One of the greatest self-interest inventions of our government system has been the divisions of government. Our system of Federal (national), State and Local (municipal) ‘tiers’ of government nominally divides the overall areas of responsibility of ‘government’ and the outcome is that each level has another level to blame for anything
Government Parties v the Loyal Opposition – this artificial distinction needs to be exposed for what it is. Any member of a parliament is a member of the executive arm of ‘government’
· Leaves one with impression that the ‘government’ is giving up ITS money – the taxpayer supplies the money, not the government!
· If the spin doctors get it right, many people are given the impression that the individual government minister/s have personally given their own funds
We often hear from our government that legislation/regulation/whatever is being introduced/changed/whatever to give a ‘level playing field’.
Beware the phrase ‘level playing field’ when uttered by anybody from ‘government’ as it usually means pain for the common man.
In the interests of the much vaunted LEVEL PLAYING FIELD…
…or,‘what’s good for the goose, etc.’ category:
While travelling to South America I overnighted in Santiago, Chile – this required a Chilean visa.
There are no problems with a transit passenger getting a visa, merely pay the visa fee and out you go into Chile!
The interesting factor is that the Chileans (IMHO, very sensibly!) have a list of visa fees – whatever your country charges a Chilean for a visa, they charge you.
I would suggest that this eminently logical process be extended for implementation by Australia:
· Whatever country X charges Australians for a visa, we should charge the same fee when their citizens come to Australia
· EVEN BETTER (!), whatever processes country X applies to Australians for entry, we should apply the same processes - Yes, I am referring to the USA
If my memory serves me, one of Paul Keating’s great initiatives (in his view – and his view of reality was always, and remains questionable) was to remove trade barriers to set an example for the rest of the world, AND THEY WOULD SEE HOW GREAT THIS WAS AND DO THE SAME… (I maintain that his view of reality was always questionable).
We are now introducing various carbon tax / carbon schemes / whatever, and a major part of the ‘rationale’ is that we will set an example for the rest of the world, AND THEY WOULD SEE HOW GREAT THIS WAS AND DO THE SAME… (do we learn nothing?)
I have no doubt that SOMETHING has to be done about mankind’s profligate energy waste, but taxation (under whatever name) will not be the answer.
The Government knows full well that:
· introduction of carbon taxes will not affect any member of parliament (past or present) – they will be insulated by indexation of income…
· increasing taxation to the squeak point does not reduce usage (look at petrol, alcohol and cigarettes), and very carefully judges the squeak point,
· increasing taxation to the squeak point will generate masses of cash for the government (great for thr federal budget?)
· introducing the carbon tax under the planned process will enable a number of already rich and manipulative people to become even richer and more manipulative.