January 27th 2018

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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY Loy Yang just latest critical asset to go offshore

EDITORIAL Behind the power shift in the Middle East

CANBERRA OBSERVED Freedom of religion just an afterthought?

GENDER POLITICS Family Court washes hands of gender-dysphoric kids

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS Western sanctions have forced Russia to upskill

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS China exerts soft power on our southern neighbour

ENVIRONMENT Senate committee puts marine life before people

SEXUAL ABUSE Royal commission report ignores cause of abuse

HIGHER EDUCATION Critical thinking and the culture of skepticism

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS U.S. urges Taiwan rearmament to counter China threat

PHILOSOPHY A reflection on thoughts of Richard Dawkins

MUSIC Group theory: A good band is greater than its parts

CINEMA Darkest Hour: A long time till dawn

BOOK REVIEW 'Populism' and the new social divide

BOOK REVIEW Poems outshine dross of inept introduction



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News Weekly, January 27, 2018

Family tax query

I am concerned about the possible impact of the article in News Weekly (October 21, 2017) arguing for the family to be treated as a single unit for taxation purposes but not explaining how this would benefit the family.

My understanding is that, as taxation has moved over the past several decades to treat the family as a single unit, equivalent to an independent individual, without regard to the number of persons it comprises, the family has been increasingly squeezed under tax law. Since 1970 taxation has become increasingly blind to the number of persons dependent on an income, eliminating the substantial deductions per dependent previously provided, and now combining husband and wife’s earnings to curtail eligibility for family benefits.

To date we have been spared the ultimate insult of combining husband’s and wife’s earnings for income-tax purposes. This would mean they would have only one tax-free threshold between them, rather than one each, and their combined income would attract much higher marginal tax rates than either alone, making them considerably worse off.

My conviction is that, if families (independent households) are to be taxed on the basis of the combined incomes of their members, then the formula must provide recognition of the number of persons dependent on that combined income: that is, non-earners (children and carers) as well as earners; as it should in single-income families’ tax.

I would urge you to seek informed advice before promoting “family unit” taxation, and to detail explicit measures to ensure it does not further militate against family financial viability.

Let me take the opportunity to express my appreciation of Peter Westmore’s political analyses. His piece on the Catalan referendum crisis was far superior to anything I’ve seen here, and his sane and considered opinions on Brexit and Trump are a welcome relief after the hysterical doom saying of most journalism here.

Lucy Sullivan,
Celbridge, Ireland

Sneers and fears

I have carefully studied both Chris McCormack’s article (“Abbott gets brickbats for exposing house of straw”) and the address by Tony Abbott (News Weekly, November 4, 2017). I must also confess to imposing frequent and severe penance on myself by insisting that I regularly watch Question Time on ABCTV.

As a result of the latter, I would expect sneering rubbish from Plibersek, Bandt and Whish-Wilson, but the normally rational Brandis with his feeble attempt at pathos with his reference to goats has tumbled from his pedestal.

But, who am I to comment? I, born December 7, ’37, year-10 education and the past 25 years a Landcare and Catchment Management volunteer – along with reforesting my small (159 acres) farm – am sufficiently experienced to know which way is up and the difference between my arse and my elbow.

The lefty, would-be-scientific Malthusian ratbags have my sympathy because these poor fragile lilies tremble endlessly in fear: fear of thanking God for the endless gifts He has given (coal, oil, gas, uranium, good land and water) and of making profitable use of them for the benefit of all.

We must keep Abbott!

Errol Wiles
(who cannot live without News Weekly),
Babinda, Qld.


B.A. retains currency

As we begin yet another year in this God-endowed country, Australia, we are confronted with ever-declining confidence of the majority of the population in the federal and state political administrations of our once blossoming rural, manufacturing and social structures.

The November 4 edition of News Weekly yet again confronted the real issues that are to be confronted if the accelerating decline is to be arrested.

The 75th-anniversary article and the comprehensive spread of articles covering issues that the chattering class is ignoring prompted me to retrieve and re-digest the February 1996 Study Paper by B.A. Santamaria entitled “Saving Our Sovereignty”. I believe it is worth a re-run at some time.

What is imperative, in my opinion, is that we reactivate a political vehicle through which may be achieved committed and honest evaluations and solutions to the issues that matter most to the majority of fine Australians.

The principal Christian churches in my home state will not promote actively the alternatives to the secular media. With the Santamaria-inspired talent we have contributing in such a comprehensive manner, it is time for us to re-launch a political vehicle similar to the DLP.

Tom King,
Mansfield, Qld.


Leftism in NW’s pages

The review “Disentangling the free-market fraud” by David James (News Weekly, December 2, 2017) is a sad departure from News Weekly’s usual standards. It would be more suited to Marxism Today.

Leftist ideological abuse combined with factual inaccuracy does not make an argument. To blame the global economic crisis (GFC) on the free market is the reverse of truth. It was caused initially by the Democrat-controlled U.S. government interfering in mortgage rates. If lenders had been allowed to set rates in accord with the market, the GFC would not have happened.

To describe the Centre for Independent Studies and the Institute of Public Affairs as “spewing nonsense” is the sort of disgraceful slander I would expect from the extreme left. I challenge the author to name one article by the CIS or the IPA that could be so described. To accuse “neo-classical economists” of “deception” is on the same intellectually poverty-stricken level.

The fact remains that the only alternative to market freedom is market unfreedom, which is inseparable from political unfreedom – the difference between the former East and West Germany or the present North Korea and South Korea.

Hal G.P. Colebatch,
Nedlands, WA

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Last Modified:
April 4, 2018, 6:45 pm