For too long now our politicians have dodged bringing the community into the discussion of our wicked budget dilemmas: 1. Community expectations for government-supplied services and support are greater than our potential to raise revenue and 2. Our taxation system is too dependent on personal taxes and puts an unfair load on working Australians. The avoidance is due to fear of electoral backlash.
Experience elsewhere suggests that the best way to resolve such wicked problems is to effectively draw the community into the deliberations. A citizens jury is one such approach.
This new book, “The People’s
Constitution”, contains the latest research about the values and aspirations of
Australians and their need to enshrine those values along with their voices and
human rights in a new Australian Constitution if they wish to take a rightful
share of power in their own governance – a share sufficient to help them build
the future of wellbeing and security that they need and deserve. As
Australia walks on to an Indigenous Voice in the Constitution and then walks towards
a decision one way or another about a republic, we will need this new people’s constitution.
Treasurer Jim Chalmers proposes a new management model for the
Australian economy. Although presented as a model of “fairness” that overcomes
the social failings of the free market, it sounds very much like the failed
models of “guided democracy” tried in various failing socialist states.
“The Treasurer says Labor will ditch the free-market policy
consensus that has steered rich countries over two generations and fashion a
values-based economy in partnership with business, unions and community groups.”
This model of forcing Labor dogma under the cover of “elites” will
True engagement of the electorate is the way forward…
The Federal Treasurer is now in the important stages of
preparation for his May Budget. As he does this, he needs to address a
structural deficit and chart a path back to the surplus required to reduce debt
accumulated during the COVID shutdowns. Additionally, the growing costs of the
NDIS and an ageing population need to be funded.
There are significant political hurdles to overcome in
making the hard revenue and spending choices needed to overcome the structural
deficit. Only through effective engagement of the population can the hard
decisions be made in a way that neutralises the political risks.