Help us help others
With all of life’s distractions, we sometimes forget the true meaning of Christmas.
When we are caught up buying presents and overindulging in food, Christmas can be a time when we often forget what really matters.
But bad experiences and misfortunes can culminate at Christmas time, which means for vulnerable and marginalised Australians, Christmas can be the hardest time of the year.
For the Salvos it’s our busiest period, with more than 300,000 families and individuals seeking assistance. We give out more than 500,000 gifts and toys, and serve over 10,000 meals to those who don’t have the means to celebrate Christmas.
So this holiday season let’s remember those going it alone. By donating $29 to The Salvation Army's Christmas Appeal, you can help put a present under the tree and food on the table, bringing hope where it’s needed most.
N. Venables, The Salvation Army
Raise the GST
The deception is barefaced and intentional – Scott Morrison and taxes. He says Australia has one of lowest corporate tax rates. That may be so but it is only half the story.
Here is a selection of corporate tax rates that are higher or on par with ours.
KPMG corporate tax rates 2017, by percentages: United Arab Emirates 55; United States 40; Argentina 35; Brazil 34; Belgium 33.99; France 33.33; Pakistan 31; Japan 30.86; Australia 30; Mexico 30; Philippines 30; Germany 29.79; Greece 29; New Zealand 28; South Africa 28.
With GST/VAT percentage added: Greece 29-24; Argentina 35-21; Belgium 33.39-21; France 33.33-20; Germany 29.79-19; Brazil 34-17.25; Pakistan 31-17; Mexico 30-16; New Zealand 28-15; South Africa 28-14; Philippines 30-12; Australia 30-10; Japan 30.86-8; US 40-0; UAE 55-0.
Finally, lower corporate tax rates plus GST/VAT: Hungary 9-27; Ireland 12.5-23; Russia 20-18; Finland 20-24; Portugal 22-23; Denmark 22-25; China 25-17; Austria 25-20; Netherlands 25-21; Spain 25-21.
Corporate tax rates should remain unchanged while the opposite applies to the GST. Under the present system, the states are deprived of sufficient income from consumer spending. A rise in the GST would go a long way to remedy the situation.
J. Macleod, Berry
Safe in anonymity
Not for a moment am I condoning the appalling behaviour allegedly practised by Don Burke and other celebrities, nor downplaying the humiliation of their victims but I am not surprised that these men feel themselves to be innocent.
These bullies saw themselves as clever, superior, sexy and desirable. Unfortunately, this type of behaviour has been so widespread in the community as to be considered to natural and “blokey”.
The victim has been expected to accept this intimidation as normal, even as a compliment. The fact men who thought the behaviour disgusting did nothing about it reinforced the perpetrators’ belief their actions were acceptable.
Many years ago at a motor repair business, I watched as the young female receptionist passed the workshop. Several mechanics paused in their work to whistle, catcall and shout lewd remarks. I had seen this behaviour before but never en masse and I was shocked by the brutality of it. The receptionist looked uncomfortable but when I said that she didn’t have to put up with this she shrugged and muttered that it was OK.
Clearly, it wasn’t OK but what could she do? If she protested she would probably lose her job.
Celebrities are easily identifiable and those who are found guilty will be punished. But these faceless cowards of the workshop, and many others like them, will remain at large, safe in their anonymity.