The case for more tax!
This latest from the ABC story and interview with Swan on the 22nd of Jan. 2010 http://www.abc.net.au/am/content/2010/s2798566.htm
Quote; And rather than focusing on tax cuts, Mr Henry is warning that tax revenues will need to grow “strongly” if the Government is to cover the costs of Australia’s ageing population. Unquote.
Good on you Ken Henry. This has to be music to the ears of many of us who have been complaining about the state of our Health, Education, Public Transport and many other social infrastructures that through the years have become crippled by lack of money. There are finally some encouraging signs that will stop the rot in Governments on both sides forever seeking popularity in massaging and nourishing our deep seated hatred for paying tax by promising reduced taxation for the workers each time there are elections.
Of course we all know that we still are one the lowest taxpaying country of all the OECD, indeed Australian Government’s own study indicates our low tax regime and well worth a look at;
It is no wonder that we are struggling to keep up with the rest of the world and that rumblings of the dissatisfied are finally coming to be heard. We get what we pay for! It is so true and never before are we so poignantly reminded of our shortcomings than the arguments that have been raging here on the ‘Unleashed’ especially about our shortcoming in Education. There are now all sorts of conjuring tricks being implemented. At the last election,’ Computers for all students’ was shouted from rooftops all over the country. Boy oh boy, have seen acres of video footage of Rudd and Gillard smiling in front of those promised school computer roll-outs. We must have School ratings and Comparisons and publish the Data, shame the lot of them, and the latest from the bag of trickery; Schools to receive public disadvantage rating.
At no stage do we ever hear that good teachers need to have higher qualifications and therefore a considerable increase in wages. You can’t teach kids by a mixture of people that have only just scraped by themselves in education. That there are many good teachers is without question, but I bet you in those countries where education is better, teachers are also better qualified and better paid. In Finland, which continues to be on the top of the Education ladder, a minimum requirement is a Master’s degree.
All this cost money: and where is it coming from?
It is very much the same story with our hospitals, and again, the paddle pop stick taped together ad hoc financially starved system staggers on. People are dying from the lack of the simplest procedures. Waiting times in Casualty wards are staggering, people bleeding to death and stories aplenty of people turned away or shunted to other hospitals. They have become charnel houses and blame for this goes backwards and forwards between States and Federal Government as regularly as a dripping tap. The Government is threatening to take over the hospitals. This is just another voodoo exercise. It is the lack of money, stupid!
As with education, so it is with health. Those that can afford it go for a private option and make those that can’t, somehow feel they have failed. How an egalitarian society ever came to believe and develop a two tiered system in such basics as Health and Education is beyond my understanding, but that is how it is at present. It would have to add to a huge waste and duplication. Not surprising is that those that have succeeded in making the money for private health and education probably enjoyed some very handy tax breaks or even dodges, n’est ce pas?
So, where is the money coming from for first class, world beating health system?
We have done so well though. But, has this doing ‘well ‘been on the back of filling up Bulk Carriers with the scrapings of the top 50 metres or so of our country, especially in the North and West. This has been a nice little earner for Australia, all those minerals and all that red dirt. It’s been so easy too. Huge trucks and trains to ports and then shovel it all onto boats and then wait for the money to roll in. How lovely for the Government, what a win-win. Will this go on forever?
In any case, it has not provided us with best standard public Education, Health, Public transport and it never will. It just puts money into shareholders who in turn will go for the private goodies and live in big ugly houses.
As for pensioners, they will have to feast on that extra $30. – added onto their fortnightly pension. Many will just have to continue living just above the poverty line and make do with the no-frills toilet paper.
Good on ye, Ken Henry,
We need to pay far more tax.