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Federal Election 2016

Apr 27, 2014

Seat of the week: Wakefield

Seat of the week visits South Australia one last time to cover Wakefield on the northern fringe of Adelaide, held for Labor since 2007 by Nick Champion.

Red and blue numbers respectively indicate booths with two-party majorities for Labor and Liberal. Click for larger image. Map boundaries courtesy of Ben Raue at The Tally Room.

Wakefield extends from outer northern Adelaide to rural territory as far as Clare 100 kilometres to the north, with overwhelming Labor strength around Elizabeth and Salisbury partly balanced by support for the Liberals in the Clare Valley. It has existed in name since South Australia was first divided into electorates in 1903, but its complexion changed dramatically when its southern neighbour Bonython was abolished when the state’s representation was reduced from 12 seats to 11 in 2004. Previously a conservative rural and outskirts seat encompassing the Murray Valley and Yorke Peninsula, it came to absorb the outer suburban industrial centre of Elizabeth while retaining the satellite town of Gawler, the Clare Valley wine-growing district, and the Gulf St Vincent coast from Two Wells north to Port Wakefield.

Prior to 2004, Wakefield was won by the major conservative party of the day at every election except 1938 and 1943, when it was won by Labor, and 1928, when it was won by the Country Party. The Liberal member from 1983 to 2004 was Neil Andrew, who spent the last six years of his parliamentary career serving as Speaker. Andrew at first considered challenging Patrick Secker for preselection in Barker after the 2004 redistribution turned Wakefield’s 14.7% margin into a notional Labor margin of 1.5%, but instead opted to retire. Wakefield was nonetheless retained for the Liberals at the ensuing election by David Fawcett, who picked up a 2.2% swing off a subdued Labor vote around Elizabeth to unseat Martyn Evans, who had held Bonython for Labor since 1994. Fawcett’s slender margin was demolished by a 7.3% swing in 2007, but he would return to parliament as a Senator after the 2010 election.

Wakefield has since been held for Labor by Nick Champion, a former state party president, Shop Distributive and Allied Employees Association official and staffer for state Industrial Relations Minister Michael Wright. The SDA link identifies him with the potentate of the South Australian Right, outgoing Senator Don Farrell. He nonetheless went against Farrell by coming out in support of Kevin Rudd in the days before his unsuccessful February 2012 leadership challenge, resigning as caucus secretary to do so. As with Labor’s other South Australian newcomers from the 2007 election, Champion had no trouble retaining his seat at the 2010 election, a 5.4% swing boosting his margin to 12.0%. However, the seat has since returned to the marginal zone following a redistribution in which it traded an area around Salisbury for Lydoch and Williamstown east of Gawler, reducing the margin to 10.3%, and a 7.1% swing to the Liberals at the 2013 election, which has left it at 3.4%.

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2933 comments

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Jackol
Guest
mb – to be told after working all their lives that they no longer could benefit from their hard work because the government viewed them as rich. So why do we have an asset test at all? Some people ‘benefit from their hard work’ with the result that they have a big share investment portfolio, or large term deposits. But if they have these things and they exceed the asset test thresholds then ‘the government views them as rich’. Strangely that is ok for other assets, but not the family home, and you have never explained why that makes sense.… Read more »
mexicanbeemer
Guest
B.C There is no disputing that and that isn’t the issue, we have Tom wanting to include the family home in the pension asset test and recommends would be pensioners take out a reverse mortgage. Tom has the view that the rich should pay more tax, now this brings us to university, if we want to tax the rich then one of the easiest ways is too increase university fees for kids of rich people remembering as you point out the benefits that come from a degree. Of course i don’t agree with Tom in regards to placing the family… Read more »
B.C.
Guest

A university education offers social and economic benefits to society, as well as to the individual. In the vast majority of cases the subsidy an individual receives in obtaining a tertiary education will be paid back many times over in increased tax payments due to their higher post-graduation income. Then there are the other potential gains to society and the economy in having a better educated workforce.
While it makes some sense for there to be some form of copayment (e.g. HECS), it should not be at such a level as to discourage tertiary education.

