- The budget must be brought back into surplus.
- We advocate for limited, efficient and focussed government.
- Taxes and regulation should be as low and as simple as possible to stimulate growth in the economy, create jobs and generate prosperity.
- Tax bases should be broadened and the tax law streamlined to enable lower tax rates, less complexity and reduced accounting and legal costs.
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Budgets to be brought back into surplus
Australia cannot continue to run deficit budgets and accrue inter-generational debt. We have a moral obligation to our children and their children to repay in excess of $500bn in debts generated since 2008. Australian Conservatives will reduce the spending and inefficiency of government to ensure that we repay existing debt.
We support bringing back the debt limit so that future Federal governments will require the permission of Parliament before incurring more debt.
Limited, more efficient, effective and accountable government
We believe in the constitutional separation of powers between the legislature, the executive and the judiciary. We also recognise and support the division of responsibility between the Commonwealth and the States.
Governments should spend taxpayer dollars wisely to minimise the size, scope and waste associated with government.
We commit to methodically reducing Federal government spending to less than 20% of GDP to pay off debt and reduce taxation.
By encouraging personal responsibility, mutual obligation and community spirit, we will reduce the underlying pressures on our burgeoning welfare budget.
We support zero-based budgeting across the forward estimates. This entails having every expense justified on a rolling basis every four years, based on demonstrable needs, costs and outcomes. To achieve this, we will undertake a line-by-line assessment of all government spending based on two guiding principles:
- If we were starting afresh, would we do this again?
- If so, are there any better and more efficient ways to do it?
To facilitate this approach, we propose sunset clauses for all legislated government programs, requiring them to be resubmitted to Parliament for appraisal and re-approval every four years.
Lower, simpler, fairer taxes and deregulation
Individuals are far better placed to decide how best to spend their own money than governments. Our economy will be far stronger and more responsive to changes in preferences and circumstances when taxation and regulation are as low and as efficient as possible.
We will streamline the taxation system and reduce the number of personal tax brackets. To support this, we will rationalise the number of tax offsets, rebates and deductions, as well as standardise them and limit their accessibility.
We will restore confidence and certainty in the superannuation system to ensure those who have worked hard to achieve financial self-sufficiency will not be disadvantaged by government decisions.
We will remove the tax-disparity between single income and dual income households with the same income levels.
We will streamline regulation by adopting a one-in, two-out approach to remove the red and green tape strangling business, investment and job creation. We support having an annual Regulation Repeal Day.
We support the removal of taxes and tariffs applying to new car imports, saving Australian motor vehicle purchasers over $1 billion a year.
We support the principle of ‘royalties for regions’ programs to improve regional roads and other infrastructure.
Benefits of tax reform
By reducing the number of special tax categories, concessions and deductions, the tax law can be simplified and dead-weight accounting and legal costs can fall.
The extra revenue raised from such streamlining can be used to lower tax rates for all. By reducing distortions from taxes imposed, and freeing up resources for more productive uses, we can strengthen our economy.