Our esteemed prime minister has had a busy time papering over cracks recently, especially since he semi-trashed the car industry by enforcing fringe benefits tax. His party is already mandating 100% local spend for the commonwealth car fleet worth 18,000 vehicles a year. Now he has taken $200 million from the mysterious contingency reserve to apply a little sticking plaster. Arguably with an eye on the upcoming election, Rudd has gone squeaky clean with comments like “the car industry is critical important”. I should think so, given that it supports 250,000 indirect and direct jobs. In classic double-speak, Treasury describes the contingency reserve as “a fund to cover ‘anticipated events that cannot be assigned to individual programs’ in the budget estimates”. The mind absolutely boggles. I wonder what else in going on in Canberra. Opposition Joe Hockey deserves a round of applause for saying “On the one hand, Mr Rudd takes a baseball bat to the car industry by hitting it with an unprecedented $1.8 billion tax, and on the other he gives them back $200m to try and save them. The fact is, you can’t put a band-aid over a bullet wound.” There is an election coming up, and the folks at parliament house are vying for our attention already. We are busy too. Our order books are filled with thousands of Australians queuing up to buy the used cars we procure for more, and sell for less than our competition does. Take care, Kane
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