A new conga line of rent seekers is lining up to take the place of those that have fallen out of favour, such as the car industry, former competition tsar Graeme Samuel says.
They included proponents of a “food bowl” in northern Australia and other “vested interests” whose ideas did not pass the basis test of public versus private interest, Mr Samuel told a Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) lunch in Melbourne.
Offering “a word of warning”, Mr Samuel said that as the subsidy-dependent car industry sought more taxpayer funding as a condition of continuing to invest in Australia, others were looking to divert the industry’s subsidies to their own use.
“They are vested interests,” the former Australian Competition and Consumer Commission chairman said.
He said he had applied his five-part test of public-versus-private interest and efficiency to the proposals and “in every case they failed dismally”.There is also robust commentary at Macrobusiness: Australia's conga line of rent seekers
There has been much political spin and wind in recent times on northern policy and the food bowl. We haven't heard quite so much however on these private food bowl rentiers. Just who I ask could be the participants in this conga line of food bowl rent seekers to whom Samuel refers?
Nominations: 1) Keith De Lacy/IFED 2) ??
Note: Warren Entsch is appearing at the monthly Cairns Chamber lunch next week to talk about the whitepaper on Northern Australia policy. Sadly I am still absent from Cairns so will be unable to attend another rambling dissertation in search of a point from the big man.