October 20, 2005 | Graham

Join the tax revolt for better fuel policy

Sometimes I wonder why I vote Liberal, then I remember, the other guys have even less to recommend them.
Take fuel policy. Resources Minister Ian Macfarlane is supposed to have good free market credentials, so why is he pushing for tax concessions for oil exploration at a time when the oil price is providing all the subsidy a good oil explorer should need? Beats me, I’m happy to push investment funds into oil at the moment, and on the evidence, so are thousands of other punters. The government doesn’t need to bribe us to do it.
Then, just as I’m looking for someone else to vote for who might have a less kleptomanial view of my taxes Kim Beazley says this:

AUSTRALIA could face petrol prices as high as $5 a litre within a decade if it continues to rely on imported petroleum, Opposition Leader Kim Beazley says.
Mr Beazley will outline a plan in Melbourne today in which a Labor government would offer incentives including tax breaks to establish a network of gas-to-liquids plants.
Mr Beazley said motorists could be paying $5 a litre by 2015 without a self-sufficient fuel industry.

Same idea, just a different interest group, and the worst economic forecasting skills I’ve ever seen in a politician. If the price of oil is $5 a litre by 2015 then the Saudis will most likely be swimming in it because no-one will be able to afford to buy it from them – we’ll have all gone over to alternative fuels, bicycles and walking, without the need for tax breaks.
What do you do in a situation like this where the political duopolists have both gone mad? Lacking a viable third party that is rational, you need to find a competing and better project to spend the money on.
The only reason politicians are offering to spray it around is because they’ve got plenty of it, so we need to find attractive ways to take it away from them. I’m not convinced of the social equity of Malcolm Turnbull’s flat tax, but I am convinced there’s no social equity in some of the alternate plans for the money, so I guess I’m going to join the tax revolt so that I can look after my own product subsidies.

Posted by Graham at 8:04 am | Comments (5) |
Filed under: Australian Politics


  1. Did someone say tax revolt?
    I love to join in – I just can’t figure out how. A tax revolt involves people refusing to pay the tax that the Government claims is owed. Like most people, I never get to see the money that is being paid in tax, which makes refusing to pay it a little pointless.
    But if someone can tell me how I can participate in a tax revolt – as distinct from tax fraud – I’d be interested.

    Comment by Sylvia Else — October 20, 2005 @ 4:33 pm

  2. Sylvia, I borrowed the phrase from The Australian, which, from memory, ran a tax revolt in the 70s. It was the same revolt that underlay the Proposition 13 changes in the US that led to dramatic lowering of tax there.
    Nothing illegal, just a determined public campaign. The only reason these other lobbies are getting money is that politicians think there are votes in sugar seats or motorists. The trick is to convince them there are more in tax-payers.

    Comment by Graham Young — October 20, 2005 @ 6:10 pm

  3. I would happily sell my vote to the highest bidder. Unfortunately the market is limited to political parties. And neither seems that willing to bid.
    I wish I could sell it on eBay.

    Comment by Terje — October 20, 2005 @ 8:25 pm

  4. Yes, an “Revolt against Tax” or a 30cents flat tax rate/organisation is needed such as in the USA-does anyone know of one?

    Comment by Deirdre — October 24, 2005 @ 3:58 pm

  5. What about Mark Latham? He wasn’t an idiot unlike this Beazley fellow.

    Comment by Benno — November 20, 2005 @ 11:27 am

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.