SAVING OUR AAA RATING

Prosper Australia’s David Collyer responds to a MacroBusiness ‘modest’ proposal for a 1% tax on homes.

(Well that’s getting there, Houses ‘n Holes, but what about vacant land and comm/industrial property?)

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david collyer“We are at the unhappy juncture where young adults are excluded from home-ownership, many owners are trapped in houses that no longer match their needs, so-called investors are taking horrendous risks with debt, and government is too frightened to adjust policy in case it crashes the economy.

The urgent and important change before us is land reform – so all may reasonably aspire to own a parcel and the independence, privacy and security it provides. But that high principle of the Australian settlement – originally held by left and right, rich and poor – has been defeated by a conga line of ticket clippers pursuing a zero-sum game of sectional advantage. We know allowing all to flourish is the path to universal prosperity – genuine win-win. The sooner we resume that, the sooner we can depart our current difficulties.

Australian voters have been trained to bristle when anyone talks tax reform. Their lived experience is that any and all reforms hurt them and transfer cold hard cash to the one per cent.

Nobody likes writing a cheque to the government; and government wants a quiet life. But the cost of our suite of taxes, notable for their construction wherein the statutory incidence falls on one party and the economic incidence on another, now costs us about 5-6 per cent of GDP in deadweight losses. Government collects 24 per cent of GDP while we pay 30 per cent.

The welfare losses here are staggering. We drive with the handbrake on. The case for land reform and tax reform makes itself.

A nil-exemption land tax – whether state or federal – would correct much of these distortions. It would give government the fiscal space to remove those 125 taxes Ken Henry was so rude about.”

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MELBOURNE HOME BUYERS FORCED TO THE FRINGE

Melbourne

 

See Christina Zhou’s land price table in THE AGE

 

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“AGE” CARTOON SAYS IT ALL

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GIVE THE RIGHT MESSAGE

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SOME SUMS

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THE BIG QUESTION FOR AUSTRALIA

tax pack

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MAKING SENSE OF 2015

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quandaryOn “Saturday Extra” this morning Geraldine Doogue chaired a panel of Australia’s smartest to see where we and our politicians are going wrong –> http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/saturdayextra/making-sense-of-2015/6087658

The program’s worth listening to, in order to realise none of these people has any real answer.  Nick Greiner comes closest to seeing the critical problem is the economy and maybe linked to taxation reform.  Hugh Mackay’s not bad, but after all these years the man with perhaps the ‘best’ education, garrulous Gareth Evans, is still unable to touch upon the subject of a failed economics which is affecting people worldwide.

Very sad.

As with the rest of the world–which won’t acknowledge the reciprocal relationship between the economy and property bubbles (just look at Japan’s last 25 years!)–Australia’s future therefore continues to go down the gurgler.

When will all and sundry acknowledge that neither GST nor a financial transaction tax are the answer and that land cannot be hidden overseas?

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HELP SOUTH AUSTRALIA IMPROVE ITS TAX SYSTEM

http://yoursay.sa.gov.au/yoursay/tax-review-in-south-Australia

 

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TREASURER A FEATHER DUSTER?

HockeyMitchellAustralia’s Treasurer Joe Hockey is on radio 3AW at the moment with Neil Mitchell, bemoaning the fact that Australia can’t afford to keep paying $100 million on interest every day: “We’ve got to do what is right for our country, for Australia’s future and get government debt down.”

“Either that, or increase taxation.” Emphasising every word: “If-we-do-not-live-within-our-means-we-are -going-to-pay-a-very-heavy-price.”

In response to Mitchell’s earlier characterisation of his short career in the Ministry as going from “a rooster to a feather duster”, Hockey’s rejoinder is that he abolished the mining tax and the carbon tax.

Yes indeed! Could that have anything to do with your arrival at Featherdusterville, Joe?

After all, if you want 80% of Australia’s mining rents to escape overseas, and not to tax carbon polluters, that leaves you taxing workers and businesses, doesn’t it?

You don’t like The Henry Tax Review, do you Joe?  It was the most comprehensive revenue review in Australia’s history and recommended getting rid of 120 taxes on productivity.

Wouldn’t that be a good start if you want to resurrect the economy: getting taxes off productivity, Joe?

But, no, both the Liberal and Labor parties have sought to bury “Australia’s Future Tax System” and, although they say they against increasing the Goods and Services Tax (GST), they’re both keen on having a new tax review that with tell them the GST—a regressive tax that is passed on in prices—is necessary. Then, they’ll just have to tell the States “Unfortunately this is the only way out”.  [The ABC’s Tony Jones would be enraptured! Apparently he hasn’t heard of The Henry Tax Review, although Heather Ridout tried gently to remind him of it in last Monday’s “Q and A”.]

Look, it’s simple, Joe. Even though most politicians are into property investments, you really do need to act in the national interest, not your own, to get rid of the negative gearing of real estate. It has made the economy lop-sided against productivity.

That’s why we’re in this property bubble and a productivity trough, Joe: you can’t have both a healthy economy and a property bubble. You may choose only to have one or the other.

Australia is one of many nations around the world that has yet to learn this lesson, Joe.

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NO BUBBLE IN OZ?

Houston-V-Sydney

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