Wednesday, May 01, 2019

Plan: New motorbike riders need to have one-year L-plate experience in cars first

This would be hugely disruptive.  For most young people a two-wheeler is the first transport they can afford.  It was for me.  But this says that you have to stay on foot until you can afford a car.  It is extraordinarily dictatorial.  It would antagonize a lot of young voters

Moror cyclists would need to have L-plate car driving experience for one year before switching to two wheels under a radical new safety plan.

Police Minister Corey Wingard has confirmed the plan is being considered by the State Government as part of a review of motorcycle licencing.

Under the plan, country kids who grow up on agricultural bikes as part of their work and family life could be given exemptions to any new rules.

“Exposing potential young motorcycle riders to the rules of the road in the relative safety of a car before allowing them access to a learner bike licence could save lives,’’ Mr Wingard said.

“Young riders would need to spend at least a year learning to drive a car while supervised before they can jump on a motorcycle.

“A motorcyclist with a year’s experience as a car driver on our roads will likely be much better equipped to handle any unexpected dangers they encounter.’’

The State Government is currently consulting interest groups on how to bring in a more strict graduated licensing scheme for motorcyclists, similar to that faced by car drivers.

In a second major law change being considered as part of the consultation, Mr Wingard said country people may be given concessions when trying out for their licences.

“During a recent trip to the Yorke Peninsula I came across a local whose 16-year-old son used his motorbike to help out on the farm,’’ he said. “Fair legislative changes rarely take a one-size fits all approach and the regions can be assured this Government is listening to their voices. These measures are among a host of other potential changes we are looking at.’’

The one-year-in-a-car-first rule for motorcycle learners was first proposed in a 2017 University of Adelaide study at the beginning of the current licencing scheme reform process. ”Driving a car involves a lower level of risk than a motorcycle, so the novice progresses from learning to drive a car to the more difficult and risky task of learning to ride a motorcycle,’’ the study found.

The string of deaths prompted the Opposition to call for the minimum age for gaining a motorcycle learner’s licence to be raised from 16 to 17. It also wants learner and prescribed licence holders under the age of 25 to be banned between midnight and 5am without a legitimate excuse. Mr Wingard said there was no substitute for all road users taking it upon themselves to follow the law.

“If a motorcyclist, or a motorist, decides to drive at ridiculous speeds, or engage in other dangerous driving, there is no amount of legislation that will protect them from a tree or a concrete wall,” he said.


Labor party climate change spokesman Mark Butler  says it’s impossible to cost Labor’s climate change policy

Opposition climate change spokesman Mark Butler says it is “impossible” to cost Labor’s climate change policy because Labor is not putting a direct carbon price on businesses.

Mr Butler said in Perth today businesses would ultimately influence the economic cost of Labor policy and claimed “that is what they asked Labor for” and the Parliamentary Budget Office could not cost it.

“It isn’t possible to cost this because a Shorten government ... would not be imposing a direct carbon price, and certainly not a carbon tax,” he said in Perth today.

“What we have decided to do, after talking exhaustively with business groups over the last 12 to 18 months, is simply adopt the safeguards mechanism proposed by Malcolm Turnbull.

“All that mechanism does is set a limit on carbon pollution. If businesses are able to stick to their limit, they won’t hear from government anymore ... there is no price impact at all.

“If they are not able to stick to their limit ... they will have the broadest possible range of offsets. But how business deals with that is a matter for them.

“It won’t be dictated by Canberra so it won’t be costed by Canberra.”


Retirement: a rotten time to be punished

Neither Scott Morrison nor Bill Shorten understand the fear and frustration that dominates most in “retirement land”.

In the leaders debate Morrison forced Shorten to admit he was planning to tax some pensioners but that’s as far as it went.

Few “young” Australians aged under 50 have any idea what’s happening to their parents and grandparents.

And so, in today’s commentary I welcome all journalists (radio, TV, print social etc) plus all other readers aged under 50 to the land of retirees and those looking to retire.

For a great many Australians it’s a horrible place as they suddenly wake up that they are being saddled with the bill for a large portion of the banking royal commission. Whether pensioners or non-pensioners, they are being told they have had it too good and it’s time to have their income reduced.

And all this happens at a time when the costs of nurses and other medical bills are rising, while retiree income is under threat.

