyone. Brand new roads, Brand new bridges. This is going to be great!!

    Basically someone richer is going to be subsidising your expensive infrastructure OR you're too rich for it to matter. This is a BARGAIN!!

  25. Alan, that 'exponential' thing was just a figure of speech - the amount of tax paid for this levy rises (piecewise) linearly with income, from 0 for those earning $50000 to $250 for those earning $100000, and then $250 + 1c for every dollar earned over $100000.

  26. I am happy to pay the tax. I think my arguement against however is that we should already have funds in place to assist people when these sort of disasters occur rather then having to look for a solution afterwards.

  27. I thought the levy was .5% for people who earn between $50,000 and $100,000 - so if you are earning $60,000 - .5% is $300 a year - yet the calculator says it's only $50. The maths don't add up on that calculator.

  28. I'm about to head out west to Toowoomba in about a month to go and work on the Rail corridor on the Toowoomba range which was pretty well F**ked by the weather out there. I don't mind payin a "flood levy" as that money will probably fund / go directly to this type of recovery work. The premier's flood appeal thingy doesn't cover this type of work, it's more for individual's who have lost their homes. Also the "flood levy" will be a mere bump in the road compared to the amount of money I will make in overtime while working out there!!!

  29. It's all good and fine for people that arse about with arts degrees sipping lates in the sun and talking about how they are exploited by rich capitalists who earn 100k+. Out of work actors make me sick.
    Do you realise it's the people who actually work regular full time jobs who pay most of the taxes? Not the mega rich and certainly not the "I don't want to work because it cramps my style" type people.
    I've paid my taxes already and it's the real workers who keep open the mechanics, the coffee shops and photography studios running. I've already paid my taxes. You want to compare my tax return to yours and see who doesn't want to help? I paid an extra 4k in taxes last year on top of my regular tax bill.
    I go to church every week and put money in the plate (non-tax deductible) which pays for social outreach. I regularly make charitable donations and I sponsor children through world vision.
    Have you thought maybe there is a good reason we don't want to pay? Maybe I already donated? Maybe I already pay enough tax? Maybe I don't want to pay because the govt. will only waste the money and they only want this extra money so they can continue to save face and try and return a surplus.

  30. @Dan Beeston said: This is, in effect "A tax in which the rich pay exponentially more". That's brilliant.

    It may sound brilliant, but it already exists. It's called income tax and we pay it already.

    Nobody has mentioned that this tax is currently slated as an increase to the medicare levy. Am I wrong or don't the mega-rich all have private health insurance?

    So in effect the 'real' middle class keeps paying and paying. We are the cash cow for those who prefer to go surfing at the beach instead of showing up for work.

  31. I am amused to see that all the people who've left anti-levy comments are writing as "anonymous".

    To the anonymous who had the query about the maths not adding up - the levy only applies to the money you make OVER $50k. So for example, if you earn $70k a year, your levy contribution is only factored on $20k.

    And to the Anonymous who says out of work actors make him sick - good for you. I am technically an out of work actor, but I spend that time being an in-work full-time journalist. So I pay my taxes too.

    I DO understand people's frustration with perceived government waste. Yes, our current government has bungled a number of programs. Yes, they seem for some reason to be stuck on the surplus - I suspect because they're so paranoid about being called poor economic managers! The cycle goes round and round.

    I would be interested to see if that Anonymous objected to John Howard's various levies - the gun buyback scheme; the dairy industry restructure; the payout of Ansett staff; the government terrorism reinsurance scheme...

  32. @Anonymous from 11:55am:

    I said on twitter the other day that if anything, the levy has shown just how bad mathematics education is in this country. You've just illustrated my point.

    The levy is on income *above* $50,000. So, if you earn $60,000, you'll be paying 0.5% of $10,000. That's $50.

    Simple Grade 11 Maths A.

  33. Dear Anonymous,
    Can you please explain to me why/how you paid an "extra" $4k in taxes ?
    Bad management or were you just being generous with the ATO?
    I can pretty safely bet that I pay more in taxes than you do.... and I get no cash handouts in return. I have no kids, private health insurance, did not qualify for PM Howard's $900 bonus nor any other baby bonus/maternity cash.
    I don't sip Lattes nor do I whinge and whine about much.
    Best of luck with that chip on your shoulder. I hope it heals soon.