Tom the first and best
Guest
Tom the first and best

Parents do not have to be rich to let their children live with them, just not more than a bit poor. Gift tax should also be applied to parents who send their children to private schools. If the student takes out a loan, they have to pay it back. The wealthy get the advantage by the parents paying and thus not leaving them with the debt.

Parents are children are separate people with separate identities and tax and means-test liabilities. You need to remember that.

mexicanbeemer
Guest

Tom

Nice but students can take out a loan and the rest is sent off to the government while its possible for a kid to be living with his/her rich parents and still receive heavily subsides university place which leads to them obtaining high paying job.

While you will still be slugging the children of the working class who have benefited from years of hard work.

Tom the first and best
Guest
Tom the first and best

2925 & 2926

Means-testing students against their own assets and income is an idea with merit as is applying a gift tax when someone else (like their parents or grandparents) pay. That will effect the rich.

mexicanbeemer
Guest

Should have added go to university subsided by those that don’t go to university.

mexicanbeemer
Guest
Tom Your reverse mortgage idea is aimed at pensioners yet you are not willing to have the same treatment for university places. The children of the rich pretty much always go to university, if you survey people in white collar jobs above 80k a year they pretty much all have at least one bachelor degree, some industries require a lower level qualification but even so most will have at least one bachelor. You are arguing that a pensioner should have their home included in the asset test which will discriminate against working class people who have seen their once working… Read more »
DisplayName
Guest

Ttfab, fair enough. I was just going off the post immediately prior to mine.

Tom the first and best
Guest
Tom the first and best

2920

Means-testing owner-occupier housing is not tax based on postcode, it is a means-test based on actual realisable asset value.

Tom the first and best
Guest
Tom the first and best

2919

Inheritance taxation is not “working for the Government”. With inheritance taxation, they still get the money, they just have to pay tax on it. Workers pay tax on the income they get from working, it is thus unreasonable to workers not to make inheritors pay tax on money they inherit.

University education is not a service to the parent, but a service to the student. If the parent(s) or other wealthy relative or friend, charge gift tax.

DisplayName
Guest

Taxing people based on postcode sounds like a bad idea. What are the side effects? Ghettoisation?

mexicanbeemer
Guest

Tom if it is okay to tax based on postcode then charging for university by postcode is surely fair enough as well.

mexicanbeemer
Guest

Tom

I invite you to tell the average tradie or office worker that they work for the government.

I wonder what their response will be.

If you want to tax the rich then charge them 100% of their children’s university place.

By doing that you are hitting the source of their employability hence the key to their high income potential

Tom the first and best
Guest
Tom the first and best

2915

I am talking about taxing inheritance, not banning it.

I am not talking about requiring all incomes to be equal. If you work more, or more valuably, you should get paid more.

Tom the first and best
Guest
Tom the first and best

2914

Wealth is individual not suburban. Means-tests should be individual, not by suburb.

Tom the first and best
Guest
Tom the first and best

2913

You are thinking about inheritance from the point of view of those providing the inheritance. That sort of attitude is favorable to the very rich because not taxing inheritance, which is a form of mainly unearned income for the inheritor, spread their wealth across the generations.

Fulvio Sammut
Guest

Under your philosophy Tom it would be far simpler for a Government to sequestrate all private property and provide subsistence payments to all its citizens in equal measure.

I believe the experiment has been tried before.

mexicanbeemer
Guest

Maybe Kids from well heeled suburbs should pay 100% of the cost of their university place.

mexicanbeemer
Guest

Tom

People pay enough income tax, the only people that work for government are public servants, everyone else is not working for the government but themselves and their families and that includes those that do actually work for the government.

Tom the first and best
Guest
Tom the first and best

2906

The more valuable the home, the more that the reverse mortgage will pay and the more the means test will cut the pension. It the reverse mortgage and the super are not enough there will be a part pension.

DisplayName
Guest

Further to 2899.

They will most likely to this, of course, by reflecting that value in the price of their products, and so force those additional considerations onto their customers. Which, assuming those customers voted in favour of formalising those values, is the desired effect. They should be happy to take into consideration those things they themselves voted for.

Abbott’s PPL does this not at all, or poorly at best.

