What does my Prosperity Policy Pillar include?
- Tax policy
- Housing affordability and tax
- Good economic policy versus picking winner
- Responsible spending
- Refocusing migration policy
- Gender equity and economic policy
- Higher education funding support
- Supporting small business
For the record (as these issues have been politically weaponised previously) in this election I am not advocating for:
- changes to negative gearing
- changes to franking credits
- changes to taxation of trusts
I approach policy on the evidence, pragmatically and unprejudiced by ideology, partisanship, or sectional interests. I am confident that I can work with either major party in pursuit of good economic outcomes for the residents of Goldstein and the people of Australia. At the same time, my independence will allow for due consideration of the rigour and fairness of any proposed legislation.
Not everything is about spending more money. It is about smart spending; spending that will make us safer, smarter, healthier, happier and more prosperous.
Smart budgeting creates wealth, while addressing structural inequality, which is itself an impediment to growth.
While discussion is usually framed around how much money governments should spend (or not), the focus should instead be on how money is best spent, responsibly and efficiently.
If we value prosperity as a metric, the productivity gains of smart spending are undeniable and our focus should be on our longer-term future, rather than politically motivated instant gratification.
That said, Australia has a budget and debt problem:
- debt is at a record high partly, but not entirely, because of measures taken to address the COVID pandemic and will need to be reined in over time. This must be addressed to avoid leaving a massive debt problem for future generations.
- the Covid pandemic has exposed a mismatch between where taxpayers’ money is spent and where it is needed, especially in health and aged care as well as education
- Scott Morrison and his government have wasted taxpayers money on unaccountable and politically opportunistic spending
- for example, more than 30 billion dollars of taxpayers’ money for Jobkeeper went to companies which did not need it, boosting their profits while many Australians struggled with the impact of the pandemic on their jobs and businesses.
- Scott Morrison has not lifted a finger to recover this taxpayers’ money
- The government has wasted taxpayers’ money on Sports Rorts and other unaccountable initiatives condemned by the ANAO as well as the misuse of public funds on things like the Leppington Triangle.
- any new spending should be offset by savings
I support responsible, smart, financial and budget management, minimising waste of taxpayers’ money with the ultimate goal of achieving a balanced budget over the economic cycle
- smart spending would see government support for new and emerging clean technologies that will speed our transformation into an Australia that is a clean, green energy superpower with genuine support to ensure the enduring prosperity of affected communities, their families, and workers
- the diesel fuel rebate costs the taxpayer close to $8 billion a year, much of it subsidising extraction of fossil fuels even as miners like Andrew Forrest act to reduce the carbon footprint of their operations
- that element of the diesel fuel rebate should be repurposed to support the establishment of – and investment in – new and emerging clean technologies, industries and manufacturing
- fuel excise and vehicle registration fees should ultimately be replaced by a national system of road user charges, reflecting the impact of the various categories of vehicles on our transport infrastructure
- far too much taxpayer money has been spent on infrastructure projects designed to maximise political benefit rather than long term community and national benefit and prosperity
I support empowering Infrastructure Australia to assess and determine the worth and benefit of all infrastructure proposals. No project should proceed without an explicit recommendation from Infrastructure Australia.
Australia is in urgent need of tax reform. Neither of the parties of government is advocating tax reform. It is not an issue on which this election is being fought. That said, it’s an uncomfortable problem that our government will eventually have to address. We must start being honest with ourselves about this. The principles that I will use when assessing any proposal for tax reform from either side will be that any changes to taxation must be equitable and efficient.
Our current system is labyrinthine and an impediment to national prosperity. Improving and streamlining taxation is imperative, with a particular focus on minimising the taxation burden on the income of individuals and business where possible.
- Should I be elected I would consider smart tax reform based on the principles of equity, efficiency and future prosperity
- I would advocate for the ultimate party of government to commission a comprehensive and independent review with everything ‘on the table’.
- The review should be conducted by an external independent panel, which should draw on Treasury expertise. Tax reform has been politically weaponised to the extent that reasonable analysis, strategy and progress is stalled. This roadblock to progress must be removed.
- I support the principles that underpinned John Howard’s approach to tax reform; compensating socio economic groups affected by the introduction of the GST
- Australia’s tax system is too reliant on income tax, both individual and corporate
- The GST is no longer the growth tax it once was and has been distorted by the special deal inequitably benefitting Western Australia at the expense of other states, especially Victoria
- There has been no comprehensive tax review since Ken Henry reported over a decade ago
- The only major recommendation any government has attempted to implement was the Mining Super Profits Tax, which was scuttled by the mining lobby during the Gillard years
- Stamp duty is a state matter, but it is contributing to Australia’s housing affordability problem, discouraging established homeowners from moving house as their circumstances change, as well as encouraging over-capitalisation
- Any review should consider the assistance the Commonwealth could provide to the states to smooth the consequences of an equitable shift to a land tax regime
- The tax system should provide encouragement for home owners and especially landlords to retrofit property to make them more energy efficient
- Our economy, broadly, and revenue needs, specifically, are inherently complex, requiring expertise to design effective policy, but this complexity need not be reflected in the taxation laws themselves.
Housing affordability and tax
- Housing affordability must be honestly considered in any good faith tax review, including but not limited to the impact of stamp duty, capital gains tax and other market distortions that have priced young people out of home ownership and discourage older people from downsizing.
