21st Century Australia Party has released 21 policy ideas for the election ahead. However, it says it’s more of a think tank and movement than just a political party. Some say it’s a fiscally conservative and socially progressive party to the centre right.
The think tank and party released the following policy ideas this week to contribute to the debate on the future direction of our country and raised some serious concerns over Australia’s spending problem and future debt crisis that it says is looming if urgent changes by both major parties doesn’t occur.
It’s 25 point blue print released for the 2013 Federal Election was well received and many of its ideas have been implemented or considered since.
It says Australia’s economic uninterrupted growth for 25 years is more from good fortune than just good management and it needs to lose its complacency or face some serious economic uncertainty ahead.
According to the think tank and political party:
- We must acknowledge that Australia has a spending problem, and not a revenue problem. All levels of Government had $400 billion in revenue five years ago. That has grown to $500 billion today. If we keep allocating 100 per cent of our revenue, or worse, 110 per cent of revenue like we have in recent years, it doesn’t matter how much we earn- we will always be broke. 90 per cent of the revenue is all we should allocate. Therefore, each department such as health, education, transport, defence etc. would receive a fixed percentage of only 90 per cent of our revenue. 10 per cent is consequently kept aside to reduce debt and/or spend on additional infrastructure, research, and development. Some of the excess can be kept aside in a Sovereign Wealth Fund. This will lead to lower borrowing costs; buffers for tougher economic times ahead and achieve surpluses as well.
- We need to massively grow a Sovereign Wealth Fund to boost annual revenues and to more than just fund unfunded Government superannuation liabilities.
- Australia should borrow for productive infrastructure spending whilst interest rates are at record lows. Good debt is fine. Bad debt i.e. wastage by governments on all three levels and poor quality reoccurring spending is not good.
- A Fast Train Network to boost regional Australia and to lower the cost of housing. Allow foreign countries such as China to build it, thus saving time and taxpayers’ money. A fast train from Melbourne to Brisbane could be completed within 10 years for 25 per cent of the estimated $120-$160 billion if left to be built by Australia. First and foremost, a Brisbane to Gold Coast train network should be built to start with, followed with Canberra to Sydney (thus enabling Canberra to be utilised as a second or third airport for Sydney and connect via the Badgery Creek planned Airport), along with Melbourne to Shepparton, followed by connecting to Canberra, and then Sydney to finally connect to Brisbane. Allow foreign countries such as China to bid to build infrastructural projects in order to slash costs for taxpayers and get better value for money.
- Foreign Policy: We should have a more independent foreign policy that better reflects closer economic ties with China and only support the US if and when it lives up to its values of defending human freedoms and democracy and ceases to over throw democratically elected Governments. We should pivot to Asia and be more co operative and understanding of China and avoid being seen as proxy for US interests. Develop closer ties with the BRIC nations including China and Russia.
- GST should not be increased from the current 10%, but we do support an extension to education and possibly food to raise billions in extra revenue.
- As per the 2014 party policy, we would enforce a company tiered tax system starting at 15% for companies under $1m turnover. Profits under $250,000 could be taxed at only 15 per cent. Profits between $1 million and $10 million at 25 per cent, profits between $10 million and $100 million at 27.5 per cent, and profits above $100 million at 28.5 per cent. This would encourage new companies to grow stronger faster, as well as creating more jobs before being burdened with a higher tax rate and simultaneously increase the chances of more companies paying higher tax in the future.
- Eliminate unemployment by funding the unemployed to study, attend boot camp or work for the government or private sector paid for by the government. No dole after 120 days. This policy would see almost all unemployed people gain employment and businesses given a massive boost by receiving some government funded workers in return for training and experience and incentives to employ more workers over time.
- Negative Gearing would be left largely untouched except the 50 per cent capital gains tax discount reduced to 40 per cent discount. Negative gearing on existing properties would be capped to $25,000 pa to incentivise new supply. This would save billions but still provide the average Australian a pathway to a comfortable retirement.
- Focus on small businesses and start-ups to create jobs and boost innovation. Make Australia a tech centre and start up nation by Government assisted funding and culture change to create more risk takers.
- Implement a modern 21st Century Education System that includes financial and business education, emotional intelligence (to reduce cost of mental health issues and drug abusers) with a focus on skills needed for today’s fast changing world such as computer coding. Teachers to be incentivised for good performance and penalised for poor performance. We need to weed out the poor quality teachers and ensure that all funding is based on performance.
- Remove mandatory vaccinations. The Government should take legal action against pharmaceutical companies for supply of unsafe vaccines. Encourage open and honest debate about the pros and cons of vaccination and fund independent studies on the health of vaccinated children versus unvaccinated ones. The Government would have to accept responsibility to ensure pharmaceutical companies supply safe vaccines. Every parent has the right to demand evidence that vaccines will not damage their child before agreeing to such vaccinations and compensation if or when damages occur.
- Admit the war on drugs has failed because it was made a criminal issue and not a health issue. We would implement the legalisation of drugs, akin to what we have seen succeed in Portugal and other countries. Those who abuse drugs (11%) can be helped and recreational drug users who cause no harm to society do not need to be punished. It should be made a health issue, not a criminal issue, which has clearly failed and caused more drug abuse and crime.
- Implement a sugar tax and an increase in tobacco tax.
- The funding of an investigation into the abuse and failure of chemotherapy drugs to treat cancer with an added focus on preventive health care and funding of natural therapies that have proven to be far more effective and less costly. This would save lives and save the budget billions. Funding for the medical doctors to be better trained in natural remedies and a move away from reliance on expensive pharmaceutical drugs and the industry’s unhealthy reliance on drug making profits.
- E Government: Slash wasteful government expenditure across all three levels of government by increased productivity and efficiencies using private sector mentality and technology.
- The removal of State Governments: Review state governments to consider only having two levels of government, not three. Thus, critical areas such as health, education, transport and infrastructure will be under one national system. States could have state appointed ministers to look after the interest of the states. This will potentially save billions per month. A Canberra University study showed as much as $20 billion to the public sector and $50 billion to the private sector could be saved on an annual basis. It will eliminate gross inefficiencies of various state bodies overlapping and duplicating several layers of various state bodies. Moreover, it will also ensure fewer elections in the interim move to reduce Government overlapping and duplication.
- E Health: Slash the health budget and introduce more efficient services by better use of technology.
- Climate Change: Accept that there are differing opinions on the facts of Climate Change but also accept that we know without doubt that humans are damaging the environment. Therefore, we would introduce a fast track focus on renewable energies. An organising principle of a healthy economy and a healthy environment must be achieved.
- We support and welcome foreign investment, however, we don’t support foreign control.
- We support a visa tax, which would raise an estimated $15 billion per annum. Those who can’t afford to pay the estimated $75,000 visa tax to migrate to Australia could pay it back via a HECs tax debt style arrangement. Therefore, it would not discriminate to just wealthy migrants. However, wealthier migrants would pay much more for the opportunity to contribute and invest into the country.
21st Century Australia also released a 25 point blue print for Australia in 2013 and a book 101 Ways to Improve Australia available for free at www.21stcenturyaustralia.com.au