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Serious government dysfunction causing great harm

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Looking at politics at the moment one might wonder at how anything functions! And this political dysfunction flows through into government department dysfunction.

Suing the government!
Our truckie friends will be interested in the $600 million class action being organized by farmers over the live cattle export ban in 2011. The Australian’s update is here.

What the farmers have had to do is
‘…establish a case of misfeasance, or abuse of power, on Agricultural Minister Joe Ludwig with evidence gathered from over 100,000 documents including emails, telephone conversations and memos from within government and the Minister’s office….” (and)
“…the group has had to “fight for every shred of information” to build their case despite former Prime Minister Tony Abbott promising the government would be a model litigant.”
The farmers are finally moving to court action after six years of preparation.

This will give our truckie friends some idea of how much work is involved just preparing a case. We are continuing our efforts to organise a class action over the RSRT. Here’s our general information. We assess the potential claim at more than $300m and
  • Like the farmers we’re chasing records. We’ve lodged FOIs for some 14,000 emails.
  • There’s a key potential, constitutional blocking issue that lawyers now think can be overcome.
Tradies ABN scams. Who’s at fault?
But there’s more dysfunction. The government’s Black Economy taskforce has revealed that more than 40 per cent of ABNs quoted in the Northern Territory belong to Bunnings. That is, tradies are illegally quoting the Bunnings' ABN without Bunnings’ knowledge. Yep, the tradies are at fault.

But think of the ATO. The ATO collects huge amounts of data including (supposedly) cross-linking Tax File Numbers, bank accounts and ABNs. If its system worked, then the illegal Bunnings' ABNs would be picked up. But clearly the ATO is failing at what should be a core job. We’ll lay odds that the ATO will demand more data-collecting powers! But if they are hopeless with what they currently do, what’s the value of more data?

Robert Gottliebsen in The Australian makes just this point. And accountants would agree, we think, that the ATO is hopeless.  Accountants have been suffering from repeated ATO computer system breakdowns. But here’s a warning from the ATO: Get your SMSF returns in on time or you’ll be penalized!

Ha! One rule for the ATO! Different rules for everyone else! Frankly, ATO: Get your act together!!
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