The Foul Stench of Smoking-Related Addiction To Taxpayer Funds

A Question Of Integrity By on 15 October 2014

Monday’s revelation that professional nanny statist Mike Daube blatantly lied to the government and public about the Carmen Debacle is only the tip of the iceberg about the shady dealings of Healthway.

The Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance has uncovered millions of dollars of taxpayer dollars have been funneled to…  the personal activist groups of Healthway Board Members.

Healthway is a taxpayer funded West Australian Government Agency, already under investigation by the Public Sector Commission following a damning report by the State Government’s Auditor General.  Included in the report are items such as the former Executive Director using corporate boxes for his family and other alleged incidents of misuse of sponsorship funding (why do they have corporate boxes in the first place?)

A column in today’s West Australian by Paul Murray, whose investigative journalism on this matter has been nothing short of amazing,  noted  millions of dollars of taxpayer funds given by Healthway to groups associated with Mike Daube at a time he was a Board Member of Healthway noting: “Healthway grants made to Curtin University programs, totaling more than $2 million from a pool of $18 million. In the most recent financial year, $2.7 million was provided for organisations in which three board members, including Professor Daube and Dr Capolingua, had direct connections” Read the whole thing (and it’s particularly commendable that this story was run given that Healthway also gives taxpayer dollars to… The West Australian!)

But as bad as that story is – the actual situation is even worse. A lot worse.  (more…)

MEDIA RELEASE: Prof Mike Daube Must Resign; Urgent Investigation Into Healthway Required

By on 13 October 2014

The Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance (ATA) has called for the resignation of Professor Mike Daube from the Board of the taxpayer-funded Healthway, following revelations that he has misled the government and the WA public, and for the West Australian Government to launch a full investigation into Healthway’s administration and finances to ensure its sponsorship dollars are not being misused.

Investigations by the Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance have also determined that Healthway has distributed hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxpayer funds to Professor Daube’s activist groups raising serious questions about due process and potential conflicts of interest.

Healthway was internationally ridiculed last week for using its sponsorship powers to prevent West Australian Opera from producing Bizet’s classic Carmen. At the time, Professor Daube denied claims of Healthway’s influence. The West Australian newspaper reported on leaked minutes from the April Healthway Board specifically naming Professor Mike Daube as being the key figure responsible for promoting this policy. Similarly, Saturday’s Australian newspaper reported that Healthway previously pressured a theatre group demanding script changes to remove a smoking scene in a local production at the Blue Room (heroin injection was okay). WA Premier Colin Barnett has since intervened to reinstate Carmen, and is reviewing Healthway’s functions while the WA Division of the Liberal Party last week unanimously demanded a complete overhaul of Healthway’s operations, and for the Government to pass legislation preventing Directors being appointed by “vested interest groups”.

“Following these explosive revelations, Professor Daube’s position on the Board of Healthway is completely untenable” said Tim Andrews, Executive Director of the Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance.

“It is completely unacceptable for a board member of a taxpayer funded government agency to deliberately mislead both the public and the government. Not only did Professor Daube railroad Healthway into not taking options to prevent this debacle proposed by its Arts Advisory Committee, he later lied about it. Professor Daube has been caught red-handed, and must face the consequences of his deceit.

“Furthermore, investigations by the Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance have determined that Professor Daube’s various activist groups have received hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxpayer funding from Healthway, at a time when Professor Daube was on the Healthway Board. If we can’t trust Professor Daube on Carmen, how can we trust him on anything?

“There is a clear perception of conflict of interest, and, given today’s revelations, a full investigation must be launched into the operations of Healthway and its distribution of taxpayer funds to determine whether any improper or undue influence was at work.”

“It is vital that the distribution of taxpayer funds be honest, open, and transparent. Today’s revelations have demonstrated that Healthway has operated completely contrary to the most fundamental principles of good government. At a time the West Australian Government is calling for tax hikes, taxpayers’ should be assured that their funds are being spent appropriately. A full investigation and audit of Healthway’s administration and finances is needed”

 

Media Contact: Tim Andrews, Executive Director, Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance. Mobile: 0434 064 934 , Email: tandrews@taxpayers.org.au

International Tax Hike Agenda Must Be Opposed

By on 11 October 2014

The Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance is proud to be part of an international coalition of 22 organisations to combat proposed new international taxes.

