It’s that time of year again when we get together and pretend that we all like each other.
Some of you have already jumped the gun, with all this talk of collectables, smoked meats and barbecues.
Heck you’d even be forgiven for thinking that Walrus and TB actually ‘like’ each other parumpapumpum.
But, in the interests of it being crass mass n’all, the benevolent board at The Gutter Trash International Media Consortium have decided that it’s time to splash out on gifts for our many, many grateful contributors, and so they’ve given me the job of choosing them for all of youse.
No don’t thank me.
So here are my gifts. Enjoy…!
For Splatterbottom, and for the benefit of your friends and family…
For the sophisticated individual who has everything, I give you the gift of your own attractive and professionally attired sommelier …
For Kittylitter.. I made you some nice muffins..
For TB.. a new business opportunity to take advantage of your unique skills..
For ToM R some musical entertainment..
For Shane, some advice for dealing with arseholes..
For Walrus.. some lovely reading material..
For #TeaBagz (and for the benefit of the rest of us too)..
For Toilet boss:
Happy regularly-occurring-time-of-the-year everyone!
Did I miss anyone…? 😯
Pauline Hanson has taken aim at the Department of Human Services over allegations that Centrelink is paying spousal benefits to the second and third wives of Muslim men all living under the same roof.
A clearly rattled Ms Hanson said that mainstream political parties were “too gutless” to condemn the practice.
“If we keep appeasing these groups they will want more and more,” Ms Hanson said.
“They will keep going on and abusing us, our generosity and our culture.”
The One Nation leader took aim squarely at the major political parties, “We have been taken for fools”.
“Second marriages and all that are not acknowledged in this country or their children, and they should not be funded at all,” Ms Hanson said.
“It is against the law to have multiple marriages, but we are condoning it as taxpayers.”
Pentecostal christian and acting “Federal Treasurer” Scott Morrison also took aim saying that instances where polygamy was being used to claim multiple spousal benefits were “100 per cent wrong”.
But he did admit that said it would be more expensive for the government if each wife claimed an independent welfare allowance.
“The law and its implementation cannot condone polygamy. It’s against our values, it’s 100 per cent wrong,” he said.
Centrelink does not hold data based on polygamous relationships or religion, something Liberal Senator Cory Bernardi labelled “a convenient excuse”.
“We are always told the data is not kept,” he said as he joined Ms Hanson in her condemnation, saying the payments were “political correctness gone mad”.
“The lack of will to confront some individuals who seek to apply a different law to themselves means politicians are afraid to speak out,” he said.
But not anymore, apparently.
Malcolm Turnbull has gone on a bizarre rant on ABC radio this morning claiming that “Bill Shorten thinks rich kids from Europe should pay less tax than Pacific Islanders working here to send money back to their villages.”
“They say a backpacker from Europe, a rich kid on holidays here from Germany or Norway, backpacking around, he or she should pay less tax and that Pacific Islander who comes here to pick fruit during the season and is sending that money back to his village – some of the poorest countries in the world,” he said.
“The Labor Party, for nothing other than political cynicism, wants these white kids – rich white kids from Europe – who come here on their holidays to pay less tax than some of the Pacific Islanders from some of the poorest countries in the world.”
“And [Mr Shorten] wants these kids, from Europe, to pay less tax than Australians working alongside them. I mean, seriously!
“What’s the principle there?”
Labor has attacked Mr Turnbull for claiming Australians would pay more tax than backpackers because locals can access the tax free threshold for the first $18,200 of their yearly income.
Shadow treasurer Chris Bowen said Mr Turnbull’s comments on foreign workers were “unhinged” and inaccurate.
Under the tax rules for backpackers, 95 per cent of their compulsory super contributions are claimed by the Government when they leave Australia.
DEBATE RAGES OVER TAX RATE
The combination of super tax and the tax rate means the effective tax rate for backpackers under Labor’s compromise of 10.5 per cent is higher than for the Seasonal Worker Program, as these workers are not subject to the same superannuation clawback arrangements.
In addition, under Labor’s 10.5 per cent compromise, there is no income level at which someone on a working holiday visa pays less tax than an Australian worker.
While the Prime Minister is usually an expert when it comes to rich people and the tax they pay, he’s been caught lying today.
Under the Liberals, the backpacker tax:
• Went from zero per cent to 32.5 per cent in the 2015 Budget;
• Then to 19 per cent after a Malcolm Turnbull’s backbench revolted;
• Then to 15 per cent after the crossbench rolled the Government; and
• Is now back at 32.5 per cent after the Turnbull Government lost a second vote in the Senate.
Peak lobby group the National Farmers Federation said it would be a disaster for fruit growers if the 32.5 per cent tax rate kicked in from January.
There is no one else to blame but Malcolm Turnbull and Barnaby Joyce for the backpacker tax debacle they find themselves in.
