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The basis of a fair society is a strong economy.

The Liberal Party must pursue economic policy changes to shape the times.

In line with our core values of enterprise and fairness, we must prioritise:

  • Personal choice and agency 
  • Australian jobs  
  • Making the most of the digital transformation 
  • Sovereignty and security 
  • Protecting minorities 

Ten key policies should be adopted:

  1. Take control back from Big Tech

The US tech giants have been able to seize control over the key consumer assets of the 21st century. Mobile telephone hardware, operating systems and software all combine to concentrate enormous market power in the hands of a few. We should pursue:

  • An access regime for software or systems which destroys domestic competition, this objective should be supported by a broad based “anti-trust” inquiry   
  • A data policy which establishes data ownership idea whereby Australians would carry around their data like a virtual Medicare card
  • A sovereign manufacturing capability which supports our digital agenda
  • Conduct a specific inquiry into social media algorithms
  1. Liberate Australians from superannuation

Superannuation is a significant failure of Australian economic policy. It doesn’t get many people off the pension, it costs the budget more than it saves and it reduces agency and individual choices. We should pursue:

  • An immediate pause to the Superannuation Guarantee increases to boost wages
  • A permanent system which allows Australians to take superannuation as wages / income during certain periods 
  • Allowing Australians to access superannuation for first homes without heavy restrictions 
  • Giving all Australians access to the Future Fund as a default option 
  • Ensuring our laws to stop superannuation waste like uncommercial payments to unions are properly enforced 
  1. Put Housing first 

We must maintain the Australian dream through providing a pathway for Australians to access a home. Our three pillar retirement system is based around home ownership but it is plummeting amongst younger Australians. We should:

  • Incentivise increased density policies in cities as per the House of Representatives 2022 Tax and Revenue Committee Inquiry 
  • Incentive payments to state and local governments for having planning policies which promote home ownership, based on the 1990s National Competition Policy
  • Open super for housing by expanding our 2022 election policy 
  • Drive state governments to replace stamp duty with land tax 
  1. Make it easier to work 

Why have labour laws been so rigid? That’s because the IR club, the major employers and big unions want it so. But this is not what Menzies wanted. He didn’t want a Liberal Party in bed with big business. Yet that has effectively happened. We should pursue:

  • Establish a simple small business award with strong, clear conditions 
  • Promote self employment through contracting but provide an avenue for Australians to contribute to the Future Fund for the rainy day 
  • Implement new protections to stop the growth of union slush funds by applying prudential regulation
  1. Childcare that works for all 

Childcare is an obligation on families, not women, and the system needs to support families getting back into the workforce. We should pursue: 

  • A paid parental leave scheme which provides a year of leave to be shared within a family
  • A system of childcare for three and four year olds which is largely free
  • A review into the tax settings for in home care
  1. Climate 

This must move beyond ideology. We have to fund the transition to a low emissions economy. We should:

  • Send positive signals to foreign investors by adopting a “beyond net zero” policy and accelerate our market emissions reduction signals at 2030 and 2040 respectively 
  • A transmission fund through the CEFC to connect the new grid
  • Cut taxes and consider new emissions standards for Australian cars to promote electric vehicles
  1. A new tax system

Taxation in Australia is too confusing and complex. The system is not fit for the digital age. We should pursue: 

  • Reduced reliance on income taxes with a view to considering improving the mix of taxation and balance between income and indirect taxation. 
  • A state income tax to replace a large part of federal income tax. This would demonstrate accountability to the people of Australia by avoiding duplication and confusion about which tier of government is responsible. States would take on health and or education 
  • A legal structure for decentralised autonomous organisations which ensures the tax base is protected against digital asset disruption
  • A lower company income tax rate for all Australian businesses
  1. Balancing the budget 

Too much money is wasted. There are a series of budget improvements which could be considered: 

  • Defined benefit pensions for judges
  • Significantly reducing the size of federal departments which are duplicated under the income tax sharing system
  • Superannuation tax concessions  
  1. Reconciliation

We should, as Tony Abbott said, “complete the constitution” with recognition which provides agency, control and permanence. We should commit to work with Indigenous people and all parties to develop models for embedding a permanent consultation mechanism or Voice in the constitution.

The next step is to develop models for constitutional amendment. This process should aim to conclude with a referendum by Australia Day 2024.

  1. Anti discrimination law for all 

We should look to consolidate as much of the discrimination law as possible with a view to including strong provisions on religious discrimination. This must not undermine the position of any other minority group such as the LGBTI community in Australia.

We must address the issues flagged by the 2022 Senate Legal & Constitutional Affairs Committee.  

Senator Andrew Bragg, 

Liberal Senator for New South Wales

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