Tom the first and best
Guest
Tom the first and best

2903

Taxing inheritance and gifts (of significant financial value) is one of the best ways of getting at the rich, along with wealth tax. Its biggest hole is tax havens (a reason why a world government is needed). It should also be part of income tax so that people on higher incomes who inherit pay more tax on the inheritance than those on low incomes who inherit.

zoidlord
Guest

@2907

I thought Mod Lib said it was all good in good old USA?

Jackol
Guest

Tom L at 2895:
Good post.

We’re looking at the extremes here; the idea is to treat both ends fairly and still have a sensible rule for the middle.

I absolutely agree.

briefly
Guest
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-04-30/economy-in-u-s-stalls-as-business-investment-exports-drop.html [The U.S. economy barely grew in the first quarter as harsh winter weather chilled investment and exports dropped. The expansion stalled even as consumer spending on services rose by the most in 14 years. Gross domestic product grew at a 0.1 percent annualized rate from January through March, compared with a 2.6 percent gain in the prior quarter, figures from the Commerce Department showed today in Washington…. Business investment dropped at a 2.8 percent annualized rate, the weakest print since the fourth quarter of 2009. Part of that reflected a smaller gain in inventories that cut 0.6 percentage point… Read more »
Fulvio Sammut
Guest

But Tom, if it’s done universally on a Bank-must-win-in-the-end basis, the amount the bank will pay periodically to each of it’s “superannuants” will be less than an income capable of adequately supporting them.

Oh, never mind.

deblonay
Guest

Kennett doesn’t believe in policies or promises

He is a real neo-Lib-economnist…our only true-Thatcherite
and showed it in office…and when he says people came to appreciate his work in office…he fails to mention that he was defeated in a major swing AGAINST THOSE POLICES ….WHEN PEOPLE REALLY GOT TERRIBLY PISSED OF AND REVOLTED
FORGETFUL OLD JEFF
TONY JONES SHOULD HAVE ASKED ABOUT THAT !!!

Fulvio Sammut
Guest

2902 referred to Zoidy’s disclosure that Abbott has lied.

mexicanbeemer
Guest

Tom

There are easily ways of taxing the rich than trying to limit property transfer

The more you try all you do is make it harder for the workers while the rich will continue to carry on.

Changes to the treatment of investment income in the asset test will bring far better results.

The government is not on struggle street and if it really was then there are a number of ways of correcting that, AA has identified something like 25-30 billion.

Fulvio Sammut
Guest

No shit, Sherlock!!

Tom the first and best
Guest
Tom the first and best

2890

It is not charity or welfare. A reverse mortgage provider takes money it has for investing, gives a payment to the homeowners based on the value of their home and their life expectancy (on an actuarial basis so the risk is spread, like with insurance) and then gets and sells the home when the owners die. 100% business.

zoidlord
Guest

Tony Abbott has LIED!

http://www.dss.gov.au/about-the-department/international/policy/portability-of-australian-income-support-payments

“Yearly expenditure on Australia’s pension payments to recipients of Australian income support payments living overseas amounts to $692 million (June 2012). At the same time, pensions from overseas being paid to Australian pensioners residing in Australia totalled $1,484 million (June 2012). This represents a significant inflow of funds into Australia, an increase in disposable income for pensioners and a saving for Australian taxpayers. This is shown in Figure 1.”

DisplayName
Guest
briefly, from Tibor’s post [… If the government wishes to add to this scheme, such as an extra payment to low income earners, then it can do so, but the benefit should be means tested.] Regarding your point, a properly implement PPL (not Abbott’s) will not magically add more money to the pot for mothers enjoying greater employment. What it will do is force businesses to *factor in an additional human cost of employment along with, for example, mental and physical health. In other words it forces forward planning. Businesses must account for the possibility that their employees will have… Read more »
deblonay
Guest

Bendigo Bank offers a different scheme I understand from a neighbour,in which you take a parcentage of the value of the ome…say 20% in cash and contract to pay the bank say 27% when you sell the house or it’s sold after death
The residue is the owners or estates…no interest payments and as real estate rises generally it seems a better scheme tha the reverse mortages
Called I think Home Sacings and =different from the reverse mortage schemes
Has anyoine heard of it

Tom the first and best
Guest
Tom the first and best

2888

The reverse mortgage provider pays for the home with the reverse mortgage, the children do not pay under pension exempting the family home from the means test. If the children, or anyone else, want to pay instead of a financial institution then I have no problem with that (there is a system like that in France).

