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Malsplaining explained how malcolm turnbull aims to control tax debate

It’s sneeringly called “Mal-splaining” and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will be doing more of it as the government wrestles to gain control of a sprawling tax debate.

The Prime Minister is trying to settle apprehensions in his own party and the broader electorate over the prospect of GST increases, and counter Labors attacks on a policy that doesnt exist.

Labor critics define Mal-splaining as a variant of man-splaining, a condescending style of lecturing by a male to a woman as if she were a child.

The difference is the target of this type of patronising is everyone, not just one gender.

Once a hashtag now a verb and a noun, this is what set off a round of Mal-splaining accusations yesterday.

I think it may be helpful if I explain for honourable members some of the complexities in this tax debate, Mr Turnbull told Parliament in what might have been considered a useful and worthy offer.

But Opposition backbencher Terri Butler immediately tweeted, At least he is telegraphing his intention to malsplain now.

At least he is telegraphing his intention to malsplain now #qt

And the day before, her colleague Tim Watts had tweeted, After 141 days of his leadership we could put together a #malsplain greatest hits album by now.

After 141 days of his leadership we could pull together a #malsplaining greatest hits album by now #qt

Credit for the term might go to @MissDissentEats who last September 17 tweeted to Labor deputy leader Tanya Plibersek that with the new Prime Ministers man-splaining had becomes Mal-splaining.

The term and the attacks are a product of Mr Turnbulls quirky and naive belief political problems can be reasoned through, and that he is captain of Team Reasonable.

His problem is this approach has left the government with an unfocused tax policy debate that wanderers from scare to scare, levy option to levy option, and sectional interest to sectional interest.

And because there is no official policy, apart from broad objectives, the forces of reason have littler to argue for.

Mr Turnbull continued yesterday: Compared with other countries, Australia has in its revenue mix a very large proportion of income tax levied on both individuals and companies; and, of course, average wage earners are moving into higher tax brackets.

Those are issues that need to be addressed. Some economists and, indeed, politicians including the Labor government, in its 2010 budget, and the Shadow Treasurer last year have argued that cutting company tax would boost investment and real wages and ultimately benefit workers.

And there is merit in that contention. At the same time, we need to constrain government expenditure.

As the Treasurer [Scott Morrison] has just reminded us, there is around $20 billion of savings held up in the Senate by the Labor Partys refusal to assist in cleaning up the fiscal mess they left us.

The only realistic option for very significant income tax cuts is by changing the tax mix, and that is why a number of people have advocated increasing the GST for the purpose.

Of course, there are people in the Labor Party the South Australian Premier and the NSW Opposition Leader who have argued that the GST should be increased in order to pay for additional government spending in terms of health and education.

Indeed, Paul Keating advocated a 2 per cent increase to do that.

He went on to give a neat outline of the problems, but no solutions.

Which left some on his own side continuing to feel jitters, and the Labor Party scoffing at what was considered peak Mal-splaining.

The ato says its coming after uber drivers who evade the gst

IT HAS won fans and created enemies across Australia, and now Uber has landed firmly in the sights of the Australian Taxation Office — again.

The ATO has announced it was chasing after Uber drivers who didnt pay income tax and the GST by using a new data-matching program to identify culprits.

Under the compliance crackdown, banks and other financial institutions will this month hand over to the ATO detailed payment information regarding up to 15,000 drivers who provided rides through the controversial ride-sharing service.

The ATO will then identify any Uber drivers who have ignored orders to pay the taxes.

We want to make sure everyone knows what needs to be done and only after that if people are still resisting doing what needs to be done, out of fairness well take corrective action, Assistant Commissioner Michael Hardy said.

The compliance crackdown comes follows an August 1 deadline for all Uber drivers to pay the GST. The ATO said people who used their cars to provide rides should pay the tax for every dollar they earned, just like normal taxi drivers.

In August Uber hiked its fares by 10 per cent to cover the tax.

But it disagrees that drivers for its low-cost Uber X service should be forced to pay the GST, because they were not taxi drivers as they were not licensed to drive cabs under state and territory laws.

The company said the ruling was unfair compared to similar services such as bike couriers, truck drivers and Airbnb hosts who didnt have to pay GST until they reached a yearly turnover of $75,000.

Uber Australia boss David Rohrsheim also said the ATOs ruling created unnecessary red tape that included setting up an Australian Business Number and filing quarterly business activity statements with the ATO.

We feel that the position taken by the ATO jeopardises this flexible income, harms job creation, and is guidance that should not have been issued while a comprehensive federal government tax review is under way, he said.

Uber has challenged the ATOs decision in the federal court.

Mr Hardy declined to comment on the lawsuit but said state or territory laws covering ride-sharing, including the announcement by the ACT last week that it would legalise Uber X, werent relevant to the ATOs view.

Under Ubers ride-sharing system, passengers hail cars using the companys smartphone app and pay their fare to the company, which passes the money onto local drivers after taking a 20 per cent cut.

In its announcement this morning, the ATO said it was seeking to obtain bank account information, including account numbers and details of payment dates and amounts from Uber, that covered 2014, 2015 and 2016.

It also announced a similar crackdown on taxpayers who sold goods and services of more than $10,000 through eBay Australia and New Zealand.

News of the crackdown comes one day after Mr Rohrsheim criticised the Queensland government for not bothering to ask about the companys safety procedures.

Uber had been a hot topic in Brisbane, where two cab drivers faced court last week for allegedly bashing up two men because they were Uber drivers.