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ATO staff are wage slaves. Gotta feel for them! What a horrid place in which to work!

Saturday, February 24, 2018

If you didn't read it, do so. It's the ABC's report of a memo sent by the ATO to its staff. The memo tells ATO staff to report on other staff who spend too much time eating, reading the paper at work or 'fudging' their work hours. We had to ask ourselves on reading the report, 'in what century is the ATO operating? The 1800s?'

Karl Marx would rightly call ATO staff 'wage slaves.'  Charles Dickens would describe their existence as downtrodden. Frankly, what a horrid place in which to work! The ATO must be a 'paper pushing, time pressure factory'. Forget results! Dump quality! Just do your hours! But for us it suddenly explains a lot.

You'll be aware of the huge battles we have with the ATO over its mistreatment of self-employed people. And you'll be aware of the Protected Member insurance we now have in place to defend members from ATO attack.

But what's most frequently at the heart of many of the ATO attacks is the ATO's saying that people who are paid on an hourly rate can't possibly be a business. It said this about the transcribers when it cancelled their ABNs. The ATO is saying this about the entire consultancy and information technology sector. It's total nonsense of course. We are assisting an IT member soon in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal in a battle on this issue with the ATO. I'm being called as an 'expert witness'.

In the 'real world' of us self-employed, our focus is and has to be the delivery of a 'result' for our clients. If we are not results-focused, we quickly find that we have no clients. We're out of business. Hourly rates are just a convenient method for administering payments.

But that's not the 'real world' of ATO staff who pass judgment on us self-employed people. ATO staff work under the pressure of a time oppressive workplace. That's their 'unreal world'. No wonder they can't understand our 'results' work world.

We now understand better and sympathise with ATO staff. Unfortunately, our understanding won't stop the ATO attacks. We'll have to maintain our battle. I'll be able to publish my 'expert evidence' in the coming weeks once the AAT hearing has been held.
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