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14 August 2014

Joe Hockey gets it (c)ars(e) about

Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey ‘defending’ his proposed increase in the excise on fuel

Australian Teasurer Joe Hockey says poor people won’t be badly affected by his proposed regualr CPI increase in fuel excise on petrol because they don’t drive, or if they do, they don’t drive very far.

Poor people can’t afford to buy houses on the foreshores of Sydney Harbour either. They live in the cheaper outer suburbs, those suburbs which have borne the burden of decades of cuts to public transport. They have to drive to work, to the shops, to the poorly funded schools and hospitals, all on often potholed roads.

Let’s be fair. Hockey is partly right. With his government increasing unemployment – it jumped from 6% to 6.4% last month – and denying those under 30 the dole for 6 months, young unemployed people won’t be able to buy food let alone drive anywhere.

The fuel excise is also regressive. It hits poor people harder as a percentage of their income than rich people like him. Of course we fund Hockey’s work travel so he won’t be affected by the increases. Even if he pays for his own private transport, what impact does an increase in fuel excise have on someone earning $397000 a year compared to an unemployed person earning nothing at worst for six months or $35 a day at ‘best’ for six months?

You can expect more anti-poor rhetoric and attacks on the working class from this Treasurer for the one percent. Here he is in his natural habitat.