The Liberal Party, me and the GST
I hope the decision of the Liberal Party to quote me in their Liberal E-news letter is a sign of things to come. The Labor Party did it recently and I am delighted to be involved in raising the quality of the economic debate and in boosting the understanding of economic policy in Australia, to the extent I can.
To Brian Loughnane, give me a call. I’d be very happy to help you and the Liberal Party with your economic policy agenda.
Various people have referred to me as either “one of Australia’s most influential economists” or “one of the most articulate economists in Australia”, something that I must modestly suggest may be a little strong, but who am I to argue with those assessments!
The Liberal Party E-news picked on a point I was making in a TV interview on the weekend that the GST was narrowly cast, something that Mr Hockey, the Shadow Treasurer, has noted in the past. According to a story in the AFR last year:
- when discussing the GST, “shadow treasurer Joe Hockey had “actively called on” [State] premiers to campaign for an increase in the rate and base.”
Mr Hockey noted that if the states want a higher GST, and they “won the people over” he would agree to hike it.
There you go.
There has been not a hint from either the Prime Minister, Ms Gillard, or Treasurer Wayne Swan suggesting anything other than the GST will stay exactly as Mr Howard set it some 13 years ago. And it’s Ms Gillard and Mr Swan who are the people who set policy, not me.
I think it is the Liberal Party rather than Labor which is more likely to hike the GST, especially with the Coalition in power in most states.
Moving on, there are a couple of issues in the Liberal Party E-news that were wrong.
They say I am “Labor’s key economic advisor”, an error that any muggle could have checked with a quick call to the PMO or me. I finished being Senior Economic Advisor to Prime Minister Gillard on 1 July 2011, some 21 months ago. I left to spend time looking after my wife and family. About six months after that, I established Market Economics, a consulting firm, where I still work for a range of top shelf and quite terrific clients.
Curiously, I have received the same amount of fees, exactly, from the Labor Party as from the Liberal Party in that time, something the Liberal Party fail to acknowledge and it is something I could have clarified with them had they checked or asked.
And by the way, I was also tempted to advise Ms Gillard to stop supporting the Western Bulldogs and switch her allegiance to the mighty Collingwood Magpies. I doubt very much whether I could have got her to agree to that either, even though Stephen Conroy was very much on board!
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