The economists are at it again, spruiking the benefits of lower income tax and higher consumption tax. These killjoys want Australians to work and save like Singaporeans rather than lie in the sun, basting slowly while reading a cheap thriller. Or sitting up ’til the wee hours watching the Aussie cricket team belting others. Or having a pie and a beer and a cheer at the footy – with perhaps a pinch of cocaine to stimulate mind and body for a tough date on Saturday night.

This time the message of working and saving has emerged from a study commissioned by (Gadzooks!) the Labor premiers. The report also apparently argues that Australia’s multi-layered structure of government is efficient, refuting conventional wisdom and pandering to Australia’s federal structure.

This is insidious stuff and, as Stephen Lunn argues, “the Howard Government is likely to seize on the Labor premiers receiving a report that raises the spectre of tax changes. John Howard will press the point that changing the rate of GST requires the agreement of all states and the commonwealth, a more likely scenario if Labor wins the federal election”.

John Winston has been active in debunking further (alleged) left wing nonsense, reacting to the visit of Sir Nicholas Stern, the thinking economist’s climate change activist.

“I am not going to join the Australian Labor Party in destroying the jobs of Australian coalminers,” Howard said. He is pitching to the blue-collar vote and to the economic policy imperative.

Help me here readers. Do we see signs of sensible policy activism from Labor? Do we not read frequently of the gummint rejecting Labor ideas in a sharper and more focussed way than we have become used to. Could this be another sign, like the punters making Federal Labor favourites to win?

Read more at Henry Thornton.

Peter Fray

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