OT: Kevin Rudd misleads Parliament on mining tax ads

Couldn't lie straight in bed

Desperate times call for desperate measures. And there isn’t anyone more desperate at the moment than our Dear Leader, Saint Kevin of Kruddistan, who, not content with bungling the home insulation scheme (resulting in the death of four young men), backflipping on his centrepiece climate policy, wasting billions of your taxpayer dollars on the school building programme, and presiding over the greatest increase in asylum seeker arrivals in history, has now mislead Parliament about the reasons for avoiding his own government’s policy on political advertising.

Rudd sought an exemption from the policy to spruik his mining super-profits tax, claiming, laughably, that the mining industry was behind a campaign of misinformation [well he should know, he’s an expert at campaigns of misinformation]. As Glenn Milne reports in The Australian:

[…] we only need to go as far back as Thursday when Tony Abbott asked the Prime Minister if he would now abandon the mining tax. Abbott cited four reasons; “the collapsing dollar, the falling stockmarket, the suspension of projects and the evaporation of jobs”.

It’s the falling stockmarket that concerns us here. In a lengthy answer, Rudd comprehensively rejected Abbott’s assertion that the government’s tax had had any impact on capital markets.

Let’s go the PM’s own words: “This goes to the other point he [Abbott] has made. I quote him from an earlier remark when he said, ‘Our sharemarket is under pressure because the government has totally mismanaged its proposal of a big new tax on mining’.

“Let us go to the facts of this matter. Share prices around the world have fallen because of the crisis in Greece and the honourable Leader of the Opposition would know that. Secondly, within mining itself he is yet to adduce any data to support the proposition. So on proposition No 1 about the dollar, on proposition No 2 about the share price, on proposition No 3 about employment: wrong, wrong, wrong, against all the factual data.”

Unfortunately the following day another piece of “factual data” surfaced in the form of Special Minister of State Joe Ludwig’s statement that he was exempting the government from its own lily white guidelines on taxpayers’ advertising to allow a $38m assault on the mining industry.

Among the reasons specifically cited by Ludwig for the exemption was the following: “I have also accepted the Treasurer’s advice that, as the tax reforms involve changes to the value of some capital assets, they impact on financial markets.”

So, the day after Rudd tells parliament Abbott’s claims the mining tax is affecting financial markets are garbage, his government uses the same rationale to justify rorting its own advertising standards.

But it gets worse. We now know that Swan first canvassed the idea of an advertising exemption based on market impacts at the time of the budget. So Rudd would have known about that justification since May 11. Then he told the parliament the opposite on Thursday.

When will the Australian public finally tire of this pitiful disgrace of a Prime Minister?

Read it here.

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