The Attorney-General George “bookshelves” Brandis and Finance Minister Mathias “I’ll be back” Cormann are set to face questions from a Labor-Greens inquiry into whether the Federal Government instructed former solicitor-general, Justin Gleeson, to run a particular argument in the Bell Group High Court case that would have favoured Western Australia over federal taxpayers to the tune of some $300 million.
Brandis has so far dodged scrutiny, instead pointing the finger for any “misunderstandings” of what the Western Australia State Government perceived as an “agreement,” conveniently in the direction of former Treasurer Joe Hockey, who is now residing in the USA as Australia’s Ambassador for fast food and other culinary adventures all funded courtesy of the Australian taxpayer of course.
In addition to bookshelves and Cormann, other witnesses to appear before the enquiry may include “burgers” Hockey, WA Treasurer Mike Nahan, as well as WA Attorney-General Michael Mischin, however the inquiry does not have the power to compel anyone other than Brandis and Cormann to attend.
Hilariously, Turnbull’s “stable government” stands accused of orchestrating a secret deal between former treasurer “burgers” and the Western Australian Barnett Government where Canberra would not challenge the constitutionality of WA legislation and instead direct the then solicitor-general, Justin Gleeson, not to run a particular argument in court – in order to end a long-running legal saga. The result – if it all went according to the secret deal – would see a windfall of some $300 million for the WA govt at the expense of Australian taxpayers.
However, according to our sources, The Gutter Trash can reveal that Justice Gleeson defied the direction of bookshelves and ended up building the case against WA, rather than for it, creating a conflict between the Commonwealth and the state.
Unsurprisingly bookshelves insists that no such deal exists, declaring he was unaware of any “agreement” between the WA government and Joe “burgers” Hockey, conveniently removing himself from any such negotiations.
All that being as it may, both Labor and the Greens say bookshelves has still not explained whether or not he instructed the former Solicitor-General not to run a particular argument in the High Court.
Bookshelves is claiming “legal privilege” over the specifics of his discussions with the solicitor-general.
Now, would be a good time to invest in those popcorn shares.
One Nation leader, Pauline Hanson, says she’s been subjected to ‘racist abuse’ and is sick of what she calls ‘reverse racism’.
Senator Hanson, along with Liberal Democrat David Leyonhjelm, has proposed a private bill that seeks to eradicate race-hate laws.
During debate in the Senate on Thursday she said people should look at the way different religions make comments to women who don’t wish to cover themselves up.
She claimed women couldn’t swim at beaches because others were offensive towards them.
‘There is a lot of this going on in this country,’ Senator Hanson said.
‘WE CAN’T SAY ANYTHING ANYMORE’
‘We can’t have an opinion, we can’t say anything anymore.’
Unlike the bill proposed by Liberal backbencher Cory Bernardi to remove the words ‘offend’ and ‘insult’ from section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act, Hanson’s bill seeks to remove the entire part of the law dealing with prohibition of offensive behaviour based on racial hatred.
Senator Hanson says she’s ‘sick of being called a racist,’ insisting her accusers can’t point to ‘one racist word’ she has ever uttered.
WHY CAN’T THEY JUST SEE THE FUNNY SIDE OF RACISM?
She insists she’s been subjected to ‘racist slurs,’ like ‘white trash’, and that Greek and Italian immigrants had a ‘good sense of humour’ about being called ‘wogs’.
Indigenous Labor senator Pat Dodson was scathing of the proposed changes, declaring ‘bigotry was back in favour.’
He slammed comments by Immigration Minister Peter Dutton about Lebanese Muslim immigration being a mistake, saying the ‘stupidity’ of his language had ‘excited some lunatic’ to threaten violence and death to Muslim Labor MP Anne Aly.
‘This is what words do – when you don’t understand and comprehend the difference between debate and prejudice.’
He spoke about his own fight for freedom, having been born before the 1967 referendum, when indigenous Australians were not counted in the census.
‘There was a hell of a lot wrong with freedom if you had to fight to experience it,’ Senator Dodson said.
‘If this nation cannot stand up for the weakest and the poorest and those who are most vulnerable because of their race, their ethnicity, or their beliefs, then we have become a very sad replication of what democracy is about.
‘Racism is something that isn’t growing wild out there in the fields – it’s actually tendered in a flowerbox sitting on the windowsills of flats and houses.’
Centuries of failed migration policy must not be repeated
Warning: you are now entering a politically incorrect zone. Australia is in the middle of an honest discussion, fuelled by Immigration Minister Peter Dutton. Previously, Australia’s immigration policy has been based on a complex, rather muddled process where immigrants from all over the world joined the so-called “most successful and harmonious multicultural nation in the world”.
But that’s a phrase our prime minister hasn’t used it for some time now. Things change. Our nation is not counting its immigration successes, but its immigration failures. Chief among those is the introduction of Lebanese Muslims. Mr Dutton says that allowing them to flee the Lebanese Civil War to our shores was a “mistake”. And what better way to quantify that mistake than crime statistics. In question time, Dutton pointed out that, of 33 recent terrorism charges, 22 were against people of Lebanese Muslim background.