The Daily Telegraph continues to be a beacon of accurate reporting. Take this article from one of Pure Poison’s new favourites, Gemma Jones:

Congestion road tax on drivers is highway robbery

WORKERS struggling with a carbon tax are about to be hit with a second wave of Greens-inspired tax pain.

Bloody hell, how did that sneak through? When does this new tax begin? What is it about? Why haven’t we heard anything about it?

Road congestion charges are being considered by the federal government as part of “environmental and social” tax reform. The details were released yesterday in a discussion paper ahead of an October tax forum.

Hang on, so this isn’t a piece of upcoming legislation, or a new government policy, it’s just an item in a discussion paper?

The forum will be asked if congestion tolling should be introduced to limit road use and provide revenue for roads.

OK, so we’re asking a forum about taxation. That’s a pretty long way from “..about to be hit..” then, isn’t it?

It could lead to motorists being charged to use city roads

Or it could lead to the forum deciding that it’s not the economic tool that they want to use, but we won’t know until it’s been discussed.

This type of scaremongering and doom and gloom is part of the reason that our political discourse is so poor at the moment. As soon as the Government tries to look at any subject the tabloid media instantly turn it into an issue of winners and losers and begins trumpeting the lamentations of anyone who may be adversely affected, while downplaying or ignoring any benefits.

It’s a very long way from how the Sunday Telegraph covered the Howard government’s GST proposal.

We need frank discussions about how to shape Australia’s taxation mix and our regulatory regime if we want to ensure that our economy is capable of dealing with the changes that will be imposed upon us. The Daily Telegraph whipping its readership into a frenzy whenever change is discussed is not helpful for either the government or the people it’s purporting to represent. Sadly, it seems that the Tele would rather cry wolf than treat its readers like adults.

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