Pauline Hanson Is Getting Roasted For Flip-Flops On Tax Cuts
Called "the Vicky Pollard of the Senate"
One Nation leader Pauline Hanson has been deemed the Vicky Pollard -- "yeah, but no, but yeah" -- of federal politics, after settling on at least her fifth position on the government's company tax cuts in recent weeks.
The government is trying to woo the two remaining One Nation senators into supporting the plan to slash company tax rates, requiring the support of Hanson and West Australian member Peter Georgiou to get the bill over the line.
It is a fraught issue for the far-right party, with former senator Brian Burston quitting One Nation after a dispute with Hanson over the party's position on the policy. Initially, the bloc of then-three senators decided to oppose the bill, then support, then oppose it again -- however, Burston resolved to stick with his support, sparking a bitter, tear-filled spat with Hanson that saw him eventually leave the party.
The government has been trying to get Hanson back onboard, and on Monday she signalled One Nation could support the company tax cuts in exchange for more action on multinational tax avoidance.
On Tuesday afternoon, she said the party would not be supporting the cuts, leading to a farcical scene in the Senate where she denied she had "flip-flopped" on the vote, giving by way of an explanation:
"I said no originally, then I said yes, then I have said no and I've stuck to it."
But on Wednesday it continued! She told the Courier-Mail newspaper One Nation could back the cuts in exchange for new coal power plants in Queensland, and told Today she was "still talking to the government".
"I can imagine down in the chamber [senators are saying] 'she is flip-flopping'. That is my prerogative and I will change my mind as many times as I want to to ensure that I come up with the right decision," she said.
And then! Just a few hours later, she gave what is said to be her final, definitive, definitely last -- maybe -- decision, saying One Nation would not back the cuts.
"Let them take it to the next election, let’s see what the people say," she told 3AW radio.
“We’re standing firm on it, we’re not supporting corporate tax cuts.”
Without One Nation's support, the company tax cut plan seems destined to fail.
The back-and-forth was the butt of many jokes in parliament, with Labor members including Penny Wong, Tanya Plibersek and Tim Watts poking fun at her in-out-in-out decisions.
"It is so difficult to keep track of Senator Pauline Hanson's latest position on the LNP's $80 billion of big business tax cuts," Plibersek told the House of Representatives.
"She is the Vicky Pollard of the senate - yeah but no but yeah but no but yeah", the deputy Labor leader joked, referencing the character from comedy Little Britain.
"Now I think we're back on 'no' again. You would think it would be much easier to come to a firm decision when you've only got a caucus of two."