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CP: Well Ford said, making more Fords, the cost comes down. So the more people that have got the individual rights to pursue an education I think it’s a good thing. You’ve got to remember this country has had 23 years of uninterrupted growth, that’s the reality of it. Not very many people tell you that and part of that is that we’ve got a higher educated society than previously. If you look at our low levels of debt and how we have performed as a group is because we have had people who are well directed and of course education used to be one of our biggest exports, and can be again. One of the problems with the education system was when the Whitlam Government got in just after that they had tendered out universities, where they weren’t open to competition among academics, that’s the sort of thing that has to be reformed so we only get the best people going. If you go to Japan or if you go to China anywhere across Asia Korea education is very important and it’s very competitive and only the best people go there not the wealthiest. It doesn’t matter how much money you have got, it doesn’t mean you’re the best person to use those assets. So we need competition in the system. To get the best people to go to university we don’t want to have a barrier for those people to attend university or the nation will be the looser. You know when you are 23 or 24 that’s the time when you can do things and take a risk in your life. If you come out of it and are burdened with a hundred thousand dollars or fifty thousand dollars in debt you worry about things and you won’t be as bold as you could be and the nation will lose. We want to encourage our graduates to do something. My friend’s daughter just graduated in law she has got eighty thousand dollars in debt, she can’t buy a house with her husband because of the amount of HECS she has to repay. Now that will be a limit on her career. We need to have winners to generate wealth, we need to encourage people to do that. SR: So one final question. Joe Hockey has got to start putting together another budget very soon. What will it need to have in it for you to support it? CP: Growth. To give you a couple of examples; Today businesses pay provisional tax. They pay that to the government before they have earnt the money. That is a very conservative policy. The Ford estimate has got it down as $70 billion a year, that’s $70 billion dollars that comes out of our economy in the money supply and it suppresses the domestic demand. Why not move the date for provisional tax to the end of the year after the companies have actually earnt the money and keep that $70 billion in the economy. That if it turns over in the hands of our individual tax payer 3 times, the government gets $21 Billion in GST anyway. The cost of doing that at 2.5% interest rates is about $800 Million. But if we free up that money we create more domestic demand and growth for our country. That’s what President Obama has done in the US, that’s what the European Union is just doing now and extending our growth we can do all that without borrowing, just by moving a date. Why should our small businesses be constrained and having to pay tax to the government before they’ve made the money and there are things like that we can do chapter 11 in the United States. Where the Australian Government is the number 1 practitioners of liquidations in this country, thousands of companies are wound up every year. What we do is take gainful employment and put them on the welfare. Why not keep them employed, keep them paying group tax and doing exports. In America they have chapter 11 so the owner of the business loses his equity but the enterprise keeps going and the government sells that equity to another person who may be able to run the business better and have better skills. 85% of companies that go into chapter 11, come out of chapter 11 and we don’t put people on welfare. There the sort of reforms that we can do and make a difference in this country and get growth going and generate domestic demand. Just cutting like the government is doing at the moment is just suppressing the local demand and we condemned all of our domestic business not to be successful and of course if that happens, the Australian economy will collapse and we will never get it back a surplus. SR: Clive Palmer thanks for your time. The Last Sentry at the Gate: Clive Palmer & the 44th Parliament of Australia 247


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