QUT ECONOMIST SUPPORTS FLOOD LEVY

Written on the 2 March 2011

QUT ECONOMIST SUPPORTS FLOOD LEVY

A QUEENSLAND University Technology economist has added his voice in support of a one-off levy to help re-build flood-affected areas, as opposed to expenditure cuts.

Head of the School of Economics and Finance, Professor Tim Robinson, says the Federal Government’s proposed one-year flood levy was a good idea because it’s guaranteed to end when the levy collection period is over.

“As an alternative, the government could have announced a rise in taxes in the next budget to cover infrastructure reconstruction costs,” he says.

“They could have actually raised personal income tax rates or raised the rate of GST to pay for flood reconstruction and then there would be no guarantee the new taxes imposed would ever have been removed.”

Robinson believes governments should discourage people from resettling in areas highly prone to natural diasters.

“The Federal Government should not be forced to pay for Councils’ poor planning policies or ill-preparation for natural disasters, such as floods,” he says.

“If Brisbane ratepayers have to pick up some of the tab because their preparation for potential floods is wanting, this is a good thing as it will encourage authorities to rethink the suitability of their policies.

“People should build more flood-proof houses and river walks that can float away shouldn’t be reconstructed.”


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