ALL'S FARE: The Age's Jason Dowling tries his hand at fiction by inventing a new tax

jasondowling The state government’s transport announcement could be criticised on a number of grounds. The fact it will take so long to deliver, claims of inaction on the much-discussed road tunnels, an increase in fares, the magnitude of the spending plans and even the absence of private sector participation.

But The Age’s Jason Dowling, a self-assured state gallery chap comfortable in his own certitude, has attacked the whole programme on the basis that it contains a “tax” on public transport.

We went looking for this tax. It wasn’t in yesterday’s announcement. Although an increase in public transport fares was included.

Nor is it in the Victorian Liberals’ criticism of the government’s plans. Simon Troeth wrote these words for their leader Ted Baillieu:

“Fare increases will come directly out of the pockets of Victorian families who will be paying for John Brumby’s incompetence as Treasurer and as Premier.

“Labor has missed the opportunity when the money was available to invest in public transport infrastructure, and these increased fares will be the salt in the wound for all Victorian families,” Mr Baillieu said.

And yet the Age splashed today with Dowling’s claim that a “new transport tax” will “help fund” the $38 billion plan.

He says “A 5 per cent tax will be added to fares from 2012 and again in 2013, raising $500 million.”

Even using Fairfax accounting, a $500 million (annually recurring) fare increase doesn’t do a great deal to “help fund” a $38 billion spend.

So enthusiastic was Dowling for his “tax” spin that he even verballed the head of the Public Transport Users Association Paul Mees surrogate Daniel Bowen:

Public Transport Users Association president Daniel Bowen condemned the tax

Yet while Bowen seemed unhappy about the plan – surely a good sign that the government got the balance right – he makes no reference to a new tax in his commentary on the plan.

The Age’s spin is rarely so obvious and as obtuse as that laid on by Jason Dowling today. VEXNEWS sought his explanation about why a public transport fare increase was a tax.  He failed to respond, leaving undenied claims that he was guilty of propagandising for the far-left and Ted Baillieu.



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8 responses to “ALL'S FARE: The Age's Jason Dowling tries his hand at fiction by inventing a new tax

  1. Anonymous

    What do you expect from Jason Dowling? He’s a scumbag of the highest order.

  2. Anon Annonski

    The far left and Ted Baillieu – what’s the difference?

  3. centaur_009

    Sorry but lmao, and didn’t know where else to post this. I can just imagine them in their speedos fighting over the bucket and spade, and made barnaby running through it with his hands in the air.

    Tony Burke on the Coalition’s disarray:

    “They couldn’t even build a sandcastle. One person wants the bucket, another person wants the spade. And even if they did manage to build it, Barnaby would come along and jump on it anyway”.

  4. anon

    Helen has that uncomfortable look on her face “I hope my sex toy does not fall out in front of Teddy & Jason”.

  5. Seesmost

    NSW Lib power brokers (i.e. David Clarke and others) are pressing Joe Hockey to consider a move to state politics with an assurance of the Leadership. If he passes, Mike Baird may get the gig by April 2009. You heard it here first!

  6. The Insider

    Joe Hockey will not move to NSW, he is staying put in Club Fed as he knows that sooner rather than later Malcolm ‘The Arrogant’ Turnball is going to fail and early in the new year, their will be a spill and Hockey will assume the leadership. Watch out Kevin 747 when that happens!!!

  7. Anon Annonski

    The federal Libs would need to be suffering from unusually strong sucidal tendencies to elect Joe Hockey leader.

    Hockey’s woeful performance as minister for IR before the election when it was the issue of the moment highlights his inadequacy.

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