    I think you might have a contestant here, Girl Clumsy...

  34. Someone on Twitter just posted a link to this article, showing a large part of the levy will be paid for by those earning $200k.

    It also says:

    "The biggest single group of levy payers those earning between $50,000 and $75,000 a year will be asked to contribute $95 on average, or just under $2 a week."

    With the "average" wage supposedly sitting at $60k or so per year, I assume that's what we're talking about when we say "middle class".


  35. I would like to try one of these "lates". Lattes are getting SO passe. I'm a "real worker" - as opposed to other sorts of not real workers with degrees! Ummm bogan rage? - and I have ZERO problemos with this tax.

    Great work GC.

  36. I drink Lattes. If I could get work as an actor I'd jump at the chance (Tell me you wouldn't) I work a 40hr week for not enough money to need to pay the levy. I don't know if this is 'real' work however. It exists. I have to hope that is enough.

    I've also been up to my arms in stinky mud in strangers homes for the past few weekends.

    I would however be happy to pay the levy if it applied.

  37. @Anonymous from 11:55am. It appears you are buying a place in heaven...

    FWIW, I committed all my overtime earned during the floods (emergency service worker) to the flood appeal.... Hmmm the tax deductible nature of that donation will cover the levy entirely... No complaints from me, even though I have been shoveling mud, transporting food and supplies, disinfecting belongings, working my 40+hrs a week, and still feel like I am not doing as much as others.

    It is so easy to be an armchair expert.... Participate, pay the levy and be thankful for the mercies that manta were not affected... OR... STFU.

  38. Hey Clumsy, is there capacity in this scheme for you to pay for me, and I'll recompense you?

    The catch is, I'd prefer to see what you'd do with my dosh than TeamJG.

    Love your work. Where will we do the photos? What should I wear? Love Bedes

  39. I support anything John Howard did, he was the one who brought prosperity to this country. His levies were one-offs. Is it just me or do natural disasters not happen every year? Why is this flood any different to the bushfires? Does it have anything to do with the government trying to get there surplus over the line?

    @Moko - Anything that contains caffeine and doesn't come in a can is passe.

    @GC - Oh no! An in work out of work actor... the worst kind.

  40. Damn it. I wish I'd thought of this for tomorrow's Blunty.

  41. @anon - I'm referencing the pinhead, ignorant, self congratulating ones who prefae their comments with I donated and am glad to do so but..." or "I already pay taxes and the government should fund it from something else".
    Firstly, you're a bunch of ignorant tossers and by the look of things, eager to waste your employers' time through trolling the net and lodging simplistic, ignorant catchphrases of The Great Mean Spirit of the False Sense of Injustice. Go back to We Wuz Robbed or take on the challenge presented you bunch of cretinous dipsticks.

  42. Interesting that a lot of people seem to think that charities spend money in a more responsible way than the government. What the heck do they base that assumption on?

  43. GC great idea, & great Post.

    I will pay the levy gladly, even though the government should have done this properly and borrowed the money on the markets so saving them alot of political pain (which we all know the ALP doesn't like) all in the name of getting back to a slim surplus in '12-13 so as to continue to play petty party politics on the Libs rules. Political stupidity..

    Talking about stupidity. It's fun to watch people whinge about paying an extra $5 a week..

    Orin, you're dead on there with that query.

  44. I like NZ's approach to disaster funding - imposing a permanent levy not to income tax, but to rates. Same principle, but a little closer to charging according to the rate of use of infrastructure.

    That's not in the power of our govts to do. LGs could do so in an uncoordinated way, as happens in the USA, but that wouldn't really help (it certainly doesn't there). States don't have the power. A federal income tax levy is the best option available - and is precisely what previous govts have done, including the Howard govt.

    I find the spectacle of people complaining about a trivially small amount of extra tax (and please - look at the calculators, please forgo spouting gibberish rumours before commenting that you think it's horribly unfair to the poor, deserving rich) deeply repulsive. For god's sake, look at yourselves people!

