Australia – Expensive, Highly Taxed and Over Governed
In Australia a schooner of beer (about 375ml) can cost anything up to $10 (USD8 at the time of writing), depending upon the location of the bar. Taxes, both direct and indirect, make Australian alcohol among the most expensive in the world. In the case of buying a beer at a bar, about 20% of the cost is direct tax on alcohol, and an additional 10% in GST (Goods and Service Tax). But there are many additional indirect taxes.
Wages are high, particularly on weekends, and the minimum wage is $18.29 per hour. This is one of the highest minimum wages in the world. This is in no small part due to high taxation rates.
Everything is highly taxed. Here in NSW the privilege of driving your car can cost over $1,000 per year. The cost of registering a new car varies by state. The highest is $1,600 for a $40,000 car in mendicant Tasmania, but the other states are not far behind. Then there is an envy tax, at any price over $64,000 there is an additional 33% tax added to the price of the car.
The prime reason for all this tax is to support the politicians and bureaucrats of one of the most over governed countries in the world. Australia is about the same landmass as the contiguous US states but has a population of only 25 million. This is a result of the inhospitable nature of most of the continent – dry and hot.
However, what the country lacks in population, it overachieves in big government. Australia has 7 states, each with two houses of government, and 2 territories with a single house. Overseeing all this is the federal government with a House of Representatives (150 members) and a Senate (76 members). The states are worse.
Among the states, NSW, for example, has 93 members of the Legislative Assembly (lower house) and 42 members of the Legilative Council (upper house). A total of 135 politicians in a state of 7.7 million people. And that does not include the thousands upon thousands of politicians in local government. Ridiculous.
Even worse, is that the vast majority of politicians are unknown political hacks with no business experience at all.
On top of this are the huge bureaucracies that the federal and state governments have created. In South Australia, another state that consumes more than it produces, the government is by far the largest employer.
The state has about the highest electricity costs in the world, despite having plenty of coal. But coal plants have been shut down un favour of wind power. South Australia is very hot in summer, and when it is hot the wind does not blow. A fact of which government is apparently unaware. So, they buy electricity, produced from coal, from an adjacent state, but still have blackouts. Read more here.
Seriously shrinking the government would enrich Australians no end. But it won’t happen.