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Asides

Tony Abbott’s closest ally urges increase in GST #auspol

Without Nick Michin, Tony Abbott would never have got to be party leader, so his call to broaden and increase the GST is a significant clue to the direction of Coalition policy.

While Labor will try to exploit the move, it is a debate the country will eventually have to have.

The Minerals Council of Australia, through a leading economist, warned both sides of politics that they were big spenders who had failed to prepare for the end of the commodities price boom.

Stephen Anthony explained massive multi-billion dollar middle-class welfare initiated by the Howard government in its concluding years, and continued under Labor, had contributed a “structural deficit” of around $40 billion, if you assume coal and iron ore prices return to their long-term norm.

So while politicians on both sides will duck and weave to avoid these issues, they’ll inevitably either have to spend less or tax more or perhaps a combination of the two.

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