Bashing the rich for additional tax drives many of the prosperous and their businesses offshore to a more favourable location, thus, sooner or later, losing jobs at home with the end result that less tax is collected. Increasing tax on the rich therefore results in less tax collected over time rather than the desired increase. And less jobs! A classic case recently was a European footballer who left his home country to play for a club where his tax break was better and stated that was the reason for doing so. A business is no different, moving their financial headquarters to where the tax breaks are most beneficial, and shifting their manufacturing to countries where labour is cheaper.
One fairish tax in Australia is a Goods and Services Tax. A rich person might use a $400 a night hotel, a less well off person a $100 hotel. The GST paid by the rich person is four times that of the less well off. On the other hand, imports under $1000.00 are exempt GST because it would cost the government more to collect the tax than the money collected (Never mind the cost of time wasted by the receiver in clearing such a parcel through a post office or similar).
It's all very difficult.
Basically I have problems with any tax increase, levy or government borrowing.
First, a tax increase makes a country less attractive as a business base. The result is less business, less jobs and less tax eventually collected. Any tax will have this derogatory long term effect. A tax increases the cost of living and reduces job opportunities. A country becomes less competitive on the now global platform and loses out. In the new "global" world, countries have to be competitive. Higher taxes make any country worse off not better off. The creation of government jobs just increases the amount of tax that needs to be collected to pay for the wages and associated infrastructure. New jobs, like it or not, are required in the private sector, not public.
Second, any increase of tax revenue going to a country's government, then that government will spend it and after not too long a period of time, there will yet again be insufficient funds. Passing more money to a spending addict makes no sense.
Third, borrowing will put our children deeper in debt. This is not only selfish but totally unfair for our children. What right do we have to do this? It's un-Australian! Interest rates will eventually go up to increase this already heavy burden making it more difficult for the next generation to repay. And why should they shoulder our debt?
Fourth, we need a futures fund for any coming emergency. One will come, a pandemic, plant, insect or human disease, bioterrorism, natural disasters and the like.
Increasing taxes is the easy looking short term answer, but totally in the wrong one for long term. Borrowing is a ruinous policy. We have no right to put the next generation in hock.
In Australia there has been considerable recent activity on trade agreements with China and India. Yes, world trade is global and Australians are part of it, whether we like it or not. In the longer term, if we do not get our balance of payments under control, Australia will become easy pickings for those with the money. China for example will be able to buy even more Australian businesses and properties. China is already doing just that. India too, more so in time. Put bluntly we have to start living within our means or eventually sell our assets to pay off our loans. We will become easy pickings.
If we are to resolve this, tax increases do not solve the problem. One answer is to cut our cloth to suit our sail. The sooner the better and the less bitter the pill will be to swallow.
But we won't!
Discuss in our Forums
See what other readers are saying about this article!
Click here to read & post comments.
6 posts so far.