What a week and what a year!
With deadlines fast approaching before the Christmas break this past week has been a frenzy of work and Christmas excitement. This season really does bring out the inner child in us all! I had imagined being on the other side of the planet to friends and family was a terrific excuse to save money on presents but unfortunately the door to self-indulgence opened wide and I stepped right through. The French influence here in Canada has provided the most exquisite food and wine and being dedicated to immersing myself in the culture I did not hesitate to indulge in the local cuisine. It is fair to say salads will be on the shopping list for the next few weeks.
The lead up to Christmas at the Canadian Taxpayers Federation has seen me working on a number of different projects. I have been refining my alcohol tax calculators and researching the different approaches the Canadian Government takes towards its Aboriginal people. These approaches include self-governance programs and various forms of land and resource control. I think that these programs appear to promote many positives not seen in Australia, however they still have some flaws. This includes too relaxed of a tax on high-income earning Aboriginals and the moral issues associated with it. It is a conversation that should be had, but the sensitive nature of these issues is a disincentive for the Government to have a substantial discussion as they are not vote-winning issues and are likely to upset different demographics.
This past week I have also been researching through Access to Information papers revealing the exorbitant bills many Ministers are spending on travel. Millions alone have been spent flying the spouses and children of many Ministers. It certainly made me wonder what our Ministers at home are spending especially with Australia’s global remoteness and vast internal expanses. This is separate to the further entitlements received after leaving Cabinet including a comfortable pension. Again it is vital introspection that I do not believe our Government has an incentive to conduct.
I can confidently say in the short time I have been at the CTF, I have experienced more than I ever could have imagined.
With plans for some travelling to Montreal for New Years and hearing about the new and exciting projects at the CTF, I can’t wait to dive into 2017. Happy New Year!