- First home owners schemes have run their course and should not be added to as they now merely serve to inflate house prices
- The same is the case with access to superannuation as a means of buying a home., This will also have the long term impact of reducing superannuation savings, leaving individuals (especially women) at greater risk of an impoverished retirement and greater dependence on the pension
- If elected, I would advocate for a review, and if appropriate, the expansion of rent to buy schemes which are developing overseas, but have not advanced beyond what are effectively pilot schemes in Australia.
Good economic policy versus picking winners
- Australia’s prosperity is underpinned by competition and markets to drive innovation and meet consumer needs, which is the essence of a free market system. This is tempered by Government playing a role in supporting the vulnerable, providing essential services and regulating when markets fail.
- While I applaud the Government’s COVID stimulus measures, I note that the implementation was haphazard and at times wasteful, coming at an enormous cost that will be borne by future generations.
- We will end this financial year with an enormous deficit of $79.8 billion. The Coalition has promised firm action to whittle down this deficit by reining in government spending without articulating exactly where or how this might be done.
- If elected, I will press for an immediate, concerted effort to implement responsible measures to eliminate waste and pork barrelling to reduce the deficit. Cuts to public spending must, however, be underpinned by careful, evidence-based decision making, guided by experts. Cuts must not have unintended consequences with regard to productivity and economic growth.
- At the heart of so much Government profligacy and waste is the issue of integrity. If elected, I will fight for systemic reform and a National Integrity Commission to address corrupt and wasteful practices, such as pork barrelling, with jobs for mates now verging on crony capitalism. These practices have a distorting effect on the economy and put future prosperity at risk.
- Government support for a low carbon economy Australian innovation should be nurtured by Government; not stymied at the behest of sectional interests.
- Australia has the potential to be a global leader in the renewable economy, but time is of the essence. We must act now and provide more ambitious targets to address climate change. If not, Australia stands to lose $3 trillion and 880,000 jobs over the next 50 years, as investors look elsewhere, to other parts of the world with ample supplies of sun and wind. Reducing emissions should no longer be seen as purely an impost on business and growth, but an opportunity for great prosperity.
- Currently, however, we lack the necessary incentives to drive this economic transition, and risk being left behind as the rest of the world races to address climate change.
- We have the opportunity to become world-leaders in transforming our energy-intensive industries into green, export-oriented operations. These necessary shifts are being impeded by the major parties, beholden to fossil-fuel donors.
- If elected, I will push for Australia to keep pace with global transformation and become a world leader in renewable technologies. Sensible and smart investment decisions will do much to improve our lagging productivity.
Refocusing migration policy
- In the decade prior to COVID pandemic, the quality of our migration program was eroded. Our migration policy needs to be reset to focus on attracting high skilled workers, encouraging the return of international student numbers to earlier levels, while managing population growth, all to drive our future prosperity and wellbeing within sustainable parameters.
- Businesses have articulated an urgent need for skilled workers and be a strong driver of economic growth.
Gender equity and economic policy
- We must address gender inequality. It hinders economic growth and prosperity – especially with regard to childcare, parental leave and superannuation. It consigns many people, overwhelmingly women, to low paid, precarious work with absences from the workforce inhibiting advancement.
- High quality, universal affordable childcare is not only integral to women’s equality; it is a driver of economic growth.
- Women are disproportionately burdened by unpaid childcare, which in turn impedes workforce participation and leaves many women playing financial catchup for a lifetime.
- Make quality early childhood education and care (ECEC) accessible and affordable delivered by a well-supported and properly funded workforce
- Extend the superannuation guarantee to the Commonwealth Paid Parental Leave scheme to help reduce the superannuation gap between women and men at retirement
- Expanded paid parental leave (working towards one year shared between parents) and superannuation paid during parental leave will also enable women to fully reach their potential, boosting the economy.
Higher education funding support
- Universities are a key driver of economic growth at population level, as well as prosperity at the individual level. Research and the resulting innovation is hindered by current policy settings, as are opportunities for disadvantaged students to access higher education.
- I therefore favour the restoration of tertiary funding, which would result in a boost to innovation and greatly increased access to higher education for individuals. Both universities and trade schools, including TAFE, are a priority.
Supporting Small Businesses
- This is a keystone of our local economy.
- The prosperity of the Goldstein community is supported immensely – directly and indirectly – by the presence and contribution of small businesses – well over 10,000 Bayside area alone. Meanwhile, the City of Glen Eira is home to nearly 5,500 small businesses, many of which are in the electorate of Goldstein. Goldstein is a thriving economic community of influential small business leaders, entrepreneurs and professionals across professional and creative services, science and R&D, manufacturing, digital and technology, health, education, hospitality, media, sport, the arts, real estate, and retail.
- I will support the Budgetary pledges put forward for small business by the current Government in its 22/23 Budget – in particular, the support programs for skills, apprenticeships and training for the benefit of many SMEs (small to medium enterprises) and the $120 tax deductions for SMEs spending $100 on eligible investments.
- I will support resourcing for local SME communities so they have autonomy in determining their own needs, rather than have solutions imposed on them
- I will advocate for red tape to be cut – the stress, distraction and cost of regulatory compliance have become unsustainable.
- I will work for superannuation and award obligation for SMEs to be made much clearer and simpler.
- I will actively promote programmes to provide accessible mental health support for small business owners.
- I will advocate for programmes that streamline and incentivise innovation – the translation of research to actionable programmes that help small business.
- I will advocate for the streamlining of tax responsibilities for small businesses and post Covid access to support services for those with tax debt.