Should More Of Our Tax Dollars Go To Bail Out General Motors?

US-based General Motors is demanding Australian taxpayers give it another $265 million. That’s right, another: this is on top of the $275 million taxpayers gave them earlier this year, and the staggering $2.2 billion in handouts they’ve received in the last 12 years.

How much longer do successful businesses need to keep paying to prop up failures like General Motors?

Make no mistake: GM’s problems are of its own making – cozy union deals and over-priced cars no one wants to drive supported and subsidised by our taxes.

This is not unique to Australia. General Motors’ modus operandi in the United States has been for many years now to cozy up to Unions, and receive taxpayers bailouts when they inevitably go belly-up.

The same is happening here: Between 1997 and 2010 the company gave into every union demand with pay increases of 63.33per cent – and then, in 2012, they increased them again by 22%!!! Their Enterprise Bargaining Agreement contains provisions that every casual receive prior union-approval, unions select labor-hire companies, a redundancy package for one person can easily reach well over $400,000: the list goes on.

So important is playing politics and receiving taxpayer funds from governments to GM, that in the two  areas of government policy which genuinely did hurt their ability to manufacture in Australia – namely the carbon tax and the retrograde Fair Work Act – they were silent, preferring to keep their cozy deal with the government to doing what was best for the  company.

Naturally, it will be tragic for the workers who shall lose their jobs if subsidies are cut – but the fault of this is squarely on the government whose continued subsidies have dragged this out for so long, and we can not expect other businesses to go bankrupt because they have been bled dry through their taxes propping up Holden. The quicker we rip off the bandaid, the faster we’ll be able to return to a more flexible and vibrant economy making it easier to reskill workers.

If we continue propping up an unsustainable and unprofitable industry, it is every hardworking taxpayer and successful business who will pay the price.  The government MUST reject this latest bailout.

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