Government agencies around Australia are standing up to support the campaign to end violence against women today for White Ribbon Day.
ALL THINGS P: The federal government wants to know which open data would be most useful to business, researc
The business community is reasserting its authority to contribute to the policy debate, says Business Council of Australia's Jennifer Westacott. We ne
We recently moved our readers to a new system. You may need to reset your password here to login.
Not a member ? Join here for free.
Forgot your password?
Home Features Percy Allan: reforming the Australian federation like dominoes
Text size :
TAGS economic policy, Goods and Services Tax, income tax, Jay Weatherill, Joe Hockey, Mike Baird, National Commission of Audit, Political economy, Public economics
Some hope a Hawke-style grand bargain can bring about reform to our federal-state tax problems. It’s more likely change will come in the form of domino-like self-interested reactions, says former NSW Treasury secretary Percy Allan, and indeed it’s already underway.
Reforming the Australian federation is not easy because it requires near unanimity by all governments. So the question is not only what should be done, but more importantly how it will come about?
Any academic specialising in this area will say the challenge is correcting “vertical fiscal imbalance” and simplifying “horizontal fiscal equalisation”. But my guess is that most people don’t understand, let alone care about VFS and HFE. Instead they are concerned about news reports that:
These burning platforms are realities, not fabrications. Attempts to ignore them won’t boost confidence and make the economy grow faster, but rather make voters lose trust in their leaders. We need to acknowledge that the above problems pose a threat to both our economic growth and social fabric. The federation faces a crisis that won’t go away without a national discourse and hard decisions.
Lobby groups are pushing for either tax relief (businesses calling for a higher GST to reduce company tax) or higher spending (welfare groups asking for higher income taxes to fund social programs). But such pleadings won’t win broad support because their demands are too narrow and sectional.
Receive unlimited access, get all the latest public sector news and features, plus The Juice, our daily news update sent direct to your inbox.
The Mandarin is where Australia's public sector leaders discuss their work and the issues faced within modern bureaucracy. Join today to discover the latest in public administration thinking and news from our dedicated reporters, current and former agency heads and senior executives.
Percy Allan AM is the former secretary of the NSW Treasury. He now runs a consulting practice advising on policy, economics, finance and management in the public sector and writes a regular column for the Eureka Report.
Read Related Content
The NSW Premier says the freshly reformed commission will "clean up politics" in the state. Notably, one of the NSWEC's most recent decisions regarding electoral laws affected Baird's own party.