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Do poor Canberrans drive cars?

By martin75 - 14 August 2014 54

Two questions about Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey’s recent comment –
“the poor don’t have cars or actually drive very far”

1. How does the Treasurer know how far poor people drive, if they are lucky enough to have a car?

2. Can anyone from the ACT Liberals explain what Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey was trying to say or does he really think like this?

What’s Your opinion?


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54 Responses to
Do poor Canberrans drive cars?
miz 9:02 pm 14 Aug 14

The point is, petrol costs at a flat rate and people with less money pay proportionately more (even if they pay less in dollar terms). This is called a regressive tax.
Me Hockey’s statement also conveys a snobbery not seen in politics in a long time …

tuco 8:42 pm 14 Aug 14

dungfungus said :

watto23 said :

Regional areas blows Joe Hockeys theory out of the water. People in regional areas have to travel a lot further, with less public transport infrastucture and generally on much lower wages than the cities. Are they all poor? not by world standards, but relatively poor by Australian standards.

Can you back that statement up?
Canberra is a “regional area”; actually still defined as “rural” by some Federal agencies.

I’m no expert, but I think the preferred comment you wanted was … source?

Actually, we aren’t missing that yet, are we?

HenryBG 6:58 pm 14 Aug 14

The surreal nature of one-term-Tony’s government took a new twist when Cory Bernardi was caught saying something that was more thoroughly sensible than his colleagues:

“those in the lower social economic group tend to spend more as a percentage of their income on transport and the basic necessities of life than those who are wealthier.”

chewy14 6:09 pm 14 Aug 14

I can’t actually believe that anyone would whinge about what Joe Hockey said, its completely obvious.
In other breaking news, rich people also spend more on fancy dinners and overseas holidays than poor people do.

chewy14 6:06 pm 14 Aug 14

watto23 said :

Regional areas blows Joe Hockeys theory out of the water. People in regional areas have to travel a lot further, with less public transport infrastucture and generally on much lower wages than the cities. Are they all poor? not by world standards, but relatively poor by Australian standards.

And have significantly cheaper house prices offsetting those negatives.

HiddenDragon 5:50 pm 14 Aug 14

The comment may be supported by official figures, but it was not the smartest thing to say.

For the “working poor”, car travel is often the only practicable option if not, in fact, the only option because they simply cannot afford to live anywhere near where they work (or anywhere near public transport routes) and may be required to work hours and days when public transport services are poor and/or quite unsafe.

The irony of this fracas is that some of those who are enjoying themselves by poking fun at Hockey for being out of touch are quite happy to take an equally out of touch and elitist attitude when it suits – “we must get people out of cars and encourage walking/cycling/public transport use” – sounds OK when you work regular hours and live five or ten minutes from where you work (if you do, in fact, work) in areas well-served by public transport.

arescarti42 5:10 pm 14 Aug 14

From a policy perspective, indexation should never have been removed from fuel excise in the first place, and re-indexing it is an absolute no brainer.

It’s one of a handful of sensible changes in an otherwise terrible budget , and yet Hockey still manages to f%$k it up.

Zero points for the Greens and Labor as well, who have shown massive hypocrisy by opposing what is also a de facto tax on carbon.

What a joke.

dungfungus 4:55 pm 14 Aug 14

watto23 said :

Regional areas blows Joe Hockeys theory out of the water. People in regional areas have to travel a lot further, with less public transport infrastucture and generally on much lower wages than the cities. Are they all poor? not by world standards, but relatively poor by Australian standards.

Can you back that statement up?
Canberra is a “regional area”; actually still defined as “rural” by some Federal agencies.

dungfungus 4:51 pm 14 Aug 14

CHackett said :

Hockey also says taxes on cigars fall disproportionally on the rich

Well, that will mean former Labor prime minister Bob Hawke and former Labor opposition leader Kim Beazley would be also paying as they were regular cigar smokers.

watto23 4:31 pm 14 Aug 14

Regional areas blows Joe Hockeys theory out of the water. People in regional areas have to travel a lot further, with less public transport infrastucture and generally on much lower wages than the cities. Are they all poor? not by world standards, but relatively poor by Australian standards.

Ben_Dover 1:38 pm 14 Aug 14

Of course we cannot afford to drive, we’re all waiting for the light rail to come and give us the experience of visiting other suburbs.

davo101 1:03 pm 14 Aug 14

Diggety said :

1. The Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The last household expenditure survey is five years old. Also doesn’t tell you how much of that is discretionary. Obviously rich people spend more money on petrol than poor people, but that’s not the point. Rich people are in a position to stop driving Jusinta to pony club, poor people are stuck in western suburbs where they have to drive to work and have less discretionary spending to cut.

Diggety said :

2. Read/watch the full interview first.

What? Listen to more Joe Hockey whining, no thanks.

CHackett 12:46 pm 14 Aug 14

Hockey also says taxes on cigars fall disproportionally on the rich

Diggety 12:30 pm 14 Aug 14

1. The Australian Bureau of Statistics.
2. Read/watch the full interview first.

Rawhide Kid Part3 11:33 am 14 Aug 14

Is that like when John Howard said that every one can afford the vehicle he was standing in front of, a SUV a while back?

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