Progressive economic policies
The Secular Party stands for:
- Balanced budgets over the long term
- Increasing the competitiveness of Australian industry
- Reducing the trade deficit
- Encouraging new technologies
- Using the benefits of economic growth for the long-term advantage of all
- Implementing an international tax on currency transfers (Tobin tax)
- Implementing a price on carbon and an international carbon tax
The Secular Party recognises that the age-old struggle between the forces of labour and capital is no longer the major determinant in political economy. Unlike the major parties, we have no allegiance to the sectional interests of labour or capital. The Secular Party bases its economic policies on judgements concerning the long-term public interest and the interests of global humanity.
In doing so, we are guided by the heritage of the classical economists of the Enlightenment, including both Adam Smith and Jeremy Bentham. The Secular Party is also not so constrained by ideology as to suppose that the macroeconomic management insights established by J. M. Keynes will never again be relevant. We therefore maintain that balanced government budgets, over the long term, as well as a balanced foreign trade account, are legitimate concerns of government policy.
We recognise that the benefits of capitalism are derived neither by exploitation, nor by the exertion of monopoly power of any kind. Such benefits, as are apparent in the continuous rise in living standards that have been sustained for over two hundred years, are due not to any religion, but to what is in fact a humanist phenomenon — technical progress and commercial innovation. The Secular Party has as its core philosophy the development and maintenance of economic policies that support this process.
The major economic challenges that lie ahead derive from international inequity and environmental problems associated with oil resource depletion and global warming. Insufficient provision has been made in Australia for looming environmental problems, especially in terms of water conservation and addressing dry land salinity.
Eliminating world poverty is a feasible goal, requiring the fostering of aid, trade and good governance, but will not be achieved without a far greater degree of international goodwill and co-operation. The continuing and egregious nature of global religious conflict is a severe impediment to achieving the co-operation required. Secular values must be promoted and secular policies implemented far more widely in order to achieve this.
Addressing global inequity requires genuine trade liberalisation, but this alone is insufficient. To provide global funds for poverty reduction programs, the Secular Party supports the implementation of a tax on international currency transactions (the Tobin tax).
It is necessary that the combustion of carbon by the electricity generation industry worldwide be drastically reduced. Highest priority must be given to the introduction of taxes on carbon emissions. As an additional measure, due to the urgency of the global warming situation, the Secular Party proposes a tax on the international trade in coal, the proceeds of which should be mandated to be used in providing alternative energy programmes, particularly in those countries adversely affected by the tax.
The social object of skilled investment should be to defeat the dark forces of time and ignorance which envelope our future. John Maynard Keynes