Land tax bill shock
I received a severe shock last week when receiving my land tax notice to find that a 20 per cent increase in land value liability has increased by 50 per cent since last year.
Other property owners have confirmed similar hikes.
How, in a time of supposed low inflation and a COVID-19 pandemic can this be so?
In spite of tight government imposed restrictions on rent increases and evictions many landlords are providing concessions to their tenants and increases in land value in this climate, rather than enhancing profitability, have decreased it with increases in other costs such as insurance.
The likely long term effects of such cost impositions to property owners are huge increases in rent and that is the last thing we need in dealing with the fallout of the pandemic.
IN OTHER NEWS:
Clearly the current non-proportional calculation method used by the State Treasury needs an urgent review.
In the short term ideally there should be no increase in land tax or at most it should be limited to the CPI index.
I urge the state government, which has in other respects handled the pandemic admirably, to arrange an urgent review of the calculation of land tax.
Richard Lennard, West Hobart.
Vale Tasmanian Artist Geoff Dyer
VALE Geoff Dyer, renowned aTasmanian landscape artist and the 2003 Archibald Prize winner for his portrait of friend and author Richard Flanagan.
A former flamboyant art teacher at Elizabeth Matriculation College, Hobart, and mentor for many aspiring young artists, Mr Dyer had a gregarious presence.
Whether he was frequenting the East Coast of Tasmania for inspiration, or at his many and varied social sojourns, the artist will be sorely missed for his metaphorical self-portrait he painted and portrayed in contemporary society.
Kenneth Gregson, Swansea.
Smith Family advertisement
WATCHING The Smith Family's latest television advert last night tugged at the heart strings, which it's meant to do.
It did make me wonder, yet again, how our government can borrow trillions of dollars for projects to try to get us out of their debt, but don't seem to have money to ensure that children go to school with the proper clothes, shoes and equipment.
We are supposed to be a wealthy nation, albeit with an enormous millstone around out neck, but we aren't looking after the generations who will have to shoulder that debt. I guess if you don't have money you don't have a voice, which is an indictment on our leader.
Glennis Sleurink, Launceston.
Opt to save, not spend in crisis
AS LONG as the political elite are not honest with us, no amount of cash will fix our economy. We, the public, opt for saving and not spending.
We don't trust our politicians with our future.
Pork barreling, deals with political donors, broken election promises, slogans with no real policies, this is not what we need. It's time to make politics honest.
Restore our belief in the system, that is what is needed for a prosperous future.
Horst Schroeder, Devonport.
Voluntary assisted dying bill
TWO proposed amendments to the Gaffney End of Life Choices (VAD) Bill stand out as being cruel and unnecessary.
One is the addition of a gag clause.
Here we have a patient, say, with cancer, who has already endured rounds of chemo, complete with hair falling out, vomiting into the toilet, and numerous other side effects, who gets to the stage where there are no realistic treatments left.
The patient asks the doctor - what are my options now?
Surely the doctor has a duty of care to list all the legal options of palliative care, hospice, experimental treatment, and voluntary assisted dying.
Or is the doctor permitted to say there is one option I cannot mention, so please consult Google and get back to me if you want to talk about that?
Such a gag is also discriminatory, as the wealthy well-educated person is probably aware of voluntary assisted dying and would raise it. Still, the less well educated or person with different background language may well not have heard of the new law permitting VAD choice.
The other is the imposition of an arbitrary six-month time limit for access to VAD, or 12 months for neurodegenerative diseases.
Firstly, such a time frame is very hard to predict accurately, and secondly, we could end up with the inhumane situation where two doctors are individually forced to say - I appreciate that your suffering has gone on for years and that it is now unbearable enough for you to qualify for VAD, but I am sorry you will have to endure that extreme suffering for another two months because my prediction is you may have eight months before you die.
Surely it is the patient with an incurable, irreversible illness and a level of suffering they find unbearable who must be of prime importance and the timing and manner of their death should be in their control and their decision.
It is notable that neither of these amendments was included in the VAD legislation passed in Western Australia last December.