Governments will eventually have to play tough with the debt scammers

Normal people may have experienced the weirdness of the Coronavirus with its lockdowns, masks, and restrictions pivoting to online shopping, Zoom meetings, and learning to exercise in their garages. And now they could lead a hybrid life between home and office and even live on a higher salary in a tightening job market.

Yes, many people’s lives have changed after the pandemic, but it seems the majority of normal people have come out of Covid with new and often improved lives, unless you ran a small business in CBD less populated, or if they are in debt due to lockdowns and other aspects that are killing businesses from the virus episode of 2020-22.

Many companies are now faced with creating a new business model to adapt to these pivotal, debt-carrying post-pandemic times that can be challenging. I know this is not a usual request, but grant a moment of compassion to governments and their leaders, who have faced the daily challenge of defeating the virus, keeping their economies going, dealing with complaints and find the money to make everything work.

Now they have to repay the debt generated by these Covid policies. In New South Wales, Prime Minister Dominic Perrottet is owed a billion dollars by many people he wants to vote for him in the March 25 election.

Interestingly, Opposition Labor Treasury spokesman Daniel Mookhey said the money needs to be collected and implies he will be the tax collector if they get the government job next year . Meanwhile, it’s hard for the Prime Minister and his treasurer Matt Kean to play hardball with many people, who could still be under a lot of financial pressure, while you’re down in the polls.

Of course, after the election, whoever wins will start raising the stakes on those who are in debt to governments across the country, because it wouldn’t just be a NSW problem.

So who are the debtors who have driven outstanding debts up 171% to over $1 billion? Take a look at this chart of the SMH and Revenue NSW.

How did it go, other than the fake tax or the handsome crooks always trying to game the system?

As the SMH
Lucy Cormack explained: “The Perrottet government has provided tax deferrals and reductions throughout the pandemic in response to the financial burden of the COVID-19 lockdowns.”

Daniel Mookhey told us why the next NSW government will have to stop playing Mr Nice Guy. “Every dollar of uncollected taxes leads to more debt and higher interest payments. NSW literally cannot afford a government without a strategy to raise this money,” he said.

For the most part, the money will be recoverable for an important reason.

“COVID-19 has affected customers’ ability to pay tax and almost all of Revenue NSW’s tax debt collection is individualised, to ensure the customer is at the heart of the process of finalizing government debt” , revealed a spokesperson for the State Revenue Department.

I guess Dominic doesn’t want to put businesses and households out of business, especially before an election. But one day after March 25, state debt collectors will come calling in New South Wales, and in time, debtors in other states won’t be spared either.

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