Media Release: 19-11-2007: Socially Minded Economics

Bring Back Balance

ACT Democrats 2007

Media Release 19 November 2007

There’s still room for socially minded economics say Democrats

“A third competitor is needed to provide choice in economic policy”, says Australian Democrats candidate for Fraser, Darren Churchill.


Articles in the Canberra Times (November 13) and the Sydney Morning Herald (November 17) described the way in which both Liberal and Labor deliberately position themselves close to each other on economic matters and offer an almost identical product, like two ice-cream stalls on a beach locating next to each other for fear of losing customers. The idea is referred to in business and economics as Hotelling’s Law.

A change only comes when a third player enters the market and offers something different.


“Both the Liberals and the ALP are bribing people with big tax cuts and big spending. I’m not against tax cuts, but I think they could be implemented more equitably, with those on middle and lower incomes getting them first.”

“Social spending should be put ahead of tax cuts. It has to be a priority. I think the tax cuts could be phased in more slowly. I’d like to see more money for hospitals, schools, renewable energy and energy efficiency, and a national Paid Maternity Leave scheme ahead of any tax cuts’ Mr Churchill said.

“There’s no plan announced for any form of tax indexation, so we can reasonably expect both of the old parties to finance their promises from bracket creep, public sector cutbacks or just make some excuse to break them altogether. Labor has already threatened the public service with a ‘razor gang.’ ”

“We’ve seen all this before. Howard’s 1977 ‘fistful of dollars’ was reneged on in 1978. Then came the Lynch ‘razor gang’ in the 1980s. We saw it again with the public service cuts in the late 90s. This stuff is starting to sound scarily familiar.”

“Both of the old parties have become so conservative, they’ve forgotten the concept of government spending on real social reform. If they are looking for a real way to return a Budget surplus to the taxpayer, let’s have some specific purpose money given to the states and territories for public hospitals, public education (without any nasty conditions), public transport, solutions for affordable housing, energy efficiency and climate change. And let’s have a government funded national Paid Maternity Leave scheme.” said Mr Churchill

“Of course, all this needs to be paid for. So, lets’ slow the implementation of tax cuts, and broaden the tax base by tightening up Capital Gains Tax and Fringe Benefits Tax”


“If they want to behave like they’re selling ice-creams, well so be it. But, I want to offer a different flavour!” Mr Churchill declared.

“The Democrats want balance. It has to be fair to the economy, fair on a social level and fair to the environment” concluded Mr Churchill

Darren Churchill

Australian Democrats candidate for Fraser

0412 196 473

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