It came out starkly last night in the ABC’s “Q&A” on migration and population:¬† We’re an ageing population, so how are workers going to be able to carry the tax burden?

Why should workers carry the tax burden?

Indeed, why do we tax incomes at all? After all, as in America, income tax was late to the party, an afterthought in Australia, the federal income tax having come in many years later than the 1910 federal land tax.

The other question barely touched upon on in last night’s program was decentralisation.¬† Why need our migrants flow mainly into Sydney and Melbourne?

Here, again, the federal land tax played a great part in breaking up the squatters’ grand latifundia which they had chosen for themselves. The land tax, accompanied by municipal rates had much to do with the development of the Australian regional areas – and could do so again. Would there not be a small element of the population that might look to moving from the capital cities to the regions, where the land tax is lower?

And, as all renters, retired or otherwise, pay the landlord’s land tax in their gross rental, would it not be fair if Australian home owners also pay their land tax, especially if other taxes are abolished – as recommended by The Henry Tax Review?

There was nobody on the “QandA” panel last night who saw the positive role land tax might play in Australia’s population¬†considerations. Why not? The same reason The Henry Tax Review recommendations have been assiduously avoided?

We must pander to Australian rent-seekers?

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