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Bold reforms should start from government governance

Comments on Graham Bradley “We need to have faith in the government's sums”, 30/05/2011, http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/we-need-to-have-faith-in-the-governments-sums/story-fn59niix-1226065153933

Bold reforms are needed and leadership to reforms is essential.

If the federal government is serious in reforms, it should start from reforming the governance of the government as the first step, or at least in conjunction with other reforms.

In terms of reforming government governance, maybe a national commission on economic policy should be established. Such a commission should have a component in budget integrity, as well as other economic policies, such as the desirable macroeconomic setting for both fiscal and monetary policies.

In terms of other bold reforms, while the Henry review report could be used as the starting point, its shortcomings should be recognised, such as the exclusion of GST in the review, as well as the lessons learnt from the RSPT/MRRT processes.

The tax forum should also include the carbon tax and related compensation measures, or ETS in its agenda.

Further, there should be a body to make sure the forum produce good outcomes and be implemented, as opposed to the 2020 summit.

To meet the challenges from population aging, there must be enough incentives provided for people to work longer, save more and optimise spending on healthcare and other consumptions.

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