Clearly the government is totally at odds with many voters on the
issue of tax reform. And the fact that the opposition is not seen as a
viable alternative is the only thing that allows this situation to
persist. I quote the editorial from The AFRtoday and The
Australian
yesterday. The Prime Minister’s reply is in today’s lead story from The
Oz
.

I am all for
helping families and, especially, for raising incentives for people to work and
to save and to therefore become self sufficient. Australia must be the easiest country
in the world in which to get off one’s bum and pay one’s own way. I do think we
overdo the tax and grant churn and this is because it is a great way to curry
political favour. In the private sector, or when one works for governments, one
is subjected to rigorous tests when there are real or perceived conflicts of
interest. Our political process simply fails to impose this test on Australia’s
government.

I was shocked to
learn
from the PM today that those paying the top rate have fallen from 14% to 3% of taxpayers in the
past three years. I am still there, and I guess you’d have to say I’m just too
dopey to find the right accountant.

“No taxation
without representation” is a famous rallying cry. Mr Howard, do you understand
that many of us people who have paid the top marginal rate of income tax for
many, many years feel our views are not, repeat not, represented by your
government? Mr Beazley, do you realise that we do not feel represented by your
party, either, on this issue? Do either of you care? By definition the answer
must be “no”.

Real tax reform
can be done, and would greatly improve an already strong economy. My assembly
of the evidence is here,
but there are many other authoritative expositions.

I echo John
Stone’s conclusion in yesterday’s Australian, “Just do it”.
Please.

Read more at Henry Thornton here.

Peter Fray

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