Thursday, September 16, 2010

Business Council out of touch with people on fixed incomes

Thursday 16th September 2010


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.

Federal member for Wills


  1. Unsurprising - Middle class [inc business] welfare recipients prefer others to contribute by paying taxes


    PS - Given that you need assets of > $ 5m and income over $ 200k to benefit by the libs haven't we got a silly lot of people!

  2. The GST is a regressive tax and was the product of Howard/Costello with some interesting support from those refugees from the Liberals,the Democrats.The latter are now almost extinct,thankfully.
    The GST is a fine little earner and there will always be pressure from several quarters to boost the rate.Just take a look at the rates in Europe.

    I'm sorry to say that I feel that the present ruling oligarchy in Australia will only be cut down to size by an economic meltdown - maybe.

    I've just about given up on the democratic process acheiving this laudable objective although banning donations to political parties and exposing lobby operatives to the light of day might be a start.

  3. I'm not at all surprised that the Business Council pursues the growth economy and its dependency on greater numbers of consumers. Perhaps being at the high-end of the earnings scale is predicated by an all-consuming pursuit of such an economic model. The environment can wait.

    Perhaps we need to move to other models - such as steady state economics that would better cater for environmental inputs and so do not require an increasing population.

  4. Hi Kelvin,
    I think your work on population is fantastic & agee that the business council are with the pixies when it comes to population growth.
    On GST, I am a supporter of increasing the GST as it is a tax on consumption & it is a tax that those on high incomes can't avoid. However people on pensions, self funded retirerees,the unemployed & those on low incomes would probably be adversely affected.
    This can be easily righted by increasing pensions and giving cash bonuses (paid weekly) to retirerees(on low incomes), the unemployed & pensioners.
    I know that nobody wants it, but I think all food should also attact GST as the rich spend a lot of money on expensive food.
    Again, those on lower incomes should be suitably compensated.
    Alan Smith