Tony Abbott alienating Australian families (letter)by Suryan ChandrasegaranNews 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,