Some aspects of the Government’s economic statement are cruel, ill-considered and a missed opportunity for needed tax reform.
Cruel because the cut to foreign aid, effectively over $1bn, is inhumane and ultimately not in Australia’s national interest. We should be stabilising and strengthening regional countries, not abandoning them.
And cruel that disadvantaged Australians, and in particular those on Newstart, will not see any extra money flowing their way.
The statement was in part also ill-considered because it did not include a revision of past poor decisions, in particular the cuts to the tertiary education sector in the May budget.
Yes, the Government needs to rein in spending and find new sources of income. But what it should be doing is looking at the pressing need for a super profits tax in this country, one which would apply to the banks and be a way of raising the funds needed to ensure their security. A super profits tax on the banks would be inherently fairer that the 0.05% levy on deposits which ultimately will be recouped from customers.
The Government’s also running scared of superannuation reform, and in particular the need to remove the tax free status for withdrawals by people over age 60.