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The Forum > Article Comments > Older not wiser > Comments

Older not wiser : Comments

By Ross Elliott, published 23/9/2013

Australia has an ageing society and while living longer is good news for many, there are some major economic issues we need to understand to avert a huge problem in the years to come.

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Finally someone who gets it!
At every turn we seem to select politicians who just don't get it; or if they do, have vested interests in not attacking this problem with the only solutions available, save say compulsory euthanasia?
The answer is and always was, massive economic and tax reform.
We also need a government ready willing and able to get back into the housing market and able to roll out essential infrastructure ahead of the housing curve.
To 1/, put downward pressure on house prices; and 2/, boost the non mining economy.
It can do this two ways; 1/, by building houses via contractors and a tendering process; 2/, by providing low cost loans to intending new build, new home buyers!
The second part of any essential reform has to be tax reform.
We simply cannot ask a shrinking cohort of taxpayers to bear greater and greater burdens!
What is required is a stand alone broad based tax system that taxes all expenditure, without exclusion or exception.
If that were the case, a percentage as small as 4.8% would collect enough revenue to more than replace current inland revenue.
In fact, such a single stand alone scheme, would increase income by around 100 billion PA. This would end the structural deficit, the destiny of demography; and, also allow business and industry to pocket the average 7% they currently shell out for compliance!
With the repeal of all other taxes including fuel excise and the ubiquitous GST, the average bottom line would be improved by around 30%.
Household disposals would improve by around 25%, making a non contributory super of around 15%+ immediately available/doable!
The tax rate could be varied region by region to alone control inflation or stagnation!
The foregone GST could be replaced by a direct funding model for health, education and coordinated public transport, inclusive of very rapid rail.
Very big frogs in very small ponds will not like any of my solutions, given they tend to shrink over-bloated frogs down to a size more in keeping with the size of their pools!
Posted by Rhrosty, Monday, 23 September 2013 10:20:27 AM
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The elephant in the room is that we have to lift retirement age to match increasing life expectancy. With a life expectancy of say, 83, nobody should be allowed to retire (let alone encouraged or forced) before age 75 - unless they can afford to self fund the rest of their expected life. As it is, we have far too many people who retire early that end up going back to work after a year or so - because there is only so much travelling you can do and golf you can play.

The even bigger elephant in the room is that our (essentially generationally younger and gerontophobic) politicians and business leaders deem people over fifty (or even forty) as has-beens.

It's time to get over the wrinkles and grey hair, and start looking at the massive waste of human resources. We want to work. We don't need or want to retire!
Posted by SHORT&SHARP, Monday, 23 September 2013 10:44:06 AM
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"We want to work," a shrill voice cries!

But the way our world is going with corporations running the show and moving themselves offshore so they can exploit already impoverished people, the jobs are drying up.

And besides, who but a rabid, greed-driven capitalist would consider work as the be all and end all of a human life.

Work and Conspicuous Consumption should be means to a greater end, not an end in itself.

Life should be a time to explore all our talents, not spent in being a slave to make someone else obscenely rich!
Posted by David G, Monday, 23 September 2013 10:53:16 AM
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Once upon a time, fifty years ago, the cost of a house was around three times the cost of the block of land. Two things have happened since then. First of all, the price of a block of land has risen to a ridiculously high amount because the restricted supply vastly exceeds the demand. Secondly, the average size of houses has roughly doubled, even though the size of families has reduced. It is within the power of the nation to control both of these.

The newly elected government claims to be concentrating on developing infrastructure, so what better place could they start than building affordable housing.

Posted by VK3AUU, Monday, 23 September 2013 11:35:51 AM
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For years construction sub-contractors have been exasperated by the lack of labour willing to take the jobs and training they have on offer.

Yet the local universities alone are churning out hundreds of generalists whose only likely employment prospects are in the public service.

Obviously the trades are looked down on despite the good conditions and pay. Or is it that the Boomers have coddled a generation or two of whingers with an over-developed sense of entitlement who refuse to work?

Regarding the retirement age, that has already been raised for the many thousands of women who now enjoy the equality of the same retirement age as men.

As for the young not being able to afford housing, it was always that way. It was always hard to save enough for the deposit. However it is especially so in modern times where feckless consumerism puts electronics and quality of life (read as paying for their entertainment) ahead of shelter.

The elephant in the room that is rarely raised for discussion and quickly dismissed by the whining Left is the crushing effect of taxes on the cost of housing and of keeping a house. The whingers avoid the subject because it is the many new roles of government and whole new populations of welfare-dependent people from birth that suck the dollars out of the bucket of taxpayers money. What is also not being discussed is the contribution of immigration over decades to the 'rapid aging' problem.
Posted by onthebeach, Monday, 23 September 2013 12:55:14 PM
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Yes onthebeach, it is time the taxpayers were given a very large break!
Easy enough if we simply close up/end all the avoidance loopholes, in favor of an unavoidable system.
Most corporations pay somewhere between 1-4% company tax, in real terms after all the avoidance minimization schemes are fully exhausted.
The cost of that avoidance rips around 7% out of the averaged bottom line. [More than the proposed unavoidable expenditure tax!]
Most of the lager enterprises now use offshore tax havens, and around 40% of our transnational guest corporations along with a number of sham religions, pay no company tax to anyone?
Indeed, some religions are operating numerous commercial operations that also effectively pay no tax?
If you understood that as little as one third of one percent collected as a transactions tax, would replace current PAYE; you would then understand that an expenditure tax set at a marginally veritable 4.8%, would raise 100 billion+ more than the current convoluted system, we call our tax act.
However, the simplification envisaged as the only solution that has any prospect of effectively dealing with a growing raft of problems, could put the ATO virtually out of business, along with most tax practices; hence the almost maniacal resistance!?
The almost simultaneous creation of a brand new (franchised) people's bank, would give many of those affected, new and vastly more productive career pathways.
All that is required is an ability to think outside the box, and accept essential and overdue change!
Cheers, Rhrosty.
Posted by Rhrosty, Monday, 23 September 2013 5:34:23 PM
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