The mountain labored …

… and brought forth a mouse

That’s my initial reaction to this ABC report of government’s response to the Henry Review of Taxation. All that effort, five months of waiting and we get a Resource Rent Tax and some tweaks to superannuation and company tax. Just about everything else has gone into the too hard basket.

An intriguing exception, it seems, is the proposal for congestion charges to replace existing road user charges, which has been neither accepted nor ruled out. Judging by the speed at which the Bligh government ran from the idea, I’d have thought this one would be very much too hard (if not as much so as the most sensible measure in the whole list, replacing existing burdens on homebuyers with a land tax paid by homeowners). I can’t see that happening, but I’m surprised to see it still a live option.

The Resource Rent Tax is a step forward, especially in the current environment where a booming minerals sector is placing all kinds of pressure on other sectors. And, I guess, it wouldn’t have been politically feasible a year ago, when the miners looked to be in trouble. So, I guess the delay hasn’t cost too much, and the Henry Review gives future governments an agenda that will last them a while.

When I get a bit more time, I’ll try and respond properly to the Review. Obviously, there’s no rush.

Stephen Long has a similar view

61 thoughts on “The mountain labored …

  1. @”Alice”

    You and I both know “Alice” that “Ernestine” would struggle to model a cost-benefits on implementing an improperly tied shoelace abatement program for car occupants even if “Ernestine” really did have a PhD in mathematical economics.

    Inventing sockpuppets to back you up is totally lame … and a giveaway about where your mind is at.

  2. Fran Barlow :@”Alice”
    You and I both know “Alice” that “Ernestine” would struggle to model a cost-benefits on implementing an improperly tied shoelace abatement program for car occupants even if “Ernestine” really did have a PhD in mathematical economics.
    Inventing sockpuppets to back you up is totally lame … and a giveaway about where your mind is at.

    Fran, do you know Alice?
    Fran, do you know Ernestine?

  3. @Fran Barlow
    Fran is little but a flame thrower and a disseminator of factless misleading pro nuclear diatribes. I though flames were supposed to be deleted. I dont know Ernestine but I use no sock puppets and I am no-one else’s sock puppet, and it would be fairly obvious to all (except apparently Fran) that Ernestine and my posts are so different that we are different posters.

  4. @Alice

    I am certainly not a sock puppet. My impression of your posts is that you speak from the heart about matters of concern to you, without pretence, and you don’t like people bullying others. I don’t know you personally.

    I have read JQ’s blog since 2005 and my comments are mainly restricted to Economics and Finance threads, unless someone tries to integrate my name into their story, creating a false image. Fran Barlow’s efforts to this effect is the second major episode of this type in about 5 years.

    My questions to Fran are straight forward and they are amenable to a yes or no answer. She avoided these questions by asking another one. I answered her question. I am still waiting for her answers to mine.

  5. @Ernestine Gross
    Ernestine – yes I do speak from the heart and not a script.
    Yes Fran has avoided many questions that call on her to account (whether it is statistics, whether it is flames she creates about others, whether it is simply subjective statements made).

    There are few of Frans responses that one could give any credibility to but I note she is still highly verbose in JQs threads. I am completely amazed (and somewhat disappointed that Fran’s flames are not deleted or issued with a caution at least).

  6. My guess is that they’ve calculated that they can get the resource rent tax through and they shouldn’t try to do too much in one go. It will be popular in an election year – I haven’t heard much economic argument for it, only emotive ones. I would await further roll out of Henry’s recommendations in the next term.

    On the other hand, maybe I’m being too optimistic 😉

  7. @Ernestine Gross
    And Ernestine – just keep contributing your area of expertise…I dont have such expertise but I dont pretend to either and if you make sense to me (which is half the battle in economics isnt it?) then you are indeed communicating for a worthy cause.

    The reason you make sense to me (and Fran makes no sense at all) is because I have some knowledge of economics over many years of teaching and readings – certainly enough to discern a fake or superfical user of economic terms from someone who has a deeper understanding like you.

    I am a translator Ernestine from Professor and Lecturers somewhat higher than students who are somewhat lower, as always, on the knowledge scale. I waste my translating skills here…where apparently those without much objective, unbiased or deep reading can use / misuse economic terms freely. Im afraid it has already added to my economic cringe and I really dont know how JQ just doesnt throw up his hands and collapse the whole blog at times!!

    Im convinced it must be light distractive reading for him (like watching world of warcraft??)?

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