A difference to suit the Vic Liberals


Australian Financial Review

28th November 2006


Your editorial analysis of the Victorian election result ("Liberals left in wilderness", November 27) is full of unexplained generalisations such as that the 'Liberals failed to knuckle down' or 'failed to seize the political opportunities that came their way'.


But the key point is that their espoused policies were only marginally different from Labor's. True, when proposing additional expenditure, the motto seemed to be: 'we can do it better than you'.


But is that what the party of small government stands for?


The Liberal party's motto should now be to encourage private sector growth in Victoria, including in services traditionally regarded as the sole responsibility of government.


The public goods rationale for the provision of school education and hospital services by government is, for example, now outdated. This is shown by the increase, under the Bracks government, in private sector provision of education and hospital services to 35 per cent and 36 per cent respectively. Even so, under that government the share of total Victorian expenditure by the private sector remained stationary whereas it increased from 75 to 80 per cent under the previous Kennett government.


Policy changes now directed at further development of private sector services to improve service quality and reduce the burden of state taxes would provide a basis for 2010.