Viv Forbes, The Australian, October 17, 1985, p. 10,
as a letter to the editor.

SIR — They say we will notice the cracks in the plaster before the ceiling falls.

The crisis in mining and agriculture, two industries of crucial importance to Australia, is sure evidence of cracks in our economic ceiling. We can heed this warning and take remedial action, or wait apathetically for the crash to come.

Remedial action must focus on the monster which has crept into the attic of every home and now threatens to crash through into the living room. This monster is the public sector.

The monster has an insatiable appetite. It consumes 43 per cent of Australia’s income and misuses 33 per cent of its workforce. It has grown fat on this rich diet and now demands conditions of work and retirement which are the envy of most of those who pay the bills.

It administers an overmanned and expensive rail, sea and air service whose cost falls heaviest on the outback producers. Then it levies taxes on everything that is used, moved, bought or sold. It continually overspends, then drives up interest rates with its reckless borrowings.

It condones a wage-fixing system which makes our industries uncompetitive and ensures unemployment and disillusionment for many of our children.

It allows union militants to demand utopian working conditions, to disrupt production or the public for any reason, to coerce both employers and employees, and to cling to inefficient work practices and obsolete technology.

It discourages work with progressive taxation and encourages idleness with generous handouts. It taxes thrift, savings and investment and rewards those who waste their opportunities and their resources.

It uses inflation and manipulation of exchange rates to secretly rob producers and exporters. It discourages foreign capital and wastes much of our own capital on unproductive monuments and circuses. Then, to add insult to injury, it levies tariffs on the import of the machinery so essential to maintaining our competitiveness.

The prosperity of Australia rests heavily on two very old industries — agriculture and mining. In these fields we lead the world in productivity and technology.

But even these great public benefactors can be broken by over-taxation, over-regulation and destructive wage and monetary policies.

We must reform the public sector or its dead weight will surely crash down on all of us.

We must reject the hungry monster from the ceiling and put him back where he belongs — on a stout chain at the gate.

We at Tax Payers United are tackling this problem, but it needs a big stick. Why not join us? Write to PO Box 174, Indooroopilly, Qld 4068.

Tax Payers United