  45. Why are we all, apparently forgetting the way the Labor (god I hate bad spelling) Party kept this country out of harms way when the GFC stuffed the world not too long ago...
    We spent our $900 and kept the country going Yes mistakes were made (Roof insulation for one)but this country came through a lot better than the vast majority.
    It would be nice the think that a permanent emergency fund could be set up but it is unlikely in the current climate of "Budget Surplus"
    So people, grit your teeth and do your bit for Oz...
    Thank you Inigo for hitting the nail squarely
    By the way GC I don't see too many takers popping up for your offer or, are they too wussy to go public???
    Allen Rowbotham

  46. I don't mind contributing my $75 to the flood levy. The Federal Government will raise about $1.8m with the levy. Coincidentally, this is the same amount Lord Mayor Campbell Newman is spending on the Legacy Way tunnel. Perhaps we do not need a flood levy, or another road tunnel.

  47. I live in Canada so I don't think it would be fair for me to comment on the levy's but I thought your post was great. I love the visual too, excellent way of getting the point across.

  48. That fantastic! realy! these website is way better then everything I ever saw.

  49. I am happy to pay an extra $25. There are those of us who have already dug deep in to empty pockets to donate, don't you feel like they just waited till we donated to the hilt before springing a tax rise? Deception all for a good cause, right?

  50. Brilliant - simply brilliant!

    I'm tipping your inbox will be flooded with tax returns and photos...

  51. Stay tuned, kids - I think this whole shebang's going to have QUITE the interesting conclusion.

    Thanks for ALL your comments - even you, Anonymous. :)

  52. Do you accept applications from finnish citizens? I sure could use some cash and get my face all over Australia. :)

  53. Glad to provide you all with a target for your two minutes hate.

    People misunderstand; the issue is not with helping those in need. It's about directing sarcasm at people who question the need to pay a completely unnecessary tax. It's not about "helping your country". It's about reaching surplus in 2012.

    I though the 'people' would be more concerned about the environmental extras the gov. has decided to scrap. Rather than a NBN and budget in surplus.

    Would you be _as_ happy to pay if I said you had to pay an extra $5 per week just for the NBN or just so that we would reach some made up line (surplus).

    When is the mining tax coming in or the ETS?

  54. Good call! I have to say our family of 4 has one income that is 95k, we don't have a tonne of cash like it seems like you should with pay this high coming it, or sadly splash on mocca lattes, but this is a great cause! Happy to pay. In fact it should be more. You can always trim the fat and so many people lost everything.

  55. This levy does not grow exponentially. Please inform yourself about basic mathematics if you want to be taken seriously as a journalist.

  56. I resent the implication that at the $100k salary level I would only spend $250 a year on coffee.

    It's closer to $1000.

  57. Girl Clumsy, that's fabulous. I'm with you - I don't earn enough to pay the levy, but will pay for someone else, provided they submit their photo here for you.

    The Sun Herald in Sydney interviewed a couple who didn't want to pay, saying the Government was hitting the "Average Joe" and not the big earners. Sorry mate, if you have to pay $600 then you earn about $140,000 and that is *not* average. What a mean-spirited bunch of arseholes complaining about this levy. And yes, Tony Abbott, I'm looking at you.

  58. Anonymous "It's about directing sarcasm at people who question the need to pay a completely unnecessary tax."

    Does that mean the point of you early post was directed at those people who were against the levy for the flood? or are you referring to another levy (tax)?

    Its also hard to be sure if you made the earlier comments as there have been multiple entries under anonymous, though there posts have also been signed eg Abe, Allen Rowbotham

    Your "would you be as happy to pay" is obviously no but then that is the point about the levy and GCs post. She thought most would be happy to pay for a levy to help those affected by these floods. I thought her post pointed out those that were complaining about paying the levy may be less vocal if they had to be up front and visible in their opposition and not just snipe from the computer screen.

  59. The governments big problem is that they should have posted the calculator when they released the plan.

    I heard about a new tax and I was worried, with a young family, single income things are tight at the moment but at $1.50 a week.

