Ken Henry Must Go

If it wasn’t obvious before now that the removal of Ken Henry should be a top priority, this should seal the deal:

A super-profits tax should be rolled out for all companies in Australia as a long-term reform.

Treasury secretary Ken Henry says the tax would be similar to the model proposed for mining groups.

Companies would be able to earn up to the government bond rate tax-free, but would then pay a heavier tax on “super-profits” above that level — although less than the 40 per cent mining tax.

UPDATE: More from Catallaxy on this doofus

12 thoughts on “Ken Henry Must Go

  1. I think Ken ignores my submission. 😦

    I said we should axe corporate tax and replace it with a withholding tax on dividends. The idea being companies would have more cash to invest in growth. Especially very profitable companies. It seems Ken thinks the government should have it all instead.

  2. The excuse with mining is that they were “our” minerals, and they had to share… I’m a partner in a web hosting company – I guess after the $43b spent on the NBN ($5k per household) that it’s “our” Internet I’m exploiting.

  3. The man is now telling all economists ‘put down their weapons, and just shut up and agree with him, because he finds their dissent ‘frustrating’ and ‘unproductive’.

    Amazing arrogance for a supposedly non-partisan public servant.

  4. I notice he is blaming Humphreys for getting in the way of the hopey changey Ration and Tax scheme, I knew he was a trouble maker:

    Dr Henry also challenged academics who campaigned against tax change in order to get their own ideas up as alternatives.

    While not focusing on the RSPT, Dr Henry said the arguments over the Rudd Government’s carbon pollution reduction scheme was an example of how academics had inadvertently undermined a sound policy.

    In some quarters academics had argued against the CPRS while championing a carbon tax.

    “That didn’t increase the chances of a carbon tax being legislated, but at the same time it reduced the chances of the CPRS being legislated,” he said.

  5. Jim, as bad as his argument is, it’s basically the same as the argument (or the exact reverse, but with same conclusion) used by Humphreys and other carbon tax supporters against people like me, ie:

    Henry: “Economists keep saying a carbon tax is better than an ETS, and as a result we ended up with nothing – they should shut up, stop complaining and support my position”

    Humphreys: “Some form of emissions tax in inevitable, and purists opposing both mean that we’ll end up with the much worse ETS instead – they should stop having a cry about it and support my carbon tax idea”

    Both were wrong, and a lot more people would now agree that neither an ETS nor carbon tax is inevitable.

  6. Agree Fleeced. People should stop saying new taxes are inevitable. Because if they are, what are we doing here when we should just be emigrating?

  7. Maybe I’m an idiot but I don’t see the problem with this suggestion as long as the change was revenue-neutral (and yes, I know that’s a big assumption). Seems like it would encourage more low-margin economic activity.

  8. Posted this on facebook:

    The role of profits in a free market, is to direct investment into where it is most needed. High profits are a signal to the market that a certain resource is in short supply, and businesses then move into the industry and relieve the shortage. When you put taxes on ‘super-profits’, resources are misdirected away from where they are needed most, into less needed areas. Ken Henry is an idiot.

  9. ChrisV – a super tax on all businesses would not be made tolerable by revenue neutrality.

    Fleeced – we may avoid an ETS but we are still lumbered with MRET, government handouts to the likes of Geodynamics and Solar plants or else Tony Abbotts alternative of “direct action”. All of these are inferior to a modest narrowly focused revenue neutral carbon tax. An ETS may not be inevitable, and I must admit some surprise at the political turn of events, however action on climate change has not fallen off the political agenda.

    Having said all that I am these days more inclined to talk about repealing the prohibition on nuclear power than a carbon tax.

  10. Fleeced; I was thinking of that as I wrote it. I was just trying to get a bite out of the big J. It seems he is either out of the loop or gotten wise to me. : )

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