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John Passant

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January 2010



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My interview Razor Sharp 18 February
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp on Tuesday 18 February. (0)

My interview Razor Sharp 11 February 2014
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp this morning. The Royal Commission, car industry and age of entitlement get a lot of the coverage. (0)

Razor Sharp 4 February 2014
Me on 4 February 2014 on Razor Sharp with Sharon Firebrace. (0)

Time for a House Un-Australian Activities Committee?
Tony Abbott thinks the Australian Broadcasting Corporation is Un-Australian. I am looking forward to his government setting up the House Un-Australian Activities Committee. (1)

Make Gina Rinehart work for her dole

Sick kids and paying upfront


Save Medicare

Demonstrate in defence of Medicare at Sydney Town Hall 1 pm Saturday 4 January (0)

Me on Razor Sharp this morning
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace this morning for Razor Sharp. It happens every Tuesday. (0)

I am not surprised
I think we are being unfair to this Abbott ‘no surprises’ Government. I am not surprised. (0)

Send Barnaby to Indonesia
It is a pity that Barnaby Joyce, a man of tact, diplomacy, nuance and subtlety, isn’t going to Indonesia to fix things up. I know I am disappointed that Barnaby is missing out on this great opportunity, and I am sure the Indonesians feel the same way. [Sarcasm alert.] (0)



Tax the rich: and so say all of us

Australians think we should tax the rich and big business more and the poor and middle income earners less.  And we should spend more on health and education.

These are the unsurprising findings of a Per Capita tax survey of 1000 Australians released yesterday. Per Capita summarises its findings this way:

Australians believe in a progressive tax system and a society that invests in the provision of public goods and services…

Compare the desires of Australians with the actions of the Rudd Labor Government.  It has just received two reports into tax; reports it commissioned to justify more tax largesse to capital. 

One, by the Australian Financial Centre forum, recommends that government establish ‘an investment manager regime to reduce or eliminate the tax burden on non-resident investors using local managers, brokers or other agents…’ It wants less regulation of the foreign funds.

Once again finance capital has raised its dream of using our money to make Australia a regional – it used to be global – financial centre . New York. London. Sydney.  I don’t see it.

In other words, set up a tax haven in Australia for Wall Street.  That’s a good strategy. Import the thinking that gave us the global financial crisis into the country.

At the height of the impact of that crisis in Australia Prime Minister Kevin Rudd railed against ‘extreme capitalism and bankers’ greed’. If he adopts this report’s recommendations then he will have, unsurprisingly, joined them.

Labor’s policies are neoliberalism with a keynesian tinge.

This is a government that says one populist thing after another and then implements policies for its rich mates.

The second report is the Henry Tax Review. Henry is the head of Treasury and has been arguing for less taxes on capital. Labor will agree, perhaps adding in a few tax cuts for low income earners. Neoliberalism with a keynesian tinge can do little else.

Yet this lessening of tax on capital will only, in the long term, exacerbate the problems of capitalism. As I wrote in Real tax reform: a love letter to Ken Henry:

…my proposals relate to the tax system as it is, but from a perspective that recognises that within the exploitative relationship there is a need to understand and recognise that labour creates all the wealth of society in the productive sector.

For that reason taxation should fall lightly on the labour of workers (if at all) and heavily on capital and the income of capital and their managers.

Of course Labor won’t tax the rich. They rule for them. As I wrote in Why won’t Labor tax the rich?:

Labor won’t tax the rich because it believes in the primacy of profit and the lie of the trickle down theory – what’s good for the rich is good for the rest of us.

Listen to voters, Labor, and not your big business mates. Tax the rich, tax big business, tax the polluters. Spend the extra money on health and education.



Pingback from En Passant » Tax the rich: and so say all of us | antarcticas
Time January 19, 2010 at 12:41 am

[…] of a Per Capita tax survey of 1000 Australians released yesterday. … See the rest here: En Passant » Tax the rich: and so say all of us Share and […]

Comment from Ben Courtice
Time January 19, 2010 at 9:30 am

It’s always worth pointing out how much Hawke and Keating cut business taxes… I believe I saw a figure once for just how much per year that lost the Australian treasury, it would easily compensate for (say) getting rid of the GST.

Comment from Marco
Time January 20, 2010 at 6:15 pm

Today our beloved Peter “Humility” Costello, the greatest Treasurer in human history and likely to be the second coming of our Lord, Jesus Christ, posted a note at the National Times supporting what I believe is the Australian Financial Centre report.

It does make sense to put AUD 1.2 trillion in superannuation in the hands of a bunch of psychopaths, so that they can gamble that money in CDS and other “exotic” derivatives.

What I am going to ask may sound strange, coming from a self described agnostic as yourstruly, but didn’t the book of Revelations mention false prophets and a false mesiah?

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