This simple and generalised statement shows how out of touch Mr Hockey really is. In the last 10 months he has been photographed smoking expensive cigars, sitting on a silk chair when making his austerity speech, dancing on the night he announced the need to slash pensions, told us that cuts to the budget didn’t go far enough and complains how hard it is to be the treasurer.In case you haven’t caught up with the latest, Mr Hockey hopes to re-introduce the fuel excise tax that he sees as a way to raise money to pay for roads.
These comments from a man who is chauffeured to work every day!
The Australian Institute recent analysis states that the poorest 20% spend more than three times as much of their income on petrol; the lowest income earners in Australia spend the greatest amount on fuel as a proportion of income. This research does fly in the face of Mr Hockey’s comments.Most in the higher income brackets tend to have multiple cars and potentially get a deduction on fuel or have their company pay for all costs associated with their car.
How will a fuel tax impact business and transport of goods, will the additional costs be passed onto the consumer – I suspect it will.In Melbourne the urban sprawl goes for kilometres into the vastness that is Victoria fuelled by the great Australian dream to own a home on a ¼ acre block.
Inner city high density living is also not a choice for many families, elderly or low income earners due to affordability, lack of space and community feel.So more and more people are moving out and commuting back into the city or inner city suburbs to work.
The urban sprawl may cater for family, housing and lifestyle needs however it does not necessarily cater for employment needs.So many of our ‘urban sprawlers’ in fact are driving distances to work. Now according to Mr Hockey’s statement and data, only the rich drive long distances, therefore does this make our ‘urban sprawlers’ rich?
I would suggest Mr Hockey that this segment of our community may disagree with you.Across the country public transport budgets have been slashed, in fact it was Mr Hockey who slashed the funding to any public transport projects in Australia that wasn’t already under construction.
Anyone who catches public transport in Victoria will certainly agree that we have issues with our trains, trams and buses running to time and in many country areas are non-existent. Which means that they need a car, unless they intend to start riding horses again.
Many in the country drive long distances just to get groceries, get their kids to schools or themselves to work.The figure Joe is quoting of $16 per week on petrol is an absolute farce. I would love to know who does actually pay that much per week for petrol.
Mr Hockey is making the assumption, based on his data of course, that low income earners don’t have cars or drive long distances is so far from the reality; in fact most often they have old cars that are not fuel efficient. Remember too that low cost housing isn’t always located in the inner city fringe.Joe Hockey needs to understand that owning a car is not a luxury item, it is a necessity. Majority of us need a vehicle to get us to and from work, visit family and friends, take out kids to school and do the shopping.
The comments made by Mr Hockey smacks of elitist, condescending, us and them mentality which is not what this country is about.It seems that selling his budget hasn’t been as easy as he thought it may be and he needs some basic sales lessons. Perhaps I will invite him to our next training session.
It sadly does show however how out of touch Mr Hockey and his government perhaps is.