Unless you are very rich you no longer look forward to joining the fearful land of retirement.

When the royal commission started public hearings just over a year ago no retiree realised they would be personally lumbered with a big part of the bill.

As people get older, they usually become more conservative with their money. They sleep at night by investing in one-year bank term deposits. About a year ago those deposits yielded in the vicinity of 2.6 per cent. Now, one-year deposits with big banks are down to around 2.2 per cent. The Reserve Bank has not changed its official rate, so the money goes out of the retiree pockets into the bank coffers to pay for part of the royal commission.

If the official rates fall, then my guess is that the term deposit rates will fall again. But at least in term deposits everyone is in the same boat.

A lot of pensioners and self-funded retirees planned to vote for the ALP because they hated seeing three prime ministers in one term of parliament. But then came the horror of the ALP’s retirement and pensioner tax.

Many pensioners rely on small investments in high dividend-paying shares to legally supplement their income, but some pensioners are now told by Bill Shorten that they will cop it in the neck and lose their cash franking credits.

Once some pensioners get cash franking credits and others with the same money do not receive them then all pensioners know the politicians are playing games.

Shorten made it clear in his budget reply speech that cash franking credits were an unsustainable gift, so there is unease in the pensioner community.

Who is next?

It’s even worse among those who have larger sums in superannuation.

The industry funds are telling their members that “Uncle Chris” and “Uncle Bill” will look after them and will make sure industry fund members get their cash franking credit “gift” in full. Big retail funds are also being “looked after” but if they are losing working members, they may not be able to deliver the” gift”. Self-managed funds in pension mode are in trouble.

I keep getting asked by the “under 50s” how is it that Chris and Bill are delivering the cash franking credits to some superannuation fund members and not to others, assuming everyone has the same assets and income.

Australia has become the first country in the world to tax people not on the basis of their income or their assets but on the basis of who manages their money. It is an ingenious taxing system but it breaks all the rules we have built up in taxation since 1900 and, in my view, both Bowen and Shorten should be ashamed of themselves. Scott Morrison can take some of the blame for not nailing them on the unfairness of giving cash franking credits to some while withdrawing them from others. It should be all or nothing.

What Bowen and Shorten say to retirees is that if you happen to be in a fund with members who pay tax then you can sponge on the tax they pay and get your cash franking credits. All retirees know that their personal financial affairs have nothing to do with those of other members of a fund and to suggest that anyone can offset the tax paid by other members against the “no tax” paid by retirees in pension mode is artificial nonsense.

The retirees are hoping the cross benchers in the Senate will stop the nonsense scheme, but the ALP has already spent the money. Eventually all retirees may be taxed and those who have escaped round one are very fearful.

Many retirees want to downsize or move to a retirement home. Falling house prices make them very nervous and no one is sure what will happen when the ALP changes the negative gearing rules.

Young people say the Baby Boomers have had it too good and must now be punished.

When you are aged in your 60s, 70s and 80s and not rich (the rich escape ) it is a rotten time to be punished.


Shorten’s deceptive offers

Yesterday’s Newspoll confirms one thing: the Shorten campaign is in big trouble and goes from bad to worse.

With money being thrown everywhere (and on Sunday it reached the ludicrous point of $230 million a minute), we had the latest manifestation of Labor’s incapacit­y to handle detail. Two weeks ago it was free cancer care when such free care is already available.

On Sunday, Bill Shorten was at it again, this time with $2.4 billion to improv­e dental care for seniors.

Look at the language, talking about dental care for pensioners: “It’ll not come out of your bank accoun­t. It’ll not go on your credit card. You’ll not have to delay treatment because you can’t afford the care. It’ll be covered by your Medicare card.”

This is called buying votes with services that are already freely available.

My open line yesterday was on fire with pensioners and seniors telling me they already received outstanding and free dental care. NSW, Queensland, Victoria, Western Australia, South Australia and Tasmania provide dental care to pensioners, concession-card holders and some children.

This is pretty bottom-of-the-birdcage stuff, pandering not only to people with cancer or people who need dental care, because they are getting it for free; but also trying to harvest votes from people who may get cancer and may need dental care, who will hopefully think: “Bill’s our man. Bill provides everything for free.”

What the Opposition Leader does not tell us is that governments have no money of their own, only money that they first take from us.


 Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

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