Thursday 16th September 2010
BUSINESS COUNCIL OUT OF TOUCH WITH PEOPLE ON FIXED INCOMES
The Business Council of Australia’s calls for an increase in the GST and for continuing record high levels of immigration are in the teeth of the best interests of Australians, and especially Australians on fixed incomes- pensioners, retirees, and the unemployed.
Older Australians had their standard of living lowered as a consequence of the GST. The compensation provided to pensioners and retirees for the GST was not adequate, and the GST goes on forever. If the GST goes up, it will be the same all over again- Australians on fixed incomes will find it even harder to make ends meet than they do already.
The Business Council’s wish list also includes a continuation of record high levels of migration. Once again, they are out of touch with the daily reality of life for people who are not in the workforce. Migration driven population growth has fuelled massive increases in house prices, leading to higher rents and council rates. It has put upward pressure on the cost of essentials such as electricity, gas, water and food.
It is a bit rich for the Business Council to say it was “disappointed with the quality of the debate” on issues of population and migration during the election campaign. The election campaign saw Labor, Liberal and Greens responding to public concerns over Australia’s runaway population growth, and that is a healthy and democratic thing.
One can’t help but think that what really worries the Business Council is that 70% of Australians don’t want a ‘Big Australia’, and want to see migration levels returned to those of the 1970s and 1980s. Political parties should respond to that public concern, and look after Australian pensioners, retirees and those who are presently out of the workforce but could be in it given appropriate training.
KELVIN THOMSON MP
Federal member for Wills