Power prices, house prices, water prices. Family budgets and family businesses – family farms, family shops, trade contractors, are all under siege. The unbearable cost of energy, regulation and taxation is sending family businesses to the wall.
Families which are renting or cannot afford solar panels or solar batteries are subsidising those who can. Low and middle income families are paying much more for their electricity than high income users. Water utilities hand over billions of dollars to state governments in the form of hidden taxes called ‘dividends’ – another impost on low and middle income families and pensioners. These ‘dividends’ from low income families, pensioners, renters and small business owners are then dished out in the form of government grants to all and sundry to garner votes.
Whether it’s the Federal Government or individual State Governments, our taxes, charges and utility dividends go into one general revenue account. There is no such thing as ‘this tax pays for that service’. Every dollar a low income person or pensioner or renter pays in taxes, charges or loaded utility costs (water, power) can be linked to every dollar the government dishes out in grants, benefits or subsidies. For example, politicians pass laws to allow wealthy people who can afford expensive solar panels so they can reduce their electricity costs, to be subsidised by low income people and pensioners who cannot.
Then there’s childcare. Billions of dollars of taxpayers’ money is spent each year on childcare subsidies – subsidies which benefit childcare centre owners more than parents. Single-income families who provide child care at home at no cost to the taxpayer are severely disadvantaged compared with two-income families who benefit from two tax-free thresholds. Mothers who want to mother their own children should not be penalised. The way the family is taxed, particularly the single-income family is inequitable. The Australian Family Party strongly advocates income-splitting for single-income households.
The Australian Family Party believes home ownership and property rights are fundamental. Property creates a zone of sovereignty and allows people to flourish.
Health. Whilst the Australian Family Party supports Medicare, it objects to the price gouging and rent-seeking which is rife throughout the health care sector. The unsustainable trajectory of the health budget driven by vested interests must be curtailed.
The Family and the Modern Welfare State
[Dr Alan Tapper, reproduced with permission. Note: the Charts mentioned in the text appear at the end of the PDF]