Whether it be slugging our corporations, as Joe Hockey has admitted he wants to do, or increasing lifestyle taxes that hurt the poor most, proposals to slug taxpayers around the world must be fought tooth and nail.

On the matter of tax competition which Joe Hockey is opposed to, the letter notes:

Tax competition can be a key factor driving countries to lower tax rates and increase economic activity.As globalization increases and multi-regional government entities, such as the EU, become more common, it is important to understand the debate behind tax harmonization and tax competition. Tax harmonization essentially creates an “equi-tax” system where burdens for some areas are “rounded upward” to create the same level of taxation throughout a region. But taxing everyone at the same level undermines the incentive to globalize and expand economic innovation. Tax Competition, by contrast, is a natural dynamic that allows people to move economic resources from high tax areas to low tax areas. Other regions must adjust, or risk depriving their own peoples of opportunities to prosper. This maximizes economic efficiency and allows consumers to pay the best price for the highest quality.

You can read the full open letter here: International Coalition Letter on International Taxes

Media Release: Senator Speaks Sense On Smoking!

David Leyonhjelm Thanks Smokers By on 1 October 2014

MEDIA RELEASE

Senator Speaks Sense On Smoking

Click HERE for this media release in pdf format
Click HERE for  a copy of Senator Leyonhjelm’s Speech

Taxpayer advocates today praised Senator David Leyonhjelm (Liberal Democratic Party) for revealing the inconvenient truth about tobacco taxes and for bravely saying “thank you for smoking.”

Senator Leyonhjelm today debunked the myth that smokers are a drain on the public health system, illuminating a yearly tobacco tax haul nearly 17 times larger than the cost of smoking-related illness and fires combined.

“Australia has as many smokers as trade union members, but I can’t think of the last time someone stood up for smokers in the Federal Parliament” said Lara Jeffery, Director of MyChoice Australia, an activist group dedicated to individual freedoms, personal responsibility, and winding back the nanny state.

“We all have the right to control our bodies and our purchases, even if other people disagree with our choices. Thank you David for defending the rights of all, not just the privileged and connected” concluded Ms Jeffery.

“We commend Senator Leyonhjelm  for drawing attention to the simple fact that smokers pay close to twenty times in taxation their net healthcare costs” said Tim Andrews, Executive Director of the Australian Taxpayers Alliance, Executive Director of the Australian Taxpayers Alliance, Australia’s largest taxpayer advocacy organisation.

“The research is clear – lifestyle taxes are the most regressive of any taxes, punishing those who can afford it least and Australia is set to have the highest tobacco prices in the world.

“The continued use of concocted and thoroughly discredited “social cost” figures to justify increased taxation shows the ethical bankruptcy of politicians addicted to tax and spend policies.

“Continued efforts to gouge smokers to pay for wasteful overspending is morally unacceptable.   We agree entirely with Senator Leyonhjelm: Instead of trying to squeeze more money out of smokers, our politicians should quit their own filthy habit – spending other people’s money.”

Neither the Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance nor MyChoice Australia receive any funding from the tobacco industry.

Media Contact

Tim Andrews                                                                 Lara Jeffery

Executive Director                                                         Director

Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance                                      MyChoice Australia

(m) 0434 064 934                                                          (m) 0433008550

(e) tandrews@taxpayers.org.au                                    (e) l.jeffery@mychoice.org.au

www.taxpayers.org.au                                                   www.mychoice.org.au

Update: Here’s the video of Senator Leyonhjelm’s speech:

 

Newest in ACT Taxpayer Funding: Kill Climate Deniers

By on 1 October 2014

From the Territory that bought you Hindenboob Disaster, comes the latest in news you just won’t believe isn’t from the satirical publication The Onion.

In the latest round of taxpayer funding doled out by the ACT government comes the following line item:

  • Aspen Island Theatre Company: $18,793 to assist with costs of the creative development of a new theatre work, ‘Kill Climate Deniers’.

That is correct. The ACT taxpayer is funding the development of a work called “Kill Climate Deniers”.

Academics and activists have previously seriously argued that climate change deniers be executed, imprisoned,  locked up, after being arrested and brought before a “Climate Nuremberg” , so this is hardly outside the bounds of what the left believe in.

And of course, there’s always a chance it’s a comedy satirising the radical left (although somehow I doubt it). But either way, is this really

h/t The Climate Skeptics

 

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