Sydney’s elite gathered last night to sleep like homeless people do, except with a few creature comforts, like being indoors, lobster canapes, hookers, cocaine, Champagne and a virtual reality game called “Big bucks hunting the poor”, which allows users to engage with “close-to-real” homeless people by shooting them.
Participants described the event as one of the highlights of their social calendar.
“The networking opportunities at this event are extraordinary,” one banking CEO said. “It also goes to show the homeless are simply lazy, as I made more than $5 billion last night striking up new deals… oh, and I personally helped more than 60 virtual homeless people get off the street permanently, thanks to my boom-stick.”
Another CEO, who describes himself as a self-made millionaire who turned a trillion-dollar inheritance into thousands all by himself, said the event was “eye opening”.
“No wonder people choose to be homeless, it’s amazing!” he said while enjoying a peking-duck on a stick. “I’m actually thinking of becoming homeless next year for tax reasons, so it’s grand to get some practice in this luxury setting.”
The event, which raised $10 million for charities providing services for the homeless, cost $40 billion, half of which was spent on cocaine for those who choose not to sleep at the sleepout.
Sydney taxis have announced a new fee today for those who want to safeguard their credit card from being skimmed by their taxi driver.
“After a yearlong study, we found the thing people hate most about taxis is getting their card skimmed by the driver,” a NSW transport spokesperson said. “This way, passengers can simply pay a small optional fee and the driver will promise not to use one of his dodgy card readers and skim their card.”
The new fee – which will add an extra 25 per cent onto a passenger’s total fare or $200, whichever is higher – is the latest addition to a raft of charges commonly added to taxi fares, including fees for booking, flag fall, peak times, toll roads, late nights, early mornings, short distances, long distances, credit and debit cards and the carbon tax.
Taxi drivers are threatening to stage a protest against the new fee, saying it will make life harder for everyone involved.
“We’re losing too much money to Uber already, so I’m scared that if we don’t skim cards I’m not going to be able to put a new plasma TV on the table for the family,” one Sydney driver said. “Plus, with more than 200 machines in my cab, I’ve forgotten which ones are the real deal and which ones are card skimmers. This is just going to cause more delay for passengers wanting to get on with their day.”
Passengers have said there’s no way they’d ever get in a cab again, so the fee doesn’t really matter either way.
The son of deputy ATO commissioner Michael Cranston has publicly embarrassed himself and his family after being caught stealing just $165 million from Australian tax payers.
Speaking from his luxury yacht, an ATO spokesman described the alleged thief as “a disappointment”.
“I would’ve expected someone with that sort of inside knowledge to steal at least a trillion or three,” he said. “$165 million is House of Representatives sort of numbers. To get caught stealing such a small amount will bring shame on his whole family.”
Early reports from legal experts indicate that the man’s public shaming will be taken into account during the prosecution, with some suggesting he could avoid jail time altogether.
“I think he’s been punished enough,” one judge said. “He deserves a chance to redeem himself and be caught later in his career with a more impressive resume of fraud. He’s far too young and connected to be punished for this one mishap. And we need to think of what the family’s going through – this is the equivalent of Shane Warne’s son being bad at bowling.”
Government officials expressed surprise at the arrest.
“We didn’t even mean for anyone to get caught in this investigation, so I have no idea how he managed to get caught; it’s a true mystery,” a spokesperson said. “But public servants should take note of this and act immediately.”
The 13 other men caught in the investigation who did not have family connections were sentenced to life in prison without trial.
The ATO has announced that paying taxes will be optional for the first time this financial year, in a gesture of goodwill following the ridiculous things MPs have charged taxpayers for in the past 12 months.
The public should not be charged for chartered helicopter rides, lobster sausages at Bunnings and all-expenses-paid days at the Portsea Polo, an ATO spokesperson said.
“Not one cent of tax payer money has been invested in schools, roads or health this year,” she said. “The only tax money used not directly on MP luxuries this year was contracting welfare debt squads to claw back welfare over-payments. And rumours have circulated that money was being chased to build a private Wet’n’Wild-style water park in Parliament House, Canberra.
The public has welcomed the news with empty wallets. “Just like the ‘towels optional’ sign at my local sauna, I can’t imagine many people going for that option. I know I won’t be giving them a single wad,” Dan from Darlinghurst said.
MPs found guilty of misusing taxpayer funds will be forced to see out their days on a “harsh” $800,000-per-year severance package and a job in the private sector.