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The Tyranny of Regulation

Brian Toohey takes up the fight against over-regulation in today's Financial Review in an article headed "Taking an Axe to the Tax Act". He highlights comments made by Productivity Commission chairman Gary Banks on the growth in size of the Tax Act (see http://www.findem.com.au/resources/displayResourcesArticle.php?id=55 ). In 1936 the first ACT was 120 pages and is now 6,700 pages. At this rate of growth, by the end of this century the Act will be 830 billion pages! But hey it's not all bad news - you can now lodge tax returns electronically (see http://www.ato.gov.au/individuals/pathway.asp?pc=001/002/014 )without having to wade through 6,700 pages (but how do you know your refund/extra bill is right?).

And it's not much better at state government level. We now have about 6 different speed zones you could be passing through in your car within the space of 1 km, all under scrutiny of radar and cameras, which are witnesses on the government's side, which are always right. With all this sophisticated technology wouldn't you think Bob Carr could get the trains to run on time? And the latest trick this week is for auto toll tag holders to find out, not only is their account debited in advance for toll credit, but they will have to pay for NOT using the road more than twice a week.

Already we have train commuters planning "don't pay today" days, because they are "mad as hell and are not going to take it anymore". The apathetic Australian natives are getting restless!

Posted Saturday, 13 November 2004

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