Survey Discovers Thoughts of Top AU Economists in Addressing Country’s Challenges

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An interesting survey was conducted in which 59 leading economists participated. The survey posed a momentous task to its participants: raise a A$20 billion per year fund allocation. The survey stated that the money would fund government priorities such as building nuclear submarines and fighting global warming. The results may bring added solutions for the economy.

In collaboration with the Economic Society of Australia, The Conversation surveyed economists recognised as leaders in their fields like economic modelling and public policy. Some study participants were former members of the International Monetary Fund, Treasury, Reserve Bank board, and OECD officials.

According to The Conversation, the survey required participants to pick from a list of 13 options and “asked to choose tax measures based on efficiency, minimising the economic damage the extra taxes or tightening of tax concessions would do, 40 per cent chose increased or new taxes on land, while 39 per cent chose increased resource taxes.”

One of the participants, international consultant Rana Roy, noted that most economists from every strand of modern economics believe that increasing taxes on land and natural resources could be the least damaging way of raising the needed funds. 

Roy added, “This was confirmed in Hong Kong, which charged for the use of crown land; in Norway, which heavily taxed oil and gas resources; and in countries such as Australia, which charged for the use of broadcast spectrum.” 

Other economists agreed that introducing or increasing land taxes was the most efficient way for the government to raise revenue, which was less prohibitive for homeowners.

Others who responded to the survey agreed to remove negative gearing. Negatively gearing, or writing off tax expenses incurred in owning investment properties, can help generate the fund. James Morley, an economist at the University of Sydney, states that removing this ability will be an easy win for the economy.

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