So, that’s than then. We are all economic conservatives now. And not before time. It may have taken 11 years in the snow to get here, but better late than never one guesses.
But what are the works of an economic conservative? What is that they should do? Thankfully, 11 years of the Tories leaves the good guys plenty left to do.
Let’s start with airline deregulation. Nice and easy that one. An open skies policy, with the Sydney to LA route opened up. Nothing better than some good foreign exchange, some tourist dollars and importantly, cheaper fares.
How about industry competition reform? The agricultural marketing boards are a standing joke and why not have a think about how to get some stronger competition into Australia Post, electricity and water.
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Next, some good old fashioned tax reform. Yes, we know that the big picture tax policy – that was me tooed – but there is a lot to do there as well. Family Tax Benefit B for example – if you want get workforce participation up, a merger with the FTB A including a common taper, might just do the trick. Make it all hang together, by doing it at the same time your cutting rates at the top – that’ll wedge the Tories. And with unemployment hovering in the 4’s, then a review of welfare including looking at time limitations might be worth a go.
Then, a move on the States. Again, we all know about the blame game, and the education and health agenda, but what about a hop into the States on their revenue side? Cutting some of those very ordinary State taxes and a new Intergovernmental Agreement might be worth a crack. Better still, a new trilogy where government spending decreases as a share of GDP and we’re getting into real territory here.
What else then? How about abandoning the Foreign Investment Review Board? All the bilateral trade agreements show the big gains for us are from foreign investment, so why not let it rip? The investment community will surely love it.
The list can go on and on. Pricing of the environment – in water, energy etc. Let’s hope being an economic conservative leaves room for some good old fashioned reform.