    If that can help, I would be prepared to pay double and still be happy

  60. Why are people dogging on the government about maintaining a surplus...aren't these the same people that commend the Howard Government's economic genius by maintaining a mega surplus? Would they not be the first people to say the government LIED if they do not present the surplus they promised in 2013? I am going to go supernova, if I hear one more person
    (looking at you Anon 6:37pm) make inference that the NBN is a waste of money better spent on other things...clearly you need to get off your computer...stay away from the interenet, not partake of buying and selling shares on line and pray you never need the use of medical assistance over the net in an emergency due to the obstacle of large distances...oh and never dare seek the medical assistance of some fancy overseas specialist.

    Ah but ofc people like you would complain about the NBN as unnecessary...it seems roads, bridges and other physical infrastructure are unimportant to people like you also.

    Oh and quit with the Labor Government being incapable of spending correctly....the only reason you are not making comment about Libs spending capabilities is because they have not had any practice at it...instead they gouged us in taxes and levies, yet failed to spend anything on health, education and other society building projects.

    I will definitely prefer to pay the levy than contribute to Tony Maggot's scheme to Stop the Levy.

  61. I am totally ready to pay the levy. The region cannot recover without the necessary repairs or improvements to the infrastructure. Great article too, BTW

  62. You inspired me and I posted this on Blunty's Blog:

    I hate the way politics in this country is starting to resemble the opposition for opposition's sake like the USA.

    As such, I have been desperately trying to think of a way to stick this back to Tony Abbott. Ms Girl Clumsy has given us the germ of an idea but how about we take this to its logical conclusion and give Tony his money back, seeing as he is so hard up.

    Tony Abbot's salary is $111,384 (see this http://www.aph.gov.au/library/intguide/pol/parlrem.htm). He will be up for $384 in flood levy (Thanks to Ms Girl Clumsy for the link to this online calculator http://electronsoup.net/levy/).

    You can put me down for $50. Let's raise the cash but I want JB to hand deliver it to Tony in front of news cameras.

    JB, tell me where to send the money! Got a PayPal account? Just email me with the details.

    So it seems from JB's response he isn't taking me too seriously but I am deadly serious. Do you want to this on? I'm still in for $50.

    Alternatively, we could post the money as a cheque to Mrs Abbott with a nice letter about how concerned we are about their welfare yada, yada, yada and send a copy of the cheque and letter to some journalists.

  63. To the comment posters who seem to get all their news from Rupert or Tony:
    If you've made a donation it will go to help people, the tax will rebuild infrastructure.
    We need the tax because Peter Costello invested the Future Fund overseas instead of in Australia, and it took a big hit from the GFC.
    Why is Tony whipping up hatred for a levy and saying it shows bad economic management when his government announced 6, count 'em, 6(!) levies while in power.
    1996- Gun Levy
    1997- Gun Levy
    1999- Stevedoring Levy
    2000- Stevedoring Levy-Milk Levy-East Timor Levy
    2001 Stevedoring Levy-Milk Levy-Ansett Levy
    2002- Stevedoring Levy-Milk Levy-Ansett Levy
    2003- Stevedoring Levy-Milk Levy-Ansett Levy-Sugar Levy
    2004-Stevedoring Levy-Milk Levy-Sugar Levy
    2005- Stevedoring Levy-Milk Levy-Sugar Levy
    2006- Stevedoring Levy-Milk Levy-Sugar Levy
    2007- Milk Levy
    Oh, and a little thing called the GST.
    Could he be a bigger hypocrite? And could you anti levy people be more gullible?

  64. Can someone please clarify the point that this is supposed to be a medicare levy?

    This is why I don't like the 'rich will pay' rhetoric. If it's a medicare levy then I doubt either Tony or Julia will be paying.

  65. Hooray GC...part of email sent to Mr Abbott earlier this week
    "Just for once can our Parliament co-operate and take a leaf out of the Queenslanders book and work together.
    It behoves you to act like a true statesman and leave party politics where they belong and for once agree with the Government – you might find it rewarding experience.
    I am happy to pay my contribution to this levy and if you aren’t big enough to support it I’ll contribute yours too.

