||Issue No. 124||15 February 2002|
Chickens Come Home
Unions: Winning the Heartland
Interview: Swan's Song
Corporate: Lessons from Enron
Politics: What We Did Last Summer
History: Solidarity in Song
International: A Tale of Two Cities
Poetry: Nobody Told Me
Review: Labor and the Rings
Satire: Rafter Named Bermudan Of The Year For Tax Purposes
The Locker Room
Week in Review
'International Labour's Year in Review' - A Re-View
Collins Gets Cryptic
Rafter Named Bermudan Of The Year For Tax Purposes
Extracted from The Chaser
Rafter said he's always felt very close to Bermuda, because of the country's enlightened approach to public policy, particularly in the area of income tax rates.
Rafter said the award was flattering because of his great love for Bermuda and its people, but would also have the additional benefit of clarifying his residency status with the Australian Taxation Office.
"Some cynical people in the ATO might think that just because I'm being honoured as a pre-eminent Australian and will spend most of the year travelling around the country to preside at various official ceremonies, I've somehow become an Australian resident for tax purposes." Rafter clarified that his "close emotional ties" with his adopted homeland of Bermuda make that impossible.
As Bermudan of the Year, Rafter says he is planning to spend "at least" the 30 days on the island required to qualify as a resident for taxation purposes under Bermudan law. Though some critics have described Rafter's Bermudan residency as a "tax dodge", Rafter insists it is based on a strong desire to contribute to Bermudan society.
"Tax is how individuals contribute to the society they live in, and it's a means of contributing to the common good. My fellow Bermudans and I have chosen, for ethical reasons, to contribute to a progressive society that has opted to abolish income tax." he explained.
Rafter will also continue his role with the phone company 1800-REVERSE despite attracting heavy criticism from the Australia Day Council for his insistence on reversing the charges when calling to accept the Australian of the Year award. This year, Rafter will also be launching his own phone service, 1800 TAX-AVERSE.
Bermuda's Premier, Jennifer Smith, says that Australians who have criticised Rafter's motives in living in Bermuda don't know their own luck. "You should appreciate Rafter as much as we do," she said. "Do you have any idea how much we would have liked him to play for our Davis Cup team?"
Smith says she is extremely gratified that he continues to reside in Bermuda despite being made Australian of the Year. "We're very proud of Pat. So proud, in fact, that we were only too happy to name him Bermudan of the Year when he asked."
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