As he often does, Bernard Keane cuts to the chase in his most recent article for Crikey. In discussing the seemingly inevitable passage of legislation through the Australian Senate to enact company tax cuts worth $64 billion, while at the same time cuts are being made to the social security payments received by the least among us, Keane has this profound statement to make:
In the last 30 years, policymaking in Australia has dramatically altered, more strongly under the Coalition, but under both sides. The interests of corporations and investors have been elevated to primacy in economic policy, ahead of those of workers and consumers. The shift of economic power from the latter to corporations has been held to be an important goal of policy, regardless of consistency with other policy objectives.
The role of government in the economy has been curtailed. The capacity of the public service to offer independent advice has been eroded. Economic modelling by private sector interests has become a key mechanism for policy debate in Canberra. And key sections of the media, ostensibly a watchdog for the national interest, act as cheerleaders for vested interests which provide revenue for them. The company tax heist exemplifies each of these points.
The proposed tax to company tax will provide no demonstrable benefit to the economic benefit of ‘ordinary Australians’, as we have already witnessed in other parts of the world who have cut their corporate tax. And yet there is almost universal cheering for them from the people you would expect to be cheering for them, without any evidence of the supposed benefits.
As Keane concludes his article: “Our political system will have served vested interests rather than the interests of voters – again.”