Letter to the Age 01/06/09
Buy Australian veto
Finance Minister Lindsay Tanner says the Government will not accept a push that breaches trade rules (29/5). All we hear is what it won’t do. The Rudd Government should be saying what it will do, – not what it won’t do, to increase manufacturing in Australia. If we are to reduce future unemployment we need to stop penalising manufacturing.
The relatively high Australian wages are blamed for our uncompetitive prices, however the amount of production wages, here and overseas, in many items is only a small proportion of the final selling price in the market. There are 56 or more taxes and other charges in Australia, many of which impinge, directly or indirectly on manufacturing costs.
Government could exempt or rapidly refund taxes and other charges that unfairly affect manufacturing and make up the loss in revenue by a Federal flat rate tax on land values. A parliamentary inquiry into the effect of taxes and charges on our competitiveness in manufacturing should be held as a matter of urgency.