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Suggestions from a non-economist for creating jobs in Australia, for Australians

Mark Fletcher
July 27th, 2020 · 4 Comments

I failed high school and dropped out of university, twice. I’m not an economist and have no accounting training. My only experience is the software company I started and still run and my retail related businesses. I’ve experienced wins and losses, confronting adversity and getting out the other side.

That disclaimer noted, below are my suggestions for boosting the Australian economy and, through that, creating Australian jobs. However, before I get to that, in an overall sense, my suggestions represent a pivot in government support. I think the time is right for such a pivot, to lean into the opportunities presented by corona. Here you go:

  1. Maintain job keeper for net new roles created in Australian owned businesses. Do this for a year, maybe longer. It would bring forward decisions by employers about roles they might create. I’d pay it in arrears ti mitigate against businesses hiring if they cannot afford it. However, if this idea was implemented, it would need to be managed with minimal paperwork.
  2. Permanently increase unemployment benefits, the age pension, carer’s allowance and more. Giving people with little money more money will see that money spent more so and faster than giving people with plenty of money more money.
  3. Support regional communities. Corona has shown that living regionally has considerable benefits. These are expected to linger long after corona. Invest now to support people in making that move. Consider more useful financial incentives for people and businesses to relocate to the regions. While I get the usual focus on tourism, I think more everyday businesses locating to a region could bring economic balance to that region.
  4. Promote buy Australian by Australians. All governments should fund a national, clever and engaging ad campaign to promote buy Australian so that Australians understand what this means, what it can achieve for the economy and for people individually. This campaign needs to be so strong that an Amazon box, or similar, is a bad look.
  5. Incentivise buy Australian. Consider a reward for buy Australian. Make it more beneficial to Australians to make this choice in situations where there is a choice to be made.
  6. Buy Australian at government level. It is frustrating to see governments spend money with overseas companies where there are Australian businesses that can supply. Governments spend too much money with overseas businesses across plenty of business sectors.
  7. Review government support that ships offshore. Let’s look at programs like franking credits and situations where money is paid to people living outside Australia and tax breaks given to offshore businesses and individuals. Any government assistance or payments could be of greater use if retained in Australia.
  8. Introduce a multi-faceted investment allowance program. To get businesses spacing in areas they have not spent in the past.
    1. For Australian businesses to advertise to Australians.
    2. For Australian businesses to pivot and shift from overseas manufacture to local.
  9. Rank Australian. Create an indicator to allow quick and easy understanding that a business is Australian. Something better than the current logos. This could allow for Australian ownership, percentage of Australian materials and labour – so that consumers can make informed decisions.
  10. Eliminate payroll tax. This tax is a disincentive to employment.
  11. Increase the tax take part 1. No, don’t increase tax rates. Rather, take forceful action against the big businesses that structure their arrangements to minimise tax by offshoring revenue. Independent journalist Michael West writes about this and runs a list of corporate tax dodgers – I urge people to read it.
  12. Increase the tax take part 2. Introduce a fractional transaction tax, capturing all money movements and thereby getting for the government revenue before it is manipulated to be tax free.
  13. Review employee import programs. My understanding is that we usually have hundreds of thousands of people from overseas working in Australia. The programs that allow this should be reviewed with rules tightened. I’ve heard of situations that sound sketchy.

This list is incomplete, of course.  It’s unstructured and basic. And, yes, I get that it parochial. Corona is driving the need for us to be parochial. I think that is what is needed to create jobs.

In business I have often found the simplest approach to a challenge is the best.

4 likes

Category: Social responsibility

4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Peter // Jul 27, 2020 at 9:41 AM

    Not so sure about the buy Australian tag. If the product is quality and not much more expensive I’d consider it. However, like most Australians I’m budget conscious and will shop on both quality and price. As a tax payer I also want my tax dollars spent wisely, so more funds can be directed to where they’re really needed. I do think in areas of essential self sufficiency we need to manufacture locally but otherwise if we head down the path of protectionism we can expect to pay much more for our goods.

    1 likes

  • 2 PJ // Jul 27, 2020 at 10:47 AM

    In theory there is a lot that can be done with regard to taxes but it means a lot of changes have to happen at once. The major hurdle is the federal system, getting all the states to agree to the changes is difficult especially when it impacts on state revenues. The federal government has to bite the bullet and guarantee states continue to receive the same revenues while changes are made and end up with more after the changes to get their support. Now is the best time, the Federal government can cover the disruption to state revenues and implement the necessary changes.

    It would take an lenghty essay to explain the changes needed, in summary Increase GST, remove all state taxes and duties, peg social security payments to percentage of minimum wage, remove all CGT disposal and transfer exemptions except primary residence, restructure and succession, regional income taxing, national property and resource tax, remove company/business income tax, dividend, trust distribution and overseas payment tax no franking credits, low flat income tax with tax free threshold pegged to minimum wage, remove all award penalty rates except overtime, wage subsidy based on per hour up to 38 hrs, minimum 20 hours pw and residency, wealth transfer tax with free threshold, overhaul superannuation, no tax on savings or federal bonds income the list goes on.

    1 likes

  • 3 Peter // Jul 27, 2020 at 12:17 PM

    Here are some reasons for the Aussie consumer looking after themselves and not buying Australian as the default.

    1/ Aussie firms offshoring jobs and tasks
    2/ Aussie firms paying executive teams ridiculous remuneration and share benefits
    3/ increasing casualization of Aussie workfor ce
    4/ Manufacturing being moved overseas
    5/ Automation and AI being embraced over Aussie jobs.

    It’s a dog eat dog world that’s been created. Why on earth would any consumer show loyalty in return?? I would say to the Australian consumer, buy the best and cheapest brand you can and when they stop being the best and cheapest , change.

    0 likes

  • 4 Mark Fletcher // Jul 27, 2020 at 12:44 PM

    There are many stories of greater local shopper loyalty through corona.

    Now, we can ask why would we / they or we can have a crack.

    0 likes

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