قدرت و ایده : توسعه مالیات پس انداز بازنشستگی در استرالیا
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|23070||2010||14 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||11323 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Critical Perspectives on Accounting, Volume 21, Issue 7, October 2010, Pages 597–610
New Zealand and Australia have adopted vastly different approaches to retirement savings and its associated taxation. Two fundamental differences exist: New Zealand offers little in the way of tax incentives for retirement savings and there is no compulsion for retirement savings; Australia provides highly concessionary tax incentives and has a mandatory occupational retirement savings scheme. This paper uses a historical institutionalism theoretical framework to investigate the events that led to these diverse approaches in retirement savings taxation between two countries that frequently adopt similar policy ‘solutions’. The research highlights the importance of power and ideas in the policy development process. Power imbalances among institutions and individuals facilitated the pursuit of tax and retirement savings policy arrangements that were aligned with the world view of privileged elites. Ideas justified the policy direction adopted in each country and assisted in legitimising the power granted to actors and institutions that supported the prevailing ideology. The strongest ideas were found in New Zealand, where reform was the most radical.
Retirement savings, and its associated taxation, is of importance to all OECD countries. A variety of approaches have been adopted throughout the OECD to address issues relating to ageing populations including increasing the age of entitlement to state pensions; decreasing pension allowances; changes to tax incentives to encourage retirement saving; and increases in compulsory occupational retirement savings schemes. New Zealand and Australia have adopted different components of these reforms in their retirement savings policy. Australia has introduced a mandatory occupational retirement savings scheme, combined with generous tax incentives, while New Zealand has few tax incentives and no compulsion. The paper explores two dimensions in relation to the impact on policy development: ideas and power. The paper challenges both the primary ‘ideas’ that moulded policy direction over the past 35 years and the power dimensions that facilitated the arrangements adopted. This paper examines the impact of individual and institutional power in the policy formation process and the extent to which ideas allowed interested groups to influence the policy direction. The paper commences with an outline of the policy issues relating to the taxation of retirement savings. This is followed in Section 3 with a discussion on the theoretical framework used for analysis: historical institutionalism. Section 4 describes the methodology and the data collected, while Section 5 outlines the development of retirement savings taxation policy in New Zealand and Australia. Section 6 provides the detailed analysis, using the suggested explanatory variables of power and ideas. Conclusions are drawn in Section 7.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The New Zealand approach to reforming the taxation of retirement savings in the 1980s was quite deliberate; it was a systematic removal of privileges that had built up over time. The Australian approach involved greater consultation and negotiation, in particular with the trade union movement. Historically, a number of explanations have been provided for the changes to the tax treatment of retirement savings over the past 30 years. Typically, these include the economic crisis in both countries, ageing populations, declining levels of private savings and concern about the sustainability of existing schemes. It is also common to see individuals such as Paul Keating or Roger Douglas, or institutions such as the trade union movement in Australia or the New Zealand Treasury credited (or blamed) for policy implemented. At a certain level, all of these factors have some relevance. However, this analysis provides a deeper level of understanding by highlighting some of the hidden assumptions within the more typically accepted interpretation of the situation. What can be seen from the generally accepted explanations of the reforms to retirement savings policy is the key influence of power, supported by the prevailing ideas of the time. The strongest ideas were found in New Zealand, where reform was the most radical. However, in Australia a strong ideology can also be seen with a trend towards economic efficiency tempered by social justice perspectives. The environmental factors, while still important, facilitated the power of institutions and individuals. However, in the absence of the prevailing ideology, which was communicated to the public to validate the policy suggestions, it is unlikely that the policy directions adopted in either country would have been suggested. While both the environment and the influence of certain institutions were important, ultimately the changes that occurred were unlikely to have had success in the absence of elite support, combined with the power of elites to ensure that the policy direction desired was adopted. What was driving this support and power was the ideology. The use of historical institutionalism, in emphasising ideas in the analysis, highlights the link between ideas and power. A key insight is the evidence indicating that ideas strengthened and validated the power structures, rather than the reverse, which is often considered to be the case in both the New Zealand and Australian contexts. Furthermore, the preferences of an institution are communicated and adapted with reference to the prevailing ideology of the institution. This research indicates that the concepts of ideas and power should be afforded greater prominence in the policy development debate. Perhaps, more specifically, the combination of a strong ideological foundation and a significant power base, provide an explanation for the policy direction pursued in each country. In addition, the analysis indicates that a focus on ideas is beneficial to a comparative case study such as this. Ideas provided a number of insights, including the potential for different interpretation of ideas in different countries; the importance of gaining support for ideas; the likelihood of increased acceptance of ideas that ‘fit’ with the prevailing environment and provide a credible ‘solution’ to the policy problem; the privileging of individuals and institutions that support the preferred ideology; and the value of providing a coherent world view, which actors were motivated to support. These findings indicate that it may be beneficial to place a stronger emphasis on the concept of ideas and power in policy analysis.