Adrian Blundell-Wignall is a fairly bright man. He is a former RBA and OECD official. He also spent some time in funds management. But today, writing in the AFR, Dr Blundell-Wignall wrote this:
Let’s start with the obvious: what lies in the ground and in the oceans around Australia is the birthright of every Australian.
Governments are supposed to manage this birthright to the advantage of the Australian people (Indigenous and non-Indigenous). But it doesn’t happen because of political capture (donations, lobbying and post-politics company positions).
These were the first two paragraphs and TAFKAS stopped reading after here.
The problem here, is the same thinking that gave Australia the mining resource rent tax. A difference between what the technocrats would like and how the world works.
What is in the ground across Australia does not belong to all Australians. What is in the ground in Western Australia belongs to Western Australians. What is in the ground in Queensland belongs to Queenslanders. What is in the ground in NSW belongs to NSWers.
Sorry mate. But this is how it works. Australia is not a single state. It is a Federation. A poorly functioning and well abused federation, but still a Federation.
The nationalisation of every issue and every tax and source of Governmental revenue is what has contributed to the economic stagnation of this country.
Australia needs to go back to first principles; that we are a federation. And under a federation the states worry about what is within their borders and the Commonwealth worries about what goes on across the borders and outside the national borders.
We need less inter-state collaboration and more competition. We don’t need a national industrial relations system. We don’t need a standardised payroll tax system. We don’t need a national school curriculum. And we certainly don’t need the Commonwealth Government regulating mines which fall within the four walls of a state.
Move on. If there is a mining resources rent tax to be levied, it should be levied at the state level. Let the states decide. Let there be some competition.
The last thing we need is for the Commonwealth to take another source of income (mining royalties) from State Governments.