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Simon Corbell goes in to bat for the miserly

By johnboy - 14 April 2012 32

The ABC reports that Attorney-General Simon Corbell is courting the vote of miserable penny pinchers.

Since time immemorial if one was in receipt of a gift voucher or card it was accepted that in most cases one would have to overspend a couple of bucks to get the full value out of it.

And reasonable people, since time immemorial, have not had a problem with this.

But there’s always one miserable whiner to be had in any crowd and Simon is pandering to them:

Attorney-General Simon Corbell wants to allow consumers to receive up to 10 per cent of a gift card’s value in cash if it is not redeemed.

Simon Corbell says it will help customers with small amounts left on cards.

He says Canberrans spend $24 million a year on gift cards and $7 million goes unused.

“This is a very large amount of money that is given by consumers to retailers in the ACT every year and which currently goes unclaimed,” he said.

“At the moment that unclaimed money just goes straight into the cash register of retailers and they don’t provide any goods in return.

“We believe this issue needs to be addressed and consumers need better protection.”

Simon plans to have this before the Assembly by September; or, in punter’s language, just before the election.

His logic seems to miss out on some of the drivers of gift giving.

What next, legislate that all gifts must be given with a receipt so they can be redeemed and full value extracted?

UPDATE 14/04/12 13:45: Simon has now made a media release available explaining his views at length.

The Government is considering a $5 cash-out option for cards with a face value of $50 or less, or 10% cash-out for cards with a face value of more than $50 to provide a fairer deal to consumers at a low cost to retailers.

“The point of these proposed reforms is to ensure consumers with gift-cards actually enjoy their full value instead of being short changed if there is a small value remaining on the card after a purchase which cannot be recovered or spent,” Mr Corbell said.

“Often small balances after a major purchase are too low to purchase another product, but the company is usually not willing, or obliged to cash out that balance on the card to the gift-card owner.

“This situation generates an unearned windfall for the card issuer and leaves consumers out-of-pocket and this is something that the ACT Labor Government views as unfair, and is seeking to rectify.”

What’s Your opinion?


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32 Responses to
Simon Corbell goes in to bat for the miserly
16
p1 8:10 am
15 Apr 12
#

HenryBG said :

Pork Hunt said :

p1 said :

Wow, can you buy a gift voucher for the store that Simon bought his “how to run a nanny state” manual at?

Is that the same manual that states they have to close Corin and Brindabella roads when 2 cm of snow falls?

I think you’ll find all councils very sensibly try to keep the 4WD-warriors off their unsealed roads when they’re wet, to avoid the expense of repairing the damage caused by these idiots who take great delight in ripping up the roads the instant they get a bit wet.

While it is true that unsealed roads are often damaged more when wet (especially by “spirited driving”), and a common way for such roads to be protected (and money saved), is to close them when wet, this totally disregards the counter argument. Which is – if this road was open when it snows, taking kids in canberra to play in the snow would be reduced from a several hour each way drive, to a quick slip up the brindies…(when it has snowed of course)…

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17
HenryBG 10:22 am
15 Apr 12
#

p1 said :

While it is true that unsealed roads are often damaged more when wet (especially by “spirited driving”), and a common way for such roads to be protected (and money saved), is to close them when wet, this totally disregards the counter argument. Which is – if this road was open when it snows, taking kids in canberra to play in the snow would be reduced from a several hour each way drive, to a quick slip up the brindies…(when it has snowed of course)…

I don’t see why that is a “counter-argument”.

What you are suggesting is that the ACT Ratepayer leave roads open in order to subsidise a small minority’s trips to the snow by way of paying to fix roads damaged by 4WD-cretins.

I take the opposite view. People can make individual choices about paying to drive to the snow, but the people responsible for managing the ACT Ratepayers’ collective assets should be doing exactly what councils everywhere in Australia do, which is to shut wet roads to keep mindless 4WD-cretins off them.

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18
p1 2:08 pm
15 Apr 12
#

The counter argument is that the roads are there for a reason. The dirt roads in the Brindies would last even longer if they were shut all the time. Like wise, all those pot holes in town woildn’t have openned up recently if people were banned from driving on *all* wet roads.

A competently driven 4WD, will do a lot less damage than a white commodore rallied around. The d***head element is the factor here not the driveline of the vehicle.

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19
PantsMan 4:10 pm
15 Apr 12
#

Simon Corbell is singlely the most boring person on earth, however, he has really struck upon one of the grave issues of our time here.

Firstly, the giving of ‘gift cards’ is generally related to spontainious and joyous human interaction, such as birthdays. The government has no policy on these, despite having all the necessay information in its so called ‘Register of Births, Deaths and Marriages’ to regulate the crap out of them. Hopefully, flowing on from this we will have full regulation of all birthdays too.

Secondly, a card that allows you to buy something at a store mandates some type of ‘consumption’, which will cause climate change and kill the Great Barrier Reef and an owl somewhere. Hopefully the Greens can get this thing before a committee and ratchet it up a bit and outright ban gift cards altogether. They taught us how to live with the plastic bag ban and hopefully the can teach us how not to get out of mothers day without thinking. However, as it is being introduced right before the disolution of the Assembly and will immediately lapse, maybe it will have to be rolled into the Greens proposed Anti-Fun (Government Control) Bill 2013.

Thirdly, did you know that stores earn interest on the money in the bank while you stuff around for 6 months trying to work out what to buy? This is another dimension to the scurge known as ‘profits’. A Gift Card Interst (Super Profits) Tax Act is immediately required. However, jobs and something about China and the Ebay and GST means that you should be able to fill out a form once a week and submit it to the ACT Government and get a 94.5% rebate on the value of the tax you paid last week, less a processing fee of $14 per $100 claimed.

