With Xenophon, Lazarus, Lambie and others launching their own parties due to changes in Federal election voting systems, I’ve decided to launch the Hubbard Party. Perhaps I can pick up 1% of the vote and do enough preference deals to get myself elected.
So what will you get if you vote for me? Some of my main policies are:
- Address the major inequities in the federal tax systems to increase revenue, solve the budget deficit and generate a surplus:
- Progressively reduce negative gearing by 50% in year 1, 75% in year 2 and 100% in year 3. This removes the major incentive for individuals to offset investment borrowing costs against personal taxation but gives people time to adjust.
- Substantially reduce superannuation contribution tax concessions by allowing only a maximum deduction of 30% from taxable income, capped at $50,000pa. This reduces the mega-advantages currently obtained by wealthier people.
- Tax super fund pensions at 15%. Since contributions are taxed at 15% going into the fund, a 15% tax on pensions means a 30% tax rate overall (its not quite that simple), which is equitable. It fixes the Costello-introduced inequity of tax free super pensions that totally distort the benefits of superannuation in favour of the wealthy.
- Reduce the health insurance tax rebate from 30% to 0% over 6 years. Health care is costly, but those who experience private health care value the experience, particularly for elective surgery. This gradual reduction will lead to the wealthy gradually becoming used to paying for themselves.
- Make multinationals pay corporate tax or develop an equivalent. This is not easy. Tax transparency is beginning to shame companies, but shaming does not lead to paying tax. If foreign companies are shown to be avoiding paying tax, due to using international transfer pricing occurring, new laws will need to be passed so they pay tax on sales instead.
- Make it illegal to use international tax havens. There is no ethical reason for Australians to use overseas tax havens. Individuals and companies using them can be assumed to be hiding from taxpaying. Rather than spending government resources to chase these companies, simply make use of tax havens illegal.
- Tax foreign property investors. Major social changes are occurring through the purchase by overseas individuals of large blocks of housing in key areas, leading to school racial imbalances and transferring ownership of our national land overseas. The Foreign Investment Review Board exists to address this. Increase purchase taxes for foreigners and bar purchases beyond some level.
2. Address the major health issue of obesity and overeating:
- Tax sugar content, particularly in junk foods. Following the success of taxing tobacco, attention should be focussed on taxing sugar which is now clearly recognised as a major contributor to our growing overweight problem. (Taxing salt content may follow after this.)
- Apply the GST to manufactured food generally. As meal portions have increased dramatically and the cost of food has fallen as a percentage of our spending, taxing manufactured food should lead to eating less overall. Fresh food, especially fruit and vegetables which are positive for individual health, should be omitted
3. Address climate change aggressively:
- Stop any new coal mining and reduce existing coal mining over time. Coal use is a major problem for carbon emissions and global warming. Therefore, a starting position should be no new coal mines. This should be supported by increasing taxes on coal production, progressively each year.
- Stop direct subsidies for carbon emitting. Fuel excise is the major one. This should be reduced progressively over 4 years, so that users learn to adapt slowly.
- Introduce a carbon emissions trading scheme. Even the Business Council of Australia now acknowledges that this is better than the Direct Action fiasco or the old carbon tax. Pricing carbon emissions leads to innovation and reduction in carbon use. Increase the targeted emissions reduction substantially and have a public goal of 0% carbon emissions in the foreseeable future. Yes, it can be done.
- Provide encouragement for renewable energy projects. I’d prefer no subsidies. Merely removing the obstacles currently being put in front of these projects would be helpful. Large scale industrial projects, battery storage technology for smaller scale residential use and research into renewables should be encouraged. These are industries of the future! This is where innovation counts!
4. Manage water use on major waterways:
- Ensure environmental flows are given proper support and increase prices for major water users over time. Water is a key long-term issue for Australia almost everywhere. Melbourne showed that water use can be reduced through community targets and peer pressure. However, large scale users are the main issue on national waterways. Increase prices (add a water tax to trading prices) each year incrementally, so that current users have time to adapt by reducing industrial water use (or making products more expensive) and allowing for increased environmental flows. Environmental flows are valuable for tourism, as well as in their own right.
5. Increase public infrastructure spending, but not on roads:
- Support state spending on major train and bus systems that address major population centres. Encourage people to use public rather than private transport by providing better availability and frequency, with good interconnections.
- Support investment in education, particularly pre-school and public schools. This is key to our future positioning in a global society. We are way behind best practice in pre-schools. Public schools should be seen as the norm and need to be supported to provide the teaching and facilities expected by most parents.
6. Decrease defence spending:
- Withdraw from overseas wars and develop an independent ‘Defend Australia policy, not ‘the current biased ‘Support America’ policy. This will reduce our defence spending and improve our international reputation.
- Stop the submarine project. Do we need any submarines, let alone 12?? They won’t come for 15 years. What do we do till then? If truly necessary, buy or build cheaper ones or build less. In a few years, this election-biased project will be seen to be one of the worst decisions ever made by an Australian Government.
7. Move to affirmative gender equity:
- Have quotas of 40% women for all boards within 2 years. Self-regulation isn’t working. Evidence shows women help boards become more effective. Women deserve to be on boards.
- Provide sufficient funding and support systems for those affected by domestic violence and sexual violence. The Federal Royal Commission is nearing the end of its work, but it is already clear what needs to be done from the Victorian Royal Commission findings. Replicate the Victorian Government actions.
- Make online trolling a criminal offence. This is effectively a new version of sexual violence and should be treated as such, but it continues to be put in the ‘too hard’ basket. It is primarily a gender issue as most of it is by men against women. It must be tracked through computers and offenders outed and charged.
8. Legalise rational assisted suicide: While this only affects a small percentage of potential deaths, it is an individual choice issue. Those reasonable people wanting to end their lives should be able to do so on their own terms (actually, this is what suiciders do anyway…). It’s a personal hobby horse, but it doesn’t cost society anything. Just do it.
Wow! I didn’t realise we had so much to do and I’ve hardly started. No vested interest groups have yet spoken to me, but I guess I will have to develop other policies as they/you approach me. I’ll try to vote for these issues, regardless of which party governs. I’ll try to speak out on these issues and others with an independent view, so I can’t guarantee right now what I will support.
If you vote for the Hubbard Party, you will have to trust that I will weigh up the issues, come to rational, reasonable decisions and explain my reasoning honestly to you the voters. If only our existing politicians on either side could do this, I wouldn’t need to run!
Vote 1 Hubbard Party.