WestPac CEO Gail Kelly

5 11 2009

It’s a very rare event that I come across something intelligent in the mainstream media in respect to economics. 

http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,26307631-2,00.html?from=igoogle+gadget+compact+news_rss

ONE of the most powerful figures in Australian finance wants the Federal Government to cut tax on savings to drive more cash into deposit accounts.

A CEO making a sensible statement.  How refreshing.  Although I don’t know why she needed to say “We are not going back to the world as it was before”.  Although I don’t have any context to understand what she really meant, the brief media article (see link above) almost seems to imply pragmatism to economic principles.  In reality, many economic principles identified hundreds of years ago work just fine and will continue to do so.  They are not situation dependant and are applicable to humanity in any time period where politcs allows for the existence of trade.  This is in fact one of the reasons the craziness that we continually witness amongst our politicians is so annoying.  The information is out there, yet the economic fallacies keep persisting and keep being reinvented. 

I’ve just done my tax return last week.  Every single year I curse the government for penalising my attempts to be responsible and productive.  Every year I waste at least 5 or so hours trying to work out capital gains taxes, employee share scheme projections, deductions and the like.  Every year I owe extra money to the tax department simply because I’m being responsible and have some savings and investments.  If I were a spend thrift, I’d have no worries.  Our tax system clearly penalises productive people in a variety of ways. 

It’s bad enough that the government is stealing my money without them wasting my time.  In addition, they inevitably generate some emotional pain on my behalf as I am forced to examine overly complicated details and attempt to decipher tax legislation that I assess to be destructive, pointless, bureacratic and highly unjust.  Bastards.  If you work for the tax department, you’re certainly no friend of mine.  So I was highly relieved to see someone in the mainstream media calling for tax cuts.  It’s been a long time since I’ve heard of this once common call for tax cuts, and that in itself has been highly worrying to me.

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