  66. And to Anonymous:
    "Look what a great job they've done with insulation programs, BER, NBN"
    This is a common line, straight from Murdoch Central, but it's never explained. By all accounts, the insulation programs and BER are great successes. Have you heard something I haven't? 4 people died during the time of the insulation program, but that's no more than normal. The toll from workplace deaths and accidents exceeds the national road toll every year, a number of which are in the insulation business. And the NBN is a failure? It hasn't been built yet, genius, and it's been given the tick of approval by everyone, except Abbott and Turnbull, who Abbott publicly ordered to oppose it. You really need to try a different newspaper.

  67. 100,000 being the only income of a family of four does not go a long way, especially after tax.

  68. @ Anonymous: On behalf of the majority of Australians who earn half that, our hearts bleed for you.

  69. Absolutely fabulous! Shared this with other levy supporters on:
    Please come and join us - let's show these whingers that there are plenty of us out there who are happy to do our part!

  70. Girl Clumsy, do you have a facebook page I can recommend? I'd love to get your posts on my page!

  71. I am very happy to pay the levy on the proviso that it does actually go to the rebuilding of disaster stricken parts of Australia (Mostly QLD, but some bits of VIC as well).

    Really can't see what the fuss is about - the money has to come from somewhere and surely it would be worse to go into further debt to repair the infrastructure that was destroyed than to apply a miniscule nd *temporary* tax to those who can afford it?

  72. Just an FYI
    Apparently our Tony now wants donations sent to the Liberal Party for a fighting fund to fight the flood levy
    Hypocrisy is alive and well in that particular political sphere
    Allen Rowbotham

  73. Hello Girl Clumsy, you are an OPPORTUNISTIC PERSON
    Firstly my parents earn just around $55k.
    And im living in a old house, not exactly the new one people build these days.
    Now tell me why the hell should Australian pay a levy tax over a natural distaster happening over Queensland. How i see it is your all hypocrites, if you're soo PROFOUND(reason being you're offering to pay for some1 else levy) why don't you donate everything you earn to support the repair in Queensland.

    Because there's not enough donation the Gillard decided to do a levy, and thus EXPLOITING people generousity and feelings of hypocrisy.
    By placing a levy, we must comform and pay it, else people say and name you "SMUGS" as you stated. You are an opportunist because you use these event to
    1. make yourself look good (acting like a hero when you're not)
    2. Satirise the people unwilling to pay
    3. Making people lose dignity if they decide to request you to pay for them

    As you stated, "surrender any rights to where that photograph may appear" clearly showing you're intention to blackmail(threaten) people into paying their levy else requesting a pointless help that only entertains YOU.

    Look, i'm a student, I believe that there's such thing called insurance, and QLD suppose to have it. It's like saying, I WILL RUSH TECHNOLOGY AND NOT PAY FOR INSURANCE and when a disaster strikes, if we don't help them the government get labeled as cheapskates etc forcing this levy on us.

    You may say this levy isn't big but in my mind, it is PSYCHOLOGICALLY big because you are PAYING FOR SOMEONE TO REBUILD A HOUSE and of course not a crappy house A VERY GOOD HOUSE, where obviously i don't have 1 myself. You may say i'm low or whatever.
    I shall tell you my anaology. When you're in year 12 in high school and you decide to share you're strategies or help others in studying, THEY WILL OBTAIN BETTER MARKS than you in the HSC. Thus you're just paying for someone elses business(OH WAIT YOU LIVE IN QLD! YOU"RE PART OF THE PEOPLE WHO WANT HELP).
    In fact using this opportunity many people in QLD get a FREE NEW HOUSE(man i'd request a cyclone to strike my house if i get a COMPLETELY NEW AND BETTER HOUSE).

    But always remember, HUMANS ARE HYPOCRITES
    because they obtain nothing from donating this levy tax came. And if you donated, you for 1 is an idiot or you just want to look good.

