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So the state government has finally admitted defeat on the preposterous South Australian bank tax policy after it became glaringly obvious it had no chance of passing parliament’s upper house.
This hair-brained half-thought-out scheme should never have seen the light of day but it did, and now we must put a foot to the throats of our lawmakers and ask them bluntly: “What the hell are you going to do to help stimulate this state’s economy?”
As we’ve said before, we’re most certainly not advocates for letting banks pay less than their fair share in taxes but the South Australian bank tax idea was almost comically bad. It would have done nothing for our economy; it would have created no jobs; it wouldn’t have made us more competitive in attracting investment.
In fact, it would have served to do the opposite of all those things.
The proposed South Australian bank tax was a terrible idea wrapped in an omnishambles, conceived by people who seem completely disconnected from the realities of fiscal policy.
The scary thought is, if that’s their idea of a solid strategy for stimulating the economy and creating jobs, how catastrophically bad were the other dreamt-up policies that ended up on the cutting room floor?
The cynical among us might suspect the timing of the announcement had something to do with the yes vote for marriage equality; it wouldn’t be the first time that politicians have used a big news day to quietly push out policy news.
Of course, it didn’t quite work and Premier Weatherill and Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis have taken much well-deserved heat over this whole sorry mess.
We shouldn’t just let this saga quietly ride off into the sunset whilst our state politicians enjoy the luxury of time to concoct yet another misinformed, misdirected economy plan though.
The business community – and our wider population – must hold the state government to account.
So here’s the ultimate question that we should all be asking our elected state representatives:
What plans do you have in place or are you working on as a government to make South Australia more competitive in attracting investment and creating jobs?
Remember the ’10-point plan to strengthen South Australia’s economic future’ from 2014? Real facts and figures were conspicuous by their absence but, nevertheless, commitments like ‘Make South Australia the best place to do business’ have fallen spectacularly short.
So, state government, we ask you respectfully, what are you going to do about it?
Phillip Cross, Royce Cross Agencies
Gloria Rowett, Marion Holiday Park