Where Opinions Matter – time for a moratorium on State charges and taxes

Without living in the past, nostalgia has its place and can be put to good use for society.

From the 1950s, we Baby Boomers were happy, content and enjoying life.

Mostly shoeless and empty of pocket and purse, we relished real fun through the sixties and into the seventies.

Of course, we can’t wind-back the clock. Things will never be like they were. 

Today, we are all far richer, especially in Western Australia. But are current generations happy, content and enjoying life? Many are. 

Untold wealth has flooded into WA, filling pockets of tycoons, shareholders and governments. 

So it is staggering to think that our nurses, teachers and police need more support and bigger pay packets. Especially considering the pandemic-inflicted damage.

Juvenile misbehaviour in Perth and our regions is an enormous problem for our under-funded authorities. 

Street lighting, street signs, roads, schools and public facilities all need serious money. Beachside and tourist-attracting suburbs and regions struggle to pay their maintenance bills because council rates fall vastly short of the mark.

State and Federal Governments are spending billions of dollars, of course, and many projects are worthy. Billions of dollars are also spent on questionable activities.

What real say do we have in these affairs?

The ballot box is the one opportunity to change government but where is the community debate for individual projects? We have no suburban or regional forums for debate and input is limited to television Q&As and talkback radio.

Royal commissions and referenda are massively expensive and time consuming and they don’t include public input. Federal elections, multi-million-dollar extravaganzas, are held too frequently, every three years but mean effective governing for only 54 months before switching to campaign-mode. At least WA state polls are every four years. 

Federal governments need time to work through their platforms and policies and four or five-yearly national elections patently makes good sense.

Yes, West Australian services are improving but they are clearly short of the standard that could be achieved by a super-wealthy State.

We lived and loved and struggled through the sixties but didn’t feel deprived. Of course, we didn’t know any other way, like the generations before us.

It was nice when youth respected authority, without abuse of traffic inspectors, police, nurses, teachers or our elders. 

We played outside, were never glued to television or computer screens, ate basic, healthy, home-cooked meals. Sweets and movies were occasional treats and those of us who weren’t church-goers, kept our opinions to ourselves.

Christmas and Easter were largely true to their meaning and we didn’t need to spend hundreds of dollars on Christmas gifts or massive festive season trees.

Blokes happily held open doors for women and paid restaurant bills. Women didn’t need to work two or three jobs to pay bills and taxes and we were all family-minded. We ate together, went on holiday together and dropped-in on relatives and friends. The kids played outside.

Obesity wasn’t a national health issue, young bodies weren’t tattoo-smothered; rings and severe haircuts were limited to the armed forces.

The fifties, sixties and seventies weren’t without fiscal, health and social problems. No generations have been or will be.

Baby Boomers were largely happy with their lives. Greed wasn’t as widespread. Billionaires and multi-millionaires today couldn’t spend all their money in their life-times. The ranks of the super-wealthy include entertainers, sports stars, and even social media influencers. 

Yet many West Australians are struggling to pay their bills? Where’s the social dividend for strugglers? Why are government taxes and charges being increased now when there are literally billions in the bank? 

At this unique time in WA’s history, after Baby Boomers’ decades of State and nation-building efforts, it is a golden opportunity to have a moratorium on State charges and taxes.

At the very least, a 50 per cent cut in energy and vehicle taxes for three years. It will be good for our State, our people and the economy as purses open.

And pay rises for our real stars: Nurses, teachers and police.

What do you think?
Email info@haveagonews.com.au with Opinion in the subject line.