- Cut the overly generous pay and conditions our politicians currently enjoy. I mean why should politicians receive superannuation contributions of 15.4% which is 70% higher than most Australians. And after Bronwyn Bishop's $5,000 helicopter ride from Melbourne to Geelong making news it's curious that the other $7M per year in politicians travel allowances was hardly mentioned. I am not saying that politicians should not be rewarded, but with salaries of $507,338 for the Prime Minister, $336,599 for cabinet members and $195,130 for backbenchers in 2014-15 I would argue they are well compensated. Oh, and don’t forget the additional $46,000 annually for a MP’s electorate allowance.
- So what if politicians were paid a basic wage of say $150,000 p.a plus bonuses for generating greater efficiencies in government (i.e saving money), or increasing GDP growth (i.e. making more money for Australia)? And not just annual bonuses but bonuses that also get paid out also over 5, 10 or even 20 year periods of time? This would discourage the short-term policies that are designed to keep a party in power than to actually build the nation. Some people have even gone as far as to recommend removing the ability to spend government money out of politicians' hands and into an independent board like a company run board of directors. An interesting idea.
- Make Australia more globally competitive. In the modern world, geography and borders have been replaced by the internet and global trade. We should be better able to take advantage of our knowledge based economy. Things we could do immediately is look at reducing the company tax rate which in conjunction with using technology to streamline government efficiency could be fully costed. Whilst most Australian companies are taxed at 30%, many economies around the world have corporate tax rates that are lower. Our closest neighbours, New Zealand (28%), Indonesia (25%), as well as Singapore(17%) or the United Kingdom (20%) all have a corporate advantage due to lower tax rates. I am not even suggesting you drop rates across the board but the introduction of a tiered corporate tax rate based on business turnover could have real merit. Small businesses (which make up as much of 70% of employers), with assessable income of say less than $250,000 could pay less company tax than businesses earning in excess of say $100M for example. Obviously, looking at ways to make big corporates pay their fair share of taxes for income generated in Australia should also be fully investigated.
- Do something positive to curb Australia’s impending welfare dependency challenges. About half of all households do not pay income tax in net terms after taking government benefits into account, according to estimates from the National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling. Consulting firm PwC has predicted that Australia's annual welfare bill will jump from $154bn this year to $270bn in 2026, outstripping inflation and population growth combined. This is a tough challenge, but I am sure that we can find a better balance between the required financial assistance required to give Aussie’s a hand up not just a hand out!
- Or how about instead of politicians simply voting along party lines, why not allow all of our elected officials to vote according to the will of their electorates. Or with modern technology there is no reason why the people themselves could not vote on significant issues online. Perhaps we should also allow for non-compulsory voting, or a compulsory educational system surrounding how to vote before people cast their votes?
- Develop a "not-for-profit" national banking system to fund infrastructure projects. That is have a nationally-run bank to sit alongside the current banking system, where all profits from the national banking system are funnelled back into either nationally significant infrastructure projects, or the establishment of a national wealth fund. Consumers then have a choice as to how they wish to bank, and where they would want to see their funds invested in the future.
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