More taxes for Victoria

Bridget Vallence, Evelyn MP. Picture: ON FILE

By Bridget Vallence

After the sudden resignation of Daniel Andrews, one of the first acts of Victoria’s new Premier, less than one week into the job, was to introduce two new taxes. When governments tax you more, it means less money for you and your family to spend on the essentials. Higher taxes stifle economic growth and disproportionately hurt those that can least afford it.

Victoria is already the highest taxed state in Australia, with Victorians paying an average of $5,074 per person in taxes according to an independent report by the Parliamentary Budget Office.

Since 2014, the Labor Government has introduced 52 new or increased taxes. Most recently this includes a rent tax, health tax, jobs tax, tourism tax, and a schools tax, making life harder for Victorians and adding to their cost-of-living pressures.

Astonishingly, the revenue expected from these new taxes will go no way to tackling state debt, which is forecast to reach a whopping $171 billion in just three years’ time. Victoria’s debt level is more than NSW, Queensland and Tasmania combined. A shocking legacy.

And, the interest bill to service that debt is costing Victorian taxpayers’ $15 million dollars a day, each and every day. That’s right – today $15 million in interest, tomorrow another $15 million in interest, and the next day and so on. By 2026, interest on the Labor Government’s debt is forecast to reach $22 million per day.

Just think what we could do with that sort of money in our community.

We could start fixing dangerous roads and intersections, including Warburton Highway in Seville East, Maroondah Highway at Killara Road in Coldstream, the single-lane bottleneck of Hull Road in Mooroolbark under the rail bridge, and Clegg Road at Wellington Road in Wandin North. We could duplicate the railway tracks between Mooroolbark and Lilydale to improve the frequency and reliability of trains on the Lilydale Line. We could allocate funds to upgrade facilities or purchase new equipment for local emergency services like Lilydale State Emergency Service (SES) and CFA Fire Brigades.

Labor’s program of ever-increasing taxes is not the economic reform that Victoria needs.

My vision for Victoria is that we find a different way. Instead of punishing Victorians with increasing debt and more taxes, Victoria needs a real plan for genuine economic reform that promotes investment and growth, reduces cost-of-living pressures, and makes life easier for households, community groups and small business.

Have your say at about how you think Victoria’s tax system can be improved. It’s time that Victorians had their say and I am here to listen to you.