ONE of the strongest values enunciated by political leaders is that of aiming for greater equality of opportunity. In the Liberal Party the commitment to equality of opportunity has been stated by party leaders from Robert Menzies on, and indeed forms part of the party’s official platform.
One of the policy mechanisms used to give effect to this sentiment is called horizontal fiscal equalisation, a commonwealth system of giving top-up revenues to poorer state governments such that each state in Australia has the capacity to provide services and the associated infrastructure at the same standard…
… Having all our citizens able to participate has been a binding agent for Australia as a country through its history. Before we decide to change the system it’s worth pausing to consider: Could a prime minister credibly claim to support equality of opportunity in Australia while diminishing the capacity of poorer states to have their children compete in national life?
David Alexander is a former senior adviser to Treasurer Peter Costello, now managing director (federal) of Barton Deakin Government Relations. The views expressed are his alone.
David Alexander, The Australian, 23 February 2015. The full article can be accessed here.