Letters: Adjust stamp duty brackets
These statistics themselves highlight the effects of slice drift.
Consideration should be given to data showing the transaction number and the increase in stamp duty revenue (and other taxes) when stamp duty rates are reduced.
The recommendation of the federal inquiry mentioned above should be adopted.
Avalon, New South Wales
Premiers and ACT failed on property tax
In the debate on the reform of property taxation, two points must be retained. First, premiers are rightly concerned about prohibitive property tax levels, which they themselves created.
They conveniently omitted to index the rates, so the poor man now pays the same level of tax as the rich man (and women).
Second, the ACT government, praised for being light years ahead, has failed. The rate increase far outpaced the stamp duty relief. People in the top half of property purchasers continue to pay high stamp duties as well as high rates. The ACT government confused stamp duty reform with the redistribution of Labour’s wealth.
Malua Bay, New South Wales
The ‘constipated’ visa system needs an overhaul
Recent comments suggest changes to the Home Office will exacerbate an already constipated visa processing system. During my retirement, I support migrants and refugees in Toowoomba, a city with one of the highest concentrations of newcomers per capita.
My previous experience processing visas was with foreign governments for myself, so I hadn’t realized how appalling the Australian system was.
My most recent experience suggests that the Australian system is no longer fit for purpose. Anyone who has interacted with the department will understand that nothing happens quickly or predictably, that the process is complex, pedantic, convoluted and seemingly subjective in nature, and that applicants have an overwhelming fear of making an irreversible process error that lies indelibly in their records. for all future interactions.
The culture of bureaucrats assumes that applicants should not be admitted unless they can prove that there is no reason to refuse them.
This situation appears to be the result of years of overlapping changes in visa policies and types, requirements, documents and processes that impede the effectiveness of assessments.
If the government is serious about reducing costs while meeting the demands of 21st century visitors and migrants, the visa system must be redesigned, including a review and reformulation of its purpose overlaid with a new administrative culture focused on results for time-bound decisions for which those conducting the assessments are held accountable.
No candidate should be left for years, even decades, in limbo.
Middle Ridge, Queensland
Cutting the power demand an obvious solution
As Australia’s energy crisis deepens (“Qld, NSW face blackout threat”, June 14), I urge our leaders to consider improving our energy efficiency.
Instead of just looking for ways to increase energy supply, reducing demand is another obvious solution.
The International Energy Agency promotes energy efficiency as an underutilized way to support economic growth, ensure energy system security and improve human health.
Raising the National Building Code standard from six to seven stars would result in a 25% reduction in energy consumption, directly saving Australians hundreds of dollars a year and simultaneously achieving vital emissions reductions.
In addition, encouraging the replacement of insulation and appliances, upgrading social housing and setting minimum energy efficiency standards for rental properties would help ensure that all Australians are supported throughout the energetic transition.
When we have water shortages, water restrictions are imposed.
Likewise, with support and information, we can reduce our energy consumption.
The efficient and conscious use of energy is a persistently undervalued solution to today’s cost of living, climate and energy crises.
Australia and China can ditch the rhetoric
“Thaw dials down the China rhetoric” (June 14) by Jennifer Hewett is a salutary reminder to all Australians that our national interests are better identified and protected by abandoning “megaphone diplomacy” as a “weaponized instrument” to conduct our foreign relations and commercial.
Australia has a very proud record; Gough Whitlam, as leader of the federal opposition, visited China in 1971 with Professor Stephen Fitzgerald, scholar and adviser, at his side, innovating, abandoning the rhetoric of the past with its prejudices.
He re-examined Australia’s past policies and practices, setting pioneering new standards for other nations to follow, including our powerful friend and ally, the United States.
US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger followed in his footsteps, visiting China and then setting the stage for President Richard Nixon’s visit, heralding a new dawn for US-China relations.
Much has changed since then and many more complex challenges lie ahead. However, there is no reason why the two countries, despite our differences, cannot continue the dialogue; to re-evaluate, re-examine and work towards mutually beneficial foreign and trade relations.
Not an easy task, but a very worthy cause to ease tensions in a particularly volatile part of the globe, for the many mutual benefits that come with it.
Randwick, New South Wales
Rowan Dean’s climate views leave me cold
Scientists have understood the causal relationship between carbon dioxide and climate change since 1856 (Eunice Newton Foote).
Each of the past three decades in order has been the hottest on record, last summer both poles had temperatures 40 degrees above average, India and parts of the United States are experiencing temperatures record high, while here in Australia the north and northwest are also experiencing extreme hot weather.
Even so, two weeks of below average temperatures and a few record cold days along our east and southeast are enough to convince Rowan Dean that climate change is a hoax and the rest of the world is freezing with us. What a surprise!
Fig Pocket, Qld