EDITORIAL: Stimulus plus regulatory burden dont mix

By: Chris Smith


The PM has thrown everything at the economy in a bid to prevent Australia following the rest of the world

The PM has thrown everything at the economy in a bid to prevent Australia following the rest of the world down the gurgler.

He says the Government can not reverse the course of the impacts of a global recession..

"But this government will move heaven and earth to reduce the impact of that global recession on Australia," he says.

His Government pushed a multi-billion dollar stimulus package together in a short time, including tax breaks and incentives for business, to bring forward investment – all aimed at rescuing businesses and employees ravaged by the economic crisis.

Brad Gardner and Graham Gardiner make very good points in pieces in the upcoming ABC.

As Brad Gardner reports, Rudd’s messianic mission to avert a meltdown is already faltering as other arms of his government push forward with regulatory and policy changes that threaten to inflate the cost of doing business at a time when operators can least afford it. In fact, any increase in business costs could be the difference between life and death.

Graham Gardiner, in his insightful editorial, reports the Rudd Government – through the Australian Taxation Office – is not backing away from changes to superannuation rules, effective April 1, that threaten to push up transporters’ super costs by as much as 50 percent and total wages bills by a sizeable 5 percent.

He says the resultant fall out will be higher costs, increased prices and reduced unemployment, especially as operators turn to more cost-effective contractors over full-time staff.

For transporters, this latest cost impost comes hot on the heels of other policy and regulatory changes that have, or will, inflate the cost of doing business, from new road-user charges that took effect from July 1, 2008, to new driving hours rules that, in effect, come into force from September 31 this year.

Attempts by industry to lobby Rudd to overturn this latest decision and, at the very least, delay its introduction have fallen on deaf ears.

The Government is still backing the scheme and the boffins are still hard at work, pursuing the issue deep within the confines of the tax office.

Gardiner says while disconcerting, it’s really not surprising. "Frankly it would be seen by politicians such as Rudd as too hard – and lacking in publicity potential – to overturn the decision at this late stage," he states.

The bureaucratic ship – while excruciatingly slow and inefficient – is hard to turn around at the best of times.

He says instead, throwing billions of dollars of money at the problem is much easier – especially when it’s someone else’s (in this case taxpayers like you and I).

The March issue is promising to be a punch packing issue. You will be able to read Graham Gardiner’s full editorial and Brad Gardner’s analytical assault on the upcoming Superannuation changes, new electronic diaries proposal as well as the regular features and columns which make ABC your must read publication.

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