May 29th 2010

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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY: A program for Australia's future

OPINION: Is Rudd's resources super profits tax constitutional?

EDITORIAL: Stop Rudd's super profits tax!

CANBERRA OBSERVED: Labor's 'destroy Abbott' strategy may backfire

FEDERAL BUDGET: No budget relief for single-breadwinner families

OPINION: The Henry tax review's better proposals

EARLY CHILDHOOD: Kinder kids quizzed on their sexuality

GLOBAL FINANCIAL CRISIS: European debt crisis reveals globalisation's shortcomings

INDIA: India's 'Red Corridor' and the Naxalite threat

ISLAM: Feminists silent about women in burqas

GENDER AND IDENTITY: Radical ideologues deny innate gender differences

UNITED STATES: The politics of religion in America

Tony Abbott alienating Australian families (letter)

New York bomber 'disenchanted' (letter)

Canberra power-grab (letter)

AS THE WORLD TURNS: Absolutely terrified; Globalisation of higher education; Muslim woman becomes UK Conservative party chairman; British bobbies are being replaced


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Tony Abbott alienating Australian families (letter)

by Suryan Chandrasegaran

News Weekly, May 29, 2010

I refer to Carolyn Mongan's letter, "Perspective needed on Tony Abbott" (News Weekly, May 1, 2010), defending Mr Abbott.

She is right to remind us about Mr Abbott's positive past behaviour. However, all of these positive points occurred before he became Liberal leader. Since then, his performance has been quite disappointing.

His recent policies have not been helpful to families. His paid parental leave scheme is more inequitable than the ALP's scheme, since his scheme's biggest individual beneficiaries will be women earning $150,000 or more a year. These women will be paid $75,000 (as opposed to $7,342 under the ALP's scheme).

Why does the community need to give financial assistance to these well-off individuals? His scheme is also much more expensive. He says it will be funded from the profits of the largest Australian companies. However, ultimately we shall all have to fund his scheme through higher prices charged by these companies.

More recently, Mr Abbott has opposed the Rudd Government's resource super profits tax, which aims to raise taxes from the currently booming mining sector (large sections of which are foreign-owned). Yet, Mr Abbott does not want to tax these companies, but believes that taxes should continue to come largely from ordinary Australians.

Mr Abbott once delivered a speech to a News Weekly dinner, "Key principles of democratic statesmanship" (News Weekly, December 20, 2008). In the speech, Mr Abbott claimed that "principles are important. ... But they are no guarantee of political success". He is obviously now compromising on principle to try to win the next election.

However, I disagree with his approach. Mr Abbott became Opposition leader without having to compromise on principle. His latest policies aimed at winning the support of rich women and mining companies are simply alienating him from ordinary Australian families.

Suryan Chandrasegaran,
Nerrena, Vic.

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