All simple solutions to the grave problems of our times by Captian Beige.

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20
HenryBG 4:14 pm
15 Apr 12
#

p1 said :

The counter argument is that the roads are there for a reason. The dirt roads in the Brindies would last even longer if they were shut all the time. Like wise, all those pot holes in town woildn’t have openned up recently if people were banned from driving on *all* wet roads.

A competently driven 4WD, will do a lot less damage than a white commodore rallied around. The d***head element is the factor here not the driveline of the vehicle.

Yeah, but there’s nobody on the gate allowing through only the competents.
A 4WD driven by a cretin will do immeasurably more damage than a commodore driven by a cretin, which is why it is cretins driving 4WDs who are the chief reason these roads have to be shut in the wet.

You have to find a balance between using ACT Ratepayers’ money to provide shared resources and infrastructure, and occasionally barring access to that infrastructure to ensure a wider selection of the collective owners of that infrastructure gets to enjoy the use of it.

As I said before, all councils responsible for these sorts of roads do exactly the same thing.
Canberra has a special challenge in that it is home to a far higher number of 4WD-warrior-cretins than most councils ever have to deal with.

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21
devils_advocate 5:54 pm
15 Apr 12
#

I think this policy is fair, especially given the fact that shops are constantly putting guns to people’s heads and forcing them to buy these gift cards, and then deliberately screwing them over.

If only there was some unit of exchange – currency, we could call it – that people could quickly and conveniently access (perhaps from some kind of machine, located around the place?) , and slip into birthday, christmas and wedding cards. Then we would be free from the tyranny of these highly conditional “gift cards”.

But until that happens, and while we have no alternative to bartering or for intertemporal transfers of consumption, we are at the mercy of the stores and the conditions they impose on what is clearly our only unit of exchange.

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22
p1 6:04 pm
15 Apr 12
#

HenryBG said :

Yeah, but there’s nobody on the gate allowing through only the competents.
A 4WD driven by a cretin will do immeasurably more damage than a commodore driven by a cretin, which is why it is cretins driving 4WDs who are the chief reason these roads have to be shut in the wet.

You have to find a balance between using ACT Ratepayers’ money to provide shared resources and infrastructure, and occasionally barring access to that infrastructure to ensure a wider selection of the collective owners of that infrastructure gets to enjoy the use of it.

As I said before, all councils responsible for these sorts of roads do exactly the same thing.
Canberra has a special challenge in that it is home to a far higher number of 4WD-warrior-cretins than most councils ever have to deal with.

And on the balence of all those things, closing the road is probably the right move. ACT Parks and Wildlife certainly prefer it. It helps that the ACT has the advantage of being able to close there roads, happy in the knowledge that the bogan element won’t be too outraged as they oly have to go a couple of kms further to 4WD in NSW.

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23
milkman 7:02 pm
15 Apr 12
#

We should tax 4WDs back to the bush anyway.

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24
Thumper 7:03 pm
15 Apr 12
#

Does anyone else think that this is possibly the very worst piece of legislation ever put forward by this bunch of numpties?

Talk about a solution for a non problem.

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25
justin heywood 10:14 pm
15 Apr 12
#

Thumper said :

Does anyone else think that this is possibly the very worst piece of legislation ever put forward by this bunch of numpties?

Talk about a solution for a non problem.

If the figure is correct, it equates to about $20.00 lost on these cards for every year for every man woman and child in the ACT – and almost 30% of the cards’ value goes unspent.

I call bollocks on the figures, with about the same ammount of evidence that Corbell provides for this plan. Has the ‘Attorney General’ and Police Minister of this little tin-pot kingdom nothing better to do?
Give a little man a little power …

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26
bloodnut 5:01 am
16 Apr 12
#

Please start with qantas flexible fares that mean you can’t purchase a credited fare if it is less than the original amount paid…

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27
Mysteryman 9:10 am
16 Apr 12
#

ACT Labor – we don’t know how to spend money, but we’ll tell you what you can do with yours!

What an ridiculous and idiotic idea.

Mr Evil said :

“Oi, all you media people, don’t look at all those dodgy ACT Labor timesheets over there; come and look at this very important issue of people losing a few dollars on a gift voucher/card purchases instead…..”

+1.

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28
Thumper 9:12 am
16 Apr 12
#

I’d like to get reimbursed my parking ticket for when I don’t stay the whole two hours.

You know it makes sense.

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29
dungfungus 10:20 am
16 Apr 12
#

Thumper said :

I’d like to get reimbursed my parking ticket for when I don’t stay the whole two hours.

You know it makes sense.

What a perfect example of a counterbalance. Also, what about a rebate for the weeks when I don’t have to put out my garbage bin but still have to pay for the service?
I don’t think Corbell thought this Unicorn out very well, did he?

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30
HenryBG 11:15 am
16 Apr 12
#

dungfungus said :

Thumper said :

I’d like to get reimbursed my parking ticket for when I don’t stay the whole two hours.

You know it makes sense.

What a perfect example of a counterbalance. Also, what about a rebate for the weeks when I don’t have to put out my garbage bin but still have to pay for the service?
I don’t think Corbell thought this Unicorn out very well, did he?

How about all the years of ACT rates I’ve paid that have been spent employing Simon Corbell, when I have not once ever had any use for him?
Can I have a refund?

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