Can you do a better job than Joe Hockey?
I have read a lot since the budget has been brought down as have, no doubt, many of you. I have also listened to the spin from Joe Hockey, and the responses to date from a great range of people. I could give my responses to what Hockey said at the Press Club, and some very interesting quotes but, quite frankly, I got sick of listening to bullshit.
So I thought my time would be better spent deciding how I would fix things.
The Coalition approach is to make some people wealthy so they will employ more of the rest of us. As least I think that is the plan. Economy has replaced the word society so it becomes increasingly hard to understand why things are being done – what are our goals, what are we trying to achieve. Surely the economy is only a means to an end rather than THE end.
I understand that we need to raise revenue and cut spending. Here are a few ideas. Feel free to add your thoughts.
Cap and freeze defence spending at $20 billion a year. If a real threat emerges we can increase this. Saving $50 billion
Cancel the order for the 58 extra jet fighters and get by with the 14 we have already ordered. Saving of $24 billion
Cancel the changes to the Paid parental leave Scheme. Saving $22 billion
Cancel Direct Action and keep the carbon pricing scheme. Saving of $10.6 billion
Scrap the fuel tax credit to mining companies. Saving $11 billion Scrap the fuel excise indexation. Loss $3.4 billion. Net saving $7.6 billion
Keep the mining tax. Saving $5.3 billion
Find a better solution for asylum seekers that does not involve our Navy except to rescue people in distress, does not involve offshore processing, and most definitely does not involve disposable liferafts costing millions. One that actually helps people. If you let them work while their application was being processed we might actually get some taxes from them rather than incarcerating them or giving them below poverty handouts. Saving…..hard to tell but it would be several billion.
Scrap the 1.5% decrease in company tax until the country can afford it. Also scrap the 1.5% levy for the PPL.
Keep the requirement for people claiming car business usage to maintain a log book for 3 months once every 5 years to justify their claim. Saving $1.8 billion
Make the 2% increase in taxation on income over $180,000 permanent. How much this will make is dependent on if we tighten up on tax avoidance, otherwise the revenue will be nothing and for those as creative as Rupert and Google, we could end up owing them money.
Negative gearing should only apply to new building with certain greenfield developments slated as owner-occupied only.
Introduce a Financial Transactions Tax on various categories of financial transactions including: stocks, bonds and currency. If implemented on a global basis, its projected revenue could be as much as US$400 billion a year, depending on the size of the levy imposed, the size of the reduction in trading (if any), and the number of implementing countries/jurisdictions. In the US alone it has been estimated that annually, between US$177 and $353 billion could be raised.
A flat rate of 0.05% has been proposed on all financial market transactions, many experts actually advise vary rates (of between 0.01 and 0.5%) depending on the transaction (stocks, bonds, currency, commodities, swaps, derivatives, etc). The UK stock exchange, one of the largest in the world, already has a 0.5% tax on share transactions.
Forget buying Tony a fleet of new planes to carry around business people and journalists. Saving over $600 million.
Keep the Clean Energy Finance Corporation. Saving $400 million
Tighten up the tax concession for superannuation. There are huge savings to be made there. At least reinstate the tax targeting earnings on superannuation pensions above $100,000. Saving $313 million.
Cut the exploration subsidies to mining companies. Saving $100 million.
MPs should fly by commercial flights rather than private jets. Flights to football games, the races, weddings, book signing tours, charity events, fun runs, should be paid for by the MP rather than being seen as an entitlement. Accommodation for these events will also not be provided as an entitlement. Don’t know how much it will save but Tony Abbott as Opposition Leader claimed over $1 million a year in entitlements.
Legalise voluntary euthanasia. This not only gives terminally ill people a choice which may give them peace of mind, it would also save an enormous amount of money which is spent in the last month or two of life.
Having just saved lots of money, here is how I would like it spent
Help lift people out of poverty by increasing the Newstart payment by $50 a week. Child poverty has increased 15% in the last decade. Welfare and pensions should be linked to average weekly earnings rather than the CPI to keep the relative quality of life.
Instead of reintroducing the ABCC, reintroduce the Commonwealth Employment Service who actively provide a link between employers and the unemployed, helping people find jobs without having to go through agencies who take a cut of their wage or hire them out as contract employees with no workplace entitlement to paid sick or annual leave.
Action must be taken about the housing crisis. We must change negative gearing concessions, introduce stricter foreign ownership restrictions on residential properties, make some new developments owner-occupied only, increase government partnership agreements to provide affordable housing and housing for the homeless.
Invest in education by implementing the full Gonski reforms and re-opening the trades training centres. Keep University fees capped and introduce more scholarships.
Invest in research by immediately refunding the CSIRO and giving them back their independence. Support other promising research through our universities. Do not provide a slush fund for pharmaceutical companies.
Invest in the renewable energy industry through the profitable CEFC and grants to businesses who implement sustainable practices.
Invest in preventative health. Ask the health experts to come up with ways to better spend the health dollars. Do not make access more expensive. I note that the doctors get $2 out of the $7 for all co-payments. I don’t think doctors are the ones most in need of a payrise at the moment.
Build a proper FttP NBN because it would have enormous productivity benefits, encourage entrepreneurial enterprises, give more flexible workplace options, reduce demand for and consequences of transport, open up educational and health applications, improve the lives of rural and elderly Australians.
Continue with the full rollout of the NDIS.
Keep the schoolkids bonus.
Increase wages and training to childcare and aged care workers. Provide affordable childcare and aged care. Community nurses and respite providers do a fantastic job of helping the elderly and disabled stay in their homes for longer which saves us a fortune. As do carers. Tony Windsor said a Senate committee was advised that if we could keep 20% of elderly people in their homes for one year longer we would save $60 billion over the next ten years.
Increase action on climate change because the social and economic cost is only going to escalate for every moment of delay.
Continue the gradual increase of the superannuation guarantee to 12%.
Increase spending on public transport with Infrastructure Australia prioritising projects.
Increase foreign aid and pressure on governments who commit human rights abuses. Increase our humanitarian intake, open processing centres in transit countries, and speed up the process.
I am sure I have left out many ways to save money and many things that would give a better return on money spent but my brain is tired. Yesterday’s budget was physically and emotionally sapping.