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Unsolicited: Letters to the Editor

Every Issue

Cite as: December 2009 83(12) LIJ, p.8

We’ll be back

We are a small suburban legal practice that recently had to engage lawyers to act for our client in the US in a heated commercial dispute.

Larger firms in the city have untold resources to handle this type of matter, but in our case we had the services of the LIV to assist us.

On making inquiries with the LIV we were given the names of several firms in Los Angeles, California which specifically dealt with the type of problem our client was facing.

We contacted one of the firms and found to our satisfaction tremendous assistance to us and our client. The firm’s legal costs in carrying out the work were to our client’s expectations and in our view more than reasonable.

The LIV provides valuable assistance to small practices and this is one small example of making use of our membership.

Brian & Margaret Williams, Lawyers, Lilydale

For providing the letter of the month, Brian and Margaret Williams have won a $50 book voucher from the LIV bookshop, redeemable for the next 12 months.

Word rejected

I refer to the article headed “Attorney-General’s comments refuted” which appears on page 25 of the November LIJ. Whoever constructed the headline needs to have his or her dictionary handy in future because to refute something means to actually prove its falsity rather than to simply reject or repudiate it, which is what has happened here on the part of the LCA. Unfortunately, “refute” has come to be one of those words which is now so misused that I’m close to giving up on taking people to task over that misuse. I draw an exception, however, in the case of our journal as a setter of standards. Otherwise keep up the good work.

Geoff Dillon, Geoff Dillon & Co

Proposed GST changes

It is my hypothesis that the GST system is flawed for three main reasons (the second and third collapse into each other) which have a significant effect on the Australian economy and that of other nations as we are experiencing at present. The reasons are:

  1. it is a “regressive” tax;
  2. it is not being used as a “tax savings base” in times of economic growth for recessionary cycles and thus as a means to stimulate the economy; and
  3. it does not “contract or expand” as the economy contracts or expands to collect more revenue in times of greater economic growth and less revenue in times of lower economic growth (the former as tax savings and for the provision of government spending and the latter to stimulate business confidence).

The solution is simple:

  • develop individual and family GST Activity Statements similar to the Business Activity Statement to allow for a progressive GST rate with a rebate for the cost of managing the GST tax return in proportion to the GST tax collected; and
  • decrease or increase the GST rate in accordance with quarterly or yearly economic indicators as a fluctuating GST rate.

This should allow for fairness (equity) in the taxation system and overcoming the GST regressive-progressive debate, tax savings to stimulate the economy in times of economic need (i.e. recession) and better economic-tax management understanding that taxation without economics is no taxation but understanding its delimitations that economics without taxation is no distributive justice. The solution is simple – injustice or justice?

Julio Altamirano, Law student

We welcome letters to the editor of no more than 400 words.

Email: Fax: 9607 9451 Mail: LIJ, Managing Editor Mick Paskos, GPO Box 263C, Melbourne 3001; or DX 350 Melbourne.

We reserve the right to edit letters and to republish them in their original or edited form on the internet or in other media. Letters must include a phone number and address for authentication.


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