    Sorry for not being able to communicate my message properly. Maybe read a few time to understand better. I'm a student in a high school who JUST MISSED the handout for laptops. Thus i blame the government for my poor skills.

  74. @Holy Hawk
    Please read previous comments. The levy is not for individual property. The levy is to pay for infrastructure - vital to keep the whole economy moving, when one state is down, we all suffer. Based on the information you have given, your family will pay approximately 48 cents per week. Together, we can all make a difference. There are other economic benefits to having this levy too - check out http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.theaustralian.com.au%2Fbusiness%2Fmoodys-counters-opposition-to-prime-ministers-queensland-flood-levy%2Fstory-e6frg8zx-1225998615990&h=b3664 to see what economists have to say.
    We are being fed a bunch of garbage by people intent on destabilising the government, no matter who they have to trample to do it.
    I'm sure if you check it out for yourself you will come around.

  75. Maybe we should all swamp the Liberal fund raiser with cheques for $0.01. It would be one way of showing our collective contempt.

  76. @Alex
    Like i said it's a PSYCHOLOGICAL Issue
    Plus this will establish a precendent on natural disaster, you don't know when this levy may haunt us again after a year.
    Okay i don't know where you got you're info about "individual property" but it's a sound argument.

    But then lets go back to the fundamental problem
    Why the levy tax arise?
    Because not enough donators

    @Girl Clumsy
    Opportunistic people like you should just get a life and stop mocking people.

  77. As someone who doesn't earn a great deal but has contributed $5000 to friends who lost everything as well as taking the family in for the next few months and their day to day living expenses on top of that - I personally have no problem with the tax. however, I think the government should look at reducing it's Forign aid that was increased by $2billion dollars under Rudd to $4.5billion back to $2.5billion for the next two years to help Queensland get back on it's feet.

    I can't help but think if the liberal government was still in power then (as with cyclone Larry) the flood and cyclone victims would be far better off. The labor government has done nothing but waste tax payers funds continually since they have been in power. That said, I didn't vote for them and never will based on their poor economic governance.

  78. re: cutting international development assistance.

    A/ Australian Aid often benefits Australian contractors more than it benefits the recipient communities.

    B/ As climate change progresses unchecked, extreme weather events will become more frequent and more severe.

    C/ As one of the Nations of the world who contribute the highest greenhouse gases per capita, we must bear some responsibility for the causes and consequences of global, anthropogenic changes to climate.

    D/ Australia contributes sweet bugger all in international development assistance, as a percentage of gross domestic income.

  79. I help cover the cost of any cheapskate who actually takes this up.

  80. I agree that the nation needs to invest in this tragedy to rebuild Qld. Our family has already donated 3 times, helped practically, organised wish lists for families devastated by the floods and are continuing to do this as we speak. I could tell you all the other ways we contribute to the community but I can't be bothered I resent the accusation that people who earn above average incomes waste out money on lattes, etc. We have 3 children, two whom have specialy needs. EVERY cent counts for us. $5 per week WILL mean the difference between us affording things like speech therapy, occupational therapy and other essential services to help out children's lives. Not everyone that earns over 100k has spare cash to throw around. We work extremely hard to earn our money. My husband went to uni for 11 years to do his job and work in excess of 55 hours a week so that we can afford to give our kids what they need. We already pay a substantial amount in tax and no, we don't 'dodge' out of paying what we should...wouldn't even know how to do that. I am unable to work right now but will when my kids are able to be left with someone else and then I will also be paying taxes. So please, tell me again why we should be happy to find more money in our budget to pay in excess of $250/year?

  81. Brilliant stuff. The levy is bugger all for those who have to pay it. Tony needs to shut off the incessant whining.

  82. My only gripe with the levy is that my partner and I have both donated generously to the appeals, and now we are going to be hit again. I can't help but feel that we now have to pay again because of a bunch of selfish pigs can't spare 5 or 10 bucks to throw in a money tin. We just left Queensland and are down to one income as a result, yet we still managed to find a couple of hundred to put in.

    I just wish they had of released details of the levy earlier or taken the donations in some other form, such as people get hit unless they have a receipt for a minimum donation. Or, what better way to get rich folk to part with their money by giving them a tax incentive?

