Comments on Michelle Graton "The implosion of Turnbull’s ‘big idea’ will raise further doubts about his substance and style", 2/04/2016
To resolve the so called vertical fiscal imbalance is one issue and defining both expenditure and revenue responsibilities and make each government responsible to their actions/policies (accountability) is another and a different issue. The mistake by the PM is that he wanted to hit such two birds with one stone and the State and Territory Premiers and Chief Ministers didn't like the PM approach. As a result, the PM failed badly.
I think the States and Territories would probably only like to focus on the first issue, that is, to get more revenues from the Commonwealth as untied grants, that is, a fixed share of income tax. They clearly didn't like to be seen as having to raise more revenue in their own name to pay the bills for education and health.
The PM should now be a bit of more statesman like, and agree with the States and Territories for them to have an agreed and fixed share of revenue from personal income tax, and possibly the revenue from company income tax. If that is done, it would be possible to resolve the vertical fiscal imbalance, should the shares are appropriately determined.
The PM, however, needs a better and carefully considered approach to the second and more thorny issue of real and effective accountability, that is, linking spending responsibilities with revenue responsibilities. What occurred this past week was simply not good enough for the PM.
Where was his leadership and judgement for him to rush such a ill-prepared tax and federation reform plan? Where is the role played by his advisers including from both the POM and the PMC?
I suspect they were probably not well consulted or not consulted at all. If that is true, that would not be too different from the chaotic situations that was accused of the former PM Rudd, as reported or argued by some of his ALP former colleagues.
It seems that our national leadership is lacking leadership skills and is failing the nation badly, when the nation's top political leader behaves like what they have shown us! It is so miserable and pitiful, not just for themselves but for the nation as a whole, because the nation suffers as a consequence!