The way forward
World Class Services
Today, more than ever, governments need to build income-generating infrastructure such as dams, power stations, rail and ports. Just as Governor Macquarie funded an ambitious building program through the issue of the Holey Dollar, a government owned infrastructure bank should be created to do the same. Funding could come from infrastructure bonds and superannuation. These measures would provide essential, world class services, employment and fixed income for retirees. It is a much better option than interest rate manipulation, which has only punished savers and prospective homebuyers.
Setting up an infrastructure bank funded by the RBA would build dams and weirs, providing water security, hydroelectricity, and flood mitigation. Nuclear and high-efficiency coal power plants will keep families’ and businesses’ lights on well into the next century and keep manufacturing and construction jobs in Australia. The profit from infrastructure owned by the people would provide world class services for all Australians.
I believe in a strong, prosperous and diverse economy. We need to do more to support traditional industries like manufacturing, agriculture and mining as well as investing in new technology and industry.
While trade is obviously important for a country like Australia, it is no substitute for the ability to control our means of production. In the same way the horse comes before the cart, production must always come before trade. What is the point of generating wealth if it is to end up in an offshore bank account?
Cost of Living
The cost of living in Australia continues to increase. The number one priority of every Australian is a roof over their head and food on the table. With the rise in electricity prices and other basic services, now is the time when reform is needed to place more money in the pockets of everyday Australians without disadvantaging our small businesses.
67% of Australians aged 65 or over receive income support payments. Of this, 95% receive the age pension. This percentage is similar to 2001 – showing an overall failure of the superannuation scheme to perform its intended purpose, which was to pay for Australian’s retirement.
One way to address cost of living pressures for working Australians would be to make superannuation voluntary. Making superannuation voluntary would put money back into the hands of hard-working Australians, particularly our low-income earners, who will ultimately see little to no benefit from their superannuation.
The only real achievement of superannuation has been to take money out of the pockets of hard-working Australians and place it into the never-ending money stream of the unionised superannuation funds and into Labor’s campaign coffers.
The Australian Way
Self-belief is the conviction that leads to achievement. It is the optimism that inspires hard work, that turns adversity into opportunity and convict colonies into countries.
From humble beginnings, modern Australia has overcome immense challenges to become one of the world’s great liberal democracies. Few countries epitomise the power of self-belief and the ethos of ‘a fair go’ better than Australia; a country that remains a beacon to those fleeing persecution and those who seek a better life for themselves and their children. Gratitude towards our forefathers who built this nation and in doing so gave us so many opportunities is what drives me to see this country continue to provide opportunities for our children. There is nothing wrong with being proud to be Australian. We should all be proud of where we have come from, and refocus our efforts on where we are going as a nation.
Fair & Efficient Markets
Australian businesses—both large and small—are forced to navigate hyper-regulation, excessive red and green tape and multiple bureaucratic blockages, frustrating business owners and strangling growth.
We need to get back to basics and provide a level playing field in which Australian businesses of all sizes can thrive and grow.
Because of tax treaties, most profits from large foreign-owned multinationals are taxed at around 10 per cent or less, while profits retained in Australia are taxed at 30 per cent. Our own taxation system acts as a reverse tariff on entities domiciled here in Australia, sending profits and business offshore because of the regulatory and taxation burden placed on them. The solution to this is to ensure that the withholding tax rate on profits transferred offshore is the same as the tax rate on profits retained in Australia. Given there is $2.8 trillion in super, tax concessions for foreign investors need to stop. Australia has no shortage of capital.
Increasing withholding tax revenue could fund cuts in both payroll tax and income tax. This would give workers more money in their pockets, increase business turnover and boost productivity. It’s a win-win.
Standard of Living
While economic growth is important, it should not come at a cost to our quality of life. It is time immigration levels were reduced so communities can deal with infrastructure, the environment and skills shortages. Despite almost a doubling of the population in the last 30 years, state governments have built very few base-load power stations or dams. They need to address declining services to everyday Australians before the population increases any further.
The greatest threat to our environment is not carbon dioxide but unsustainable immigration. As the son of a farmer, I was taught from a young age about carrying capacity and never to overstock your paddocks. Yet immigration is doing just that, causing major city congestion and over development on our city fringes. Meanwhile, regional communities are struggling as opportunities, from the lack of infrastructure, go begging.
Skills based training through TAFE should take precedence over non-vocational university studies. Too many young people are graduating from university with massive debts but no employment prospects, while businesses import labour to fill skills shortages.
Practical steps such as these will contribute to achieving my objective of ensuring a higher standard of living for all Australians now and into the future.