    And for those in other states crying as to why they should have to put in for a Queensland problem, please post the states you live in so that we can ignore your pleas for help from your own natural disasters.

  83. This comment has been removed by the author.

  84. @JillianTanner - No one is asking you to be happy about spending $250. But if you earn 100k you are in a much better position to help the country that allowed you the opportunities to have higher education, a large healthy and safe family, and the ability earn 100k. The country that has nurtured you and let you thrive needs your help.

  85. My acceptance of your offer is en route via post. I look forward to receiving A$118.65 by the end of next week.

  86. @Holy Hawk. OMG you must be so devoed to miss out on the lap top.

    Grow up. Get less insular and selfish and when you get some life experience....then comment.

    CG, am sending this link to Crikey! Bloody brilliant!

  87. ok, i'll keep this simple.
    i love you.
    Saw a link to your post on paying the levy for people and i just....well, love you.

  88. One off levy huh? Wait for the next natural disaster, there'll be another one. Will you be so generous then?

    I understand the need for the cash, I just don't think people who live in a "free" society should be forced into giving up their hard earned money.

    Isn't it also abit biased of you seeing as you are from QLD and may have been affected youself?

    People have been giving, not only their money, but their time and building materials to help QLD get back on its feet. I don't think it's right to expect those same people to then pay extra tax because the government can't stop spending money on misguided initiatives.

  89. It's not a donation it's a tax. You have to pay it or go to gaol. There's no choice. Just accept it and get on with your life! Stop listening to idiot shock jocks whooping things up and accept that government money comes from taxation, Queesnsland govt needs money to replace infrastructure, it has to come from us. As has been pointed out, it benefits everyone in Australia to have Qld up and running ASAP.

    Yes we are in the bracket for the levy, I think it'll be a couple of hundred dollars for us.

    It's not nothing, but it's not that much either, quit whinging and get on with it.

  90. @Holy Hawk
    Wow ? Many of queensland road which are used for transport fruit, veg and many other thing at you buy have been affected. You don't want to pay the levy fine but are you will to pay more for the basic items. Or higher taxes for a number of years because the government had to borrow more money to get Australia back normal. My guess is no.

    Queensland is provides a large % of Australia export. Some of which have had to stop because their is no way to get it overseas. This levy is more then just fix roads, bridges and ports. It making sure we recover asap.

    This levy will not come close to covering the recovery cost but it will make a massive different. To getting economy Australia back on its feet.

  91. I have consulted my lawyer at Slater & Gordon (former haunt of our beloved prime minister), who informs me that your "offer", as currently presented, is not binding and is therefore unenforceable.

    However, I have sent to you by post 2 copies of a binding contract, setting out identical terms as your original proposal, for your signature (inclusive of a replied paid return envelope). Upon receipt of one signed counterpart, I shall be more than happy to provide you with:

    - a photo in the nature and form as requested above, with exactly 5 fanned out 5 dollar notes;
    - a copy of last year's tax statement; and
    - a copy of preliminary numbers which should show the indicative income for this year.

    I look forward to your prompt response.

  92. I'd rather pay your levy for you and in return have you pose for a picture with me in my bedroom, before I take you on a different kind of bruising adventure. Don't worry, I won't be clumsy.

  93. A foolish man builds his house upon the low banks of a river in a tropical zone.
    actually its a foolish man who builds anything in QLD

  94. Has anybody actually taken this up yet? I reiterate, I will help cover the cost.

  95. Yep, I've taken this up! Still waiting on my money though...

  96. Hi all,

    I've not received any other contact from willing levy-dodgers than that of Rowan Barber, who I profiled and wrote up on the blog. That was a particularly lovely ending to the challenge.

    I will keep you posted if I do receive any other formal take-ups. Obviously I can't hand out money to people I have no contact details/bank details/names for. :)

    Cheers all, and thanks so much for getting into this whole thing.


  97. well I have to agree with the opponents on that billionaire raise, it is due to a lack of a good finance management by the authorities and now they want to steel citizens's money like always!

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