Monday, 18 April 2005
The Prime Minister today denied in the strongest possible terms Opposition allegations that the government plans to impose an additional tax on those of the Islamic faith in order to pay for the additional expenses caused by the recent security measures imposed on Sydney.
"The idea of such a poll tax on those of any faith is completely un-Australian," a visibly angry Prime Minister said.
When pressed to comment about the Jizyah, a poll tax on non-Muslims imposed in Iran and Saudi Arabia, he said "It's our enemies who want Australia to become like that, an antithesis of all we believe in. Not on my expletive watch."
In a surprising and inconsistent twist, the Prime Minister refused to rule out a tax exemption for some Muslims. "Anyone who has been unavoidably discriminated against by these security measures is entitled to some token recompense. We shouldn't apologise for what's neccessary, but we can take some of the sting out of it." he said.
"Frankly, I doubt whether Terrorists pay much in the way of taxes anyway, so a tax break won't benefit them. It might give some degree of restitution to those innocents that they're hiding amongst. We may consider it."
The Prime Minister also refused to rule out the confiscation of assets of anyone found guilty of aiding and abetting terrorists in order to offset the budget blowout.
Observers stated that the Prime Minister was "livid" at the Opposition's allegation, with some going on to say that the stress of the security situation might be beginning to tell on him.