Carbon tax compensation going down the pokies

first_imgPoker machine revenues have experienced a spike ever since the roll out of the federal government’s carbon tax compensation in May and June. Queensland saw the most significant rise in pokie revenues, with a 7 per cent rise recorded in May. In Victoria, the Victorian commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation show a spike in gambling expenditure in some council areas. According to figures revealed by The Australian Financial Review, the figures show handouts to low-income earners has led to surges in gambling revenues in pubs and clubs. Poker machine operators Coles and Echo Entertainment have backed these figures up, reportedly seeing an increase in revenue in May and June. The links suggested in the handout-related gambling expenditure in low-income areas has fueled anti-poker machine campaigners’ arguments, which claims that poker machine operators tend to target low-income areas. Incidentally these are areas where handout levels are highest. Independent Senator Nick Xenophon said the issue points to a potential problem on the compensation policy. ”This begs a serious policy question about better ways to get genuine compensation to people for power price rises,” Senator Xenophon said. The Senator added that big pokies owners like Woolworths are “going to be over compensated for the carbon tax off the backs of problem gamblers”. He suggested an alternative to the handout is to set up a direct power bill rebate scheme instead of handout sums. The situation itself is not the first the nation has experienced. Under the Rudd government, a stimulus package payment in 2008 led to a surge in pokies spending. Prime Minister Julia Gillard defended the compensation, suggesting telling Australians where they should put their money will be patronising. ”I trust the vast majority of families to what they do everyday, which is get up and show love and care and concern for their children, and spend their income for the benefit of their kids,” Ms Gillard said. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img

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