Your Home: The Tax Haven That Never Was

SPIN: The Family Home is exempt from land tax. (And all the people shall say: Amen.) FACT: If home buyers don’t have to pay land tax, they can afford higher mortgage repayments, hence higher prices. While the price of a house is limited by the cost of...

IR Reform: Let Banks Collect P.A.Y.E. Tax

The Howard government’s industrial relations agenda attacks the wages and conditions of workers as if this were the only way to reduce the cost of hiring. What about the administrative costs imposed by government? For example: If you become an employer, you must...

IR Reform: Who Really Wins?

Who are the real winners and losers under the Howard government’s industrial relations reforms? We think you can work it out for yourselves. Here are some hints: 1. If workers in firms with less than 100 employees have lost their protection against unfair...

Infrastructure: No Pork Barrel Needed

In every marginal electorate, politicians promise to take revenue raised by nationwide or statewide taxes and spend it on projects that confer purely local economic benefits. This practice is corrupt and unnecessary — corrupt because a minority of taxpayers are bribed...

Infrastructure: Free Riders on the Tollway

The Mitcham-Frankston tollway, also known as EastLink, will reduce commuting times in suburbs serviced by the tollway and in suburbs serviced by alternative routes, such as the untolled Springvale and Stud roads, whose congestion levels will be reduced by EastLink....

Globalisation: Shortcut to the Bottom

In this age of internationally mobile capital, we are repeatedly told that if we want to attract and retain investment, we must make our tax system more “competitive”. Very conveniently for the investors, competitive taxes are taken to mean low taxes, in...

The Progressive Flat Tax

The flat tax fanatics are back. They say that if there were only one rate of income tax, the system would be simpler, and the rich couldn’t reduce their tax by converting one kind of income into another kind taxed at a lower rate. In the case of a pure flat tax...

FHOG Reloaded: New Home Builders’ Grant

SPIN: The First Home Owners’ Grant (FHOG) helps first-time home buyers enter the market. FACT: More precisely, the FHOG helps first-time buyers to compete with other buyers who can use the equity in their old homes to bid up prices. But by increasing bids from...