The greater rate of taxation of a non-owner-occupier home would significantly reduce the benefit of title transfer.

The rich can be got at with inheritance and gift taxes.

Fulvio Sammut
Guest

Well, we almost did, Beemer, but a couple of guys called Rudd and Swan saved us.

Tom L
Guest
Re asset tests and primary residences. As with any inheritance tax it would make sense to include any value in the primary residence exceeding (say) $800k in the asset test. Then someone who’s lucked into owning a million dollar house in a former working class area won’t be pinged too much (assuming they haven’t also ‘lucked’ into owning a couple of investments too), but Mr and Mrs Cottesloe who’ve arranged their finances so the bulk of their assets are in a $5 million home aren’t going to receive the pension. We’re looking at the extremes here; the idea is to… Read more »
Puff, the Magic Dragon.
Guest
Puff, the Magic Dragon.

Reverse mortgaging the family home to pay for the aged pension is a way of asset-stripping a person before they die. It is a form of death tax once favoured by the socialists/left to break up the fortunes of the upper classes, imo. It is now being used to take the resources of the middle-class and make sure their kids have nothing to inherit.

It is funny how socialist ideas end up in the policies of the
conservatives.

Bushfire Bill
Guest
Love some of the rationalizations coming in tonight. Abbott makes it all seem so easy to “fix” everything… hundreds of policies ready to go, fully costed, adults about to take over, axe the tax, stop the boats, support health, education, care for the diasbled fully, “unity tickets” etc. etc. Then, when the shit hits the fan, his mates go into bat for him telling us how BAD it all turned out to be, how DIFFICULT the task ahead of us truly is, how “the national interest” demands that he ditch all his promises, it supercedes everything,… promises? What are promises?… Read more »
mexicanbeemer
Guest

Regarding Tone lets just hope these public attacks don’t allow him an excuse to go soft which all the media talking heads will celebrate as common sense prevailing.

mexicanbeemer
Guest

Heaven forbid we ever have a serious bank bust.

Fulvio Sammut
Guest

Banks don’t work that way, Tom. they are not charities or welfare providers.

On an actuarial basis they must make a profit or they won’t be in it.

deblonay
Guest
TONIGHT WAS VINTAGE KENNET ______________________ For those who missed him aa Premier or were to young to remember this was the old Jeff many of us hated so much My wife said it gave her the creeps…like a time machine taking us back to the 90ies But Abbott is in trouble…big trouble…Kennett by his attack proves it …and he represents those Liberals who are sick of waiting for Abbott’s atttack on everything.. But they forget he has a hostile Senate and it will get no better…and then there’s Palmer…and it’s not the 90ies ..and all that Middle class welfare that… Read more »
mexicanbeemer
Guest

Tom

This conversation is centered around you wanting would be pensioner to take out a reverse mortgage rather than take a pension which transfers the benefit to the banks rather than to the workers children.

Ít reduces the benefit to society just as reducing access to university does.

The rich will still be able to get around it by simply transferring title to the children before the older person reaches pension age.

It only costs 5k to fill out the paperwork.

Tom the first and best
Guest
Tom the first and best

2884

Depending on the terms of the reverse mortgage. It would be quite reasonable to regulate that all new reverse mortgages last until the recipients die.

Puff, the Magic Dragon.
Guest
Puff, the Magic Dragon.

The social wage is not welfare. It includes welfare. Welfare to the social wage is as a pylon to a bridge. To interchange the two terms is a show of ignorance.

Tom the first and best
Guest
Tom the first and best

2878

How?

People who inherit houses are generally better off than the rest of the population before they inherit them. Life expectancy is such these days that the rest of the population before they inherit the house.

Fulvio Sammut
Guest

Thomas Paine, the last of you and your spouse vacating the property technically triggers an act of Default and the reverse mortgagee calls in the reverse mortgage and sells the property to recover its then debt.

No possibility for the mortgagor to rent it out as a means of earning income.

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