Queensland Liberal Senator Sue Boyce caused plenty of red faces when she neglected to attend a crucial Senate vote on the Federal Government’s luxury car tax proposal last night giving the $555 million slug an extra chance at sliding through.
The proposal raises from 25 per cent to 33 per cent the tax on vehicles worth more than $57,180.
The measure was part of government policy designed to restrain a booming economy where too many people were selling up the shares they’d bought in Dry Gully Pipe Dreaming NL for a 10000% profit and heading down to their local Maserati dealer to celebrate.
But the world is very different now. Resources stocks are still doing OK but the rest of the equities market has tanked badly. Consumer confidence is at levels normally seen in a recession. Luxury car sales are set to drive off a cliff.
So a new tax on such cars doesn’t seem as good an idea as it did when discussed in Cabinet six months ago.
For all that though, Family First Senator Steve Fielding is doing what he does best by trying to find a decent compromise and may well get that up if the government decides to exploit the embarrassment created by the Queensland Liberal Senator. Government insiders explain there are many technical difficulties with the compromise sought by Fielding.
VEXNEWS has obtained a copy of a recent newsletter distributed by the Senator at taxpayer expense. It has the usual range of political talking points and focuses on areas of policy well within her area of expertise.
In addition to that, she appears uses the newsletter to settle factional scores within the Liberal party and its Queensland iteration the LNP.
She strangely writes:
AS EVERY GOOD TREKKIE KNOWS…
â€˜Seven of Nineâ€™ is the only known element of the virulently collectivist evil known as The Borg to develop sufficient abilities to co-exist with humans. Despite their mindless catchcry â€˜Resistance is Futileâ€™, The Borg have been consistently vanquished by human ingenuity.
We are told this was intended as a none too subtle dig at the state leader of the LNP Lawrence Springborg who even refers to himself as the “Borg”, once arranging for “the Borg is back” T-shirts and bumper stickers to be produced celebrating his return to the top of Queensland state politics.
Referring to her foes within the Liberal party who supported the party merger and the Nationals who now form a very solid majority within the combined LNP as “virulently collectivist evil” seems to be an unusually brave/stupid thing to do.
Special Minister of State John Faulkner told the Senate:
“How seriously do you think the Australian people should take an opposition that argues a case on an issue like this but can’t even exert the internal discipline to get its own senators into the chamber to vote on this sort of matter?” he said.
With Senator Boyce up for election at the next federal poll, the issue of her “internal discipline” will almost certainly come up when the LNP resolves its next Senate ticket probably some time next year.