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Let’s not repeat past mistakes

30/04/2020

The calls for import substitution are nonsensical.

Homepaddock

Many of the critics of the erroneously called ‘failed’ policies of the 80s and 90s overlook the fact that the seeds for the problems were planted years earlier.

Those seeds were protectionist policies which provided subsidies for production here and imposed tariffs and import restrictions on goods from overseas.

As a result, producers were divorced from markets and produced far more than we could sell.

Consumers were also worse off. They had less choice and paid more for locally made goods that were often of a much lower standard than imports.

This all put a lot of power in the hands of politicians and bureaucrats and a lot of money in the pockets of the favoured few who had import licences or received subsidies.

It also cost far more than the country could afford and consumers paid twice – first in higher prices and then in higher taxes.

Dismantling all…

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