18/05/2015 - 13:51

Any takers for devolution?

18/05/2015 - 13:51


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The people of Western Australia expect their elected government to take a firm stand on the current funding and budget measures being proposed by the federal authorities.

It is clear major changes must be made; and for this to happen, politicians of vision must challenge the federal government.

WA needs a mandate from the people (by referendum) to seek the power for devolution of fiscal policy, taxation and revenue collection.

In other words, WA would seek to set its own agenda, with tax rates and collection and this money to stay in WA.

For clarity this is not about independence or succession, it’s about seeking the devolution of fiscal matters and ending the annual arguments over federal funding allocation.

WA would remain part of the federation and contribute to the federal government for all other agreed services.

Consider the deal Scotland achieved on new devolved powers after its referendum. Now, the Scottish National Party, which drove that deal, is a force to be reckoned with in UK politics, having won 56 of Scotland’s 59 seats at this month’s general election.

In WA’s case, Perth could become an attractive corporate centre with a lower corporate tax rate; this would be of interest to many Asian enterprises as well as high-tech companies. The GST generated in WA would remain in WA, and it goes without saying how beneficial such an arrangement would be in terms of the resources sector.

Politicians who want to do their best for the people of WA you must air the devolution proposition, because at the moment the government is seen to be like a toothless tiger in these budget negotiations. Even if such a proposition does not have the legs, it would be a very powerful bargaining chip.

As an international financial planner I have a good grasp of these matters. Having said that, my suggestion is not intended to achieve any personal gain, but simply to get politicians to think outside the square and secure a result for the people of WA.

Barry Collins